HC Deb 07 March 2000 vol 345 cc589-90W
18. Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he last travelled on official business on the London Underground. [112190]

Mr. Hill

My "right" hon. Friend travels by public transport on a regular basis on official visits and on journeys to his office.

Mr. Kaufman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will call for a report from London Underground on(a) the reasons for the work on the second escalator at St. John's Wood Station taking longer than originally assumed, (b) when Baker Street Station will be re-opened for Jubilee Line passengers and (c) the reasons why at Westminster Station debris obstructs the walkway to the House, certain exits have not opened and the previously opened exit to Victoria Embankment has been boarded shut. [113126]

Mr. Hill

[holding answer 6 March 2000]These are operational matters for London Underground who have informed me that

  1. (a) The escalator at St. John's Wood is being refurbished and this work was originally due to be completed by May 2000. However, during the process of removing parts of the escalator, a problem 590W with water ingress was discovered. Work on the refurbishment had to be suspended while this was investigated and dealt with, but is now progressing again and the escalator is scheduled to return to service in late June 2000.
  2. (b) Baker Street Station re-opened for Jubilee Line passengers on 3 March 2000 but closed to Jubilee passengers over the weekend of the 4–5 March due to a failed speed governor (a device which ensures that the escalator travels at a steady speed, controls the braking system and ensures that it comes to a controlled stop in an emergency). It re-opened this morning to the Jubilee Line passengers; and
  3. (c) Part of the Bridge subway at Westminster Station remains fenced off to allow contractors to complete installation of permanent lighting there; the final subway exit, linking the station to Victoria Embankment, adjacent to Westminster Pier, opened on 6 March 2000, although the staircase at the pier end of the Subway is not due to open until 31 March 2000; those exits previously opened and now shut have been closed to facilitate construction works at street level by the New Parliamentary Building team.