Population Crunch May Break London's Tube Within 15 Years

By Gary Cutlack on at

The increasing population is a threat to the operation of London's Underground network, according to one of its bosses, who warns that some sort of human traffic crisis point may be reached within the next 15 years if we don't do something about the pipes.

The quotes are from Miles Ashley, who's the director for construction of the Underground network. He was addressing a team of engineering researchers at Imperial College London, and said of the impending crunch and the amount of space some people may find themselves with in the future: "I don't know whether you have ever stood in a telephone box with 3 and a half or your friends... but ultimately that gives you an illustration of just how crowded parts of the these stations are going to be and the challenge that faces us. It renders it impossible."

The short-term solution is to tell drivers not to stop at overcrowded stations, as the last thing you want to do when a tunnel is dangerously overcrowded is to empty loads more people into it. "Sometimes it is more important to get people out," he said, adding "If you can’t get people off the platform for the next train to arrive, then you have to run to non-stopping... The ability to empty platforms is fundamental." [The Times via Standard]

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