Tuesday 17 January 2012

London Underground vs Olympia Exhibition Centre

Last year in a bid to "improve" District Line services stopped running trains on the spur line between Earls Court and London Olympia tube stations. The man with a spreadsheet strikes again. Following representations it was announced that limited service would be run on the line when there were events at the Olympia Exhibition halls.

Last week I experienced those limited tube services on my way to the BETT 2012 exhibition. When I arrived at Earls Court tube station around 10:40 I hunted for an indication as to when the next tube train would run to Olympia. They used to run four trains an hour. According to published times I should have expected a train at 10:44; but in reality it was chaotic. After a five minute wait a tannoy announcement proclaimed a 30 minute wait for the next train.

Fortunately I knew the route to the Olympia Exhibition Centre so I opted for the 15 minute walk instead of waiting for an improbable tube train. Fortunately the weather was good and I arrived a little sweaty but within a reasonable time.

Coincidentally this week I received an email from the organisers of the BETT exhibition, which is a very large exhibition for technology in education. They plan to hold their 2013 exhibition at the Docklands Excel Exhibition Centre, Strangely enough the tube connections are a lot better for the more recent centre. Olympia had been their venue for several previous years, but after the District Line debacle they seem to have changed their minds.

How can London Underground/Transport For London justify the isolation of the Olympia Exhibition Centre?

Update:18th May 2012
There is an alternative route, but it means catching an Underground train to another station, then waiting for another train in the open air to go to Olympia. I generally just walk between Earls Court and Olympia, but only when I'm prepared for rain!

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