For many years, Theresa Villiers has been campaigning for improvements to the Northern Line, which serves her Chipping Barnet constituency. Under the previous Labour Government the much needed modernisation of the London Underground was stalled for nearly a decade, as Gordon Brown wasted millions of pounds on a failed PPP. Once the Conservative-led Government took office, things at last began to make progress. As Minister for Transport, Theresa worked hard to ensure that the money needed for the tube upgrade survived the spending review, despite the cuts which were necessary to deal with the deficit left by Labour.
She has also kept up the pressure on TfL to deliver the improvements to the Northern Line on time and worked with them to minimise the line closures needed for the work to take place. The upgrade will mean more frequent trains and faster journeys. A new signalling system has already been installed.
Recent months have seen an attempt to revive the proposal to split the Northern Line into two separate tube lines. Theresa was part of a campaign several years ago which saw the Labour Mayor abandon plans for a split. When the media began to report that the proposal was back on the table, Theresa started to campaign against the plans once again. She received assurance from the Mayor and London Underground (LU) that it was not inevitable that the line would be split, and that such a proposal was not in their committed plans for the period to 2020. LU also confirmed that the split proposal was not likely to be a serious possibility until the mid 2020s at the earliest. Theresa is committed to opposing these plans if they are put forward again in future years.