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Londoners collectively wasted 44 years due to overcrowding on Tubes last year

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Emily Badiozzaman
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Think the tube is frustrating as is? Best not think about how much time you spend on them, because it’s enough to make you weep. 

Liberal-Democrat London Assembly member, Caroline Pidgeon, released figures today that revealed that we collectively wasted 44 years on the tube last year, due to overcrowding. 

Sound insane? Obviously, you personally did not waste half your life on the Tube last year (though it may have felt like it). The numbers were calculated by the number of delays over two minutes on each line, multiplied by the number of passengers who use that line per year. 

That number came to 390,786 hours in 2016, up by 254,092 from 2012. 

The biggest culprit was the Jubilee line, which recorded 147,451 hours lost – more than double the waiting time of other lines – while the Central line came in second wasting 60,695 hours and the Northern line is in third with 45,635 a year.

Over four million people use the network every day which causes closures at main stations such as Victoria, King’s Cross and Canada Water to avoid dangerous amounts of people on platforms. 

That number shows no signs of reducing, so Pidgeon is proposing we have cheaper ‘early bird’ tickets to give people an incentive to change the time they commute. She said:

“These figures powerfully demonstrate that improvements to the Tube are in many places not even keeping up with the rising demand for travel created by London’s booming population and record number of tourists.  

"It is vital that the growth in Tube delays caused by overcrowding comes to an end… A good start would be to encourage more people to start their journeys earlier in the morning by offering half price Tube travel for any journey that starts before 7.30 am.

“The pressure now placed on the Jubilee Line also shows why a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf is so needed and plans for it must be accelerated.

“The bridge will play a valuable role in relieving pressure on the Jubilee Line, especially at Canada Water.”

Steve Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer for London Underground, said:

“Crowding is more often a consequence rather than a cause of delays.

"London’s success means the city’s population is growing and we have consistently argued that this means sustained investment needs to be put into modernising and expanding the transport network.

“That is why we have one of the biggest investment programmes in the world."

"The TfL-run Elizabeth line, which will open next year, will serve more than half a million customers a day, while our signal modernisation, new more frequent trains, and rebuilding of stations like Victoria and Bank are critical.”

Try not to think about it next time you’re caught up in strike chaos.

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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