Did the Government’s Spending Review 2020 offer any hope of investment in the much needed Piccadilly Line signalling upgrade? Whilst the new Piccadilly Line trains that will be rolled out from 2023 will increase capacity by around 12%, this signalling upgrade will increase capacity by 60% thereby transforming the service for my residents in Enfield & Haringey.
The renewal of signalling on the Piccadilly line is one of Transport for London’s (TfL) most pressing capital investment priorities. New automatic signalling and train control, similar to systems already in place on the Victoria, Jubilee and Northern lines, would enable up to 36 trains per hour and maximise the benefits of the new fleet of Piccadilly line trains to be built by Siemens in Goole, Humberside.
While the Spending Review wasn’t explicit about funding the new signalling, the TfL funding settlement letter from the Secretary of State on 31 October made it clear that TfL will not be expected to finance major capital enhancements and major renewals (such as rolling stock and signalling) solely from operating incomes. I will continue to make the case for Government investment which would allow us to confirm plans for upgrading the signalling system.