London Underground stations which were closed after a disastrous experience with underground fares
Times change and so do the London Underground.
It’s easy to imagine when you travel there every day that it is completely permanent, but of course the lines and stations are in and out like almost everything in London.
But some lost London tube stations were still in use on the network until relatively recently.
In fact, a whole slew of stations were closed in the 1980s after a policy of reducing fares went wrong.
READ MORE: The lost Croydon stations which closed in 1997 when streetcars arrived in town
Basically, in the 1980s Greater London was ruled by the Greater London Council, led by far left Ken Livingstone.
Livingstone was behind many controversial policies, including the implementation of a 33% reduction in metro fares in October 1981.
The cost to London Transport is expected to be covered by an increase in tariffs – the old version of the council tax.
But this was at a time when Thatcher’s Tory government was looking to cut subsidies and make services profitable, so Livingstone’s price cut was completely at odds with Thatcher’s policies.
Thatcher denounced the policy accusing it of being misleading and claiming it would have cost taxpayers £ 250million a year.
Politics turned completely against her when a challenge was launched against her in court by the Bromley Conservative Council.
Charging an extra fare to pay for the lower fares was considered illegal, and London Transport had to somehow make up the lost fare it had lost in fares as quickly as possible.
One way to achieve this has been to increase tariffs to a significantly higher level than they had been before the tariff reduction.
The second way was to cut London Underground services off a batch of stations.
This has been implemented at the North West London stations of Bushey, Carpenders Park, Hatch End, Headstone Lane, Watford High Street and Watford Junction.
These stations had all been served by the Bakerloo line of the London Underground from April 1917, but by 1982 they had all been reduced to peak services only.
The stations themselves were little used anyway.
But the stations have of course not been forgotten.
All now have London Overground services to and from London Euston and Watford Junction.
The stations – most of which had become dated and underused – were all repainted and underwent a major upgrade in 2007 in preparation for the introduction of this service.
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Some are served by other services as well – for example, Bushey sees services on the London Northwestern Railway between Tring and Euston.
And in the case of Harrow and Wealdstone, Bakerloo service was quickly reestablished in 1984 when the station became the terminus of that line. This station now also has mainline services to Euston, Clapham Junction, Tring and Milton Keynes.
It now has Bakerloo Line services to Elephant & Castle and London Overground operated services to Watford Junction and London Euston.
So, in many ways, the London Overground rescued and connected the lost stations to the network, but for a time, through an attempt to charge “fair” rates, their future certainly looked bleak.
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