London 2012: Travel woes across capital on eve of Olympics

12:55 26 July 2012

18 million journeys were made in and around London by Olympics spectators. Picture by Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

18 million journeys were made in and around London by Olympics spectators. Picture by Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

One of the main Olympic routes in and out of Stratford suffered a meltdown last night, inflicting sweltering conditions and severe delays on thousands of passengers - and there have been more travel problems today on the eve of the Olympics.

The Tube’s Jubilee line had severe delays through the evening due to a signal fault at Neasden in north-west London.

It was the finale to a day of travel misery for visitors and commuters alike.

Earlier on the trains, Greater Anglia suffered more overhead wire problems which again affected services running through Stratford.

There were delays of up to 60 minutes on services between London Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria in Essex - a route which includes Stratford, Shenfield and Southend Airport.

Services in and out of London Bridge - expected to be one of the busiest Olympic stations - were also disrupted by a broken-down train at Oxted in Surrey.

On the Underground, services were suspended on the Waterloo & City line due to a fire alert at Waterloo Tube station in south London.

There was more Tube disruption when a signal failure at Woodford in east London led to a suspension of the Central line from Woodford to Hainault via Grange Hill.

There were also delays to Central line trains running between Leytonstone and Epping.

Yesterday morning, there were severe rush-hour delays today on three Underground lines.

One of the affected lines was the Metropolitan which will carry thousands of people to Wembley Stadium for Olympic football matches.

The problem was a signal failure at Baker Street.

This led to severe delays on the Metropolitan line between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Aldgate as well as long hold-ups on the Hammersmith & City line and the Circle line.

There were also delays on the Northern line between Morden and Camden Town due to a power supply area in the Tooting area of south London.

Today, the Heathrow Express rail service was shut down.

The closure of the route - which transports passengers from the airport to London Paddington - was caused by a fire on a platform at West Ealing station.

According to the Heathrow Express website, the incident caused severe delays, but services have since resumed.

At around 9am Canary Wharf station on the Underground’s Jubilee line in London’s Docklands was shut due to a fire alert.

Passengers had to leave the station - one of the busiest in London. Jubilee line trains were running normally but were not stopping at Canary Wharf.

Meanwhile, cable theft caused disruption for rail passengers north and south of the capital.

The theft led to signalling problems at Bedford which affected travellers on services run by four train companies.

Journey times on First Capital Connect were being extended by up to 90 minutes, while London Midland’s trains between Bedford and Bletchley were not calling at Bedford.

The Bedford problem also hit passengers travelling with the Southeastern train company, while East Midlands Trains’ services could not stop at Bedford.

On the roads, there have again been queues on routes with Olympic traffic-only games lanes.

These include Waterloo Bridge in London and the A40 in west London.

There have also been hold-ups for traffic as huge crowds lined the route of the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through London in bright sunshine.

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