Commuters are facing travel chaos after TFL announced the Central Line would shut at 5pm with full closure by 6.30pm. However, just a short time later, the transport authority made a dramatic U-turn, announcing that the line would stay open.
A TFL spokesperson said: “Cover has been found and a normal Central line service will operate until the end of the evening.”
TFL denied the U-turn was a result of backlash from commuters, however Londoners were furious with the announcement of the unplanned closure.
Stephanie Hayden, tweeted: “What a disgrace. TfL have just sent out an email stating that the Central Line will close today at 17:30 due to staffing issues. This is a working day in the capital city. @mayoroflondon, hold your head in shame.”
Another Londoner, Kelly Muggs, hit out at the timing and said: “TfL now think it’s OK to tell you at 1.14pm that the Central line is closing at 5.30pm. YOU’RE A DISGRACE.”
A message seemingly sent by Des Friel, service control manager for the Central and Waterloo and City lines, was tweeted at 12.20pm today about the closure.
The note said: “Unfortunately due to high sickness levels, we will be suspending the Central line this evening. Last trains through central London will be approximately 6pm westbound from Liverpool Street and 6pm eastbound from White City.
“Should we be able to secure additional SRT staff, we will run a shuttle service from Leytonstone to EPP/Hainault only. Once we have confirmed timings and train numbers for last trains, we will share these with you.”
The news was initially announced by Greater Anglia in a tweet at 12:30pm that some on Twitter thought was from the RMT’s Tube strike on June 21.
READ MORE: Brian May hits out at government for ’embarrassment, lies and squalor’
Arun Joseph tweeted: “How does @TfL expect people to get home from work? How do patients get to appointments and back? If the central line is closed then all other lines will be negatively impacted, so it is nonsense to talk about just this line in isolation. This will have serious ramifications.”
TfL is facing a huge amount of backlash following the decision, as passengers fear how they will get home this evening.