By Marcus Leach

The Managing Director of the London Underground has publicly acknowledged problems with the performance of the London Underground over the past year that have resulted in an increase in lost customer hours on almost every Tube line.

Speaking before the London Assembly’s Transport Committee, Mike Brown agreed that despite a general trend of improved performance since 2003, 2010-11 had seen significant disruption.

This includes a 20 per cent increase in lost customer hours across the network compared to the previous year.

Only 3 of the eleven Tube lines showed a reduction in lost customer hours — the official measure of delays - with the remaining 8 experiencing increases.

Lost customer hours on the Metropolitan line more than doubled, and both the Jubilee and Victoria lines showed increases of more than a third on 2009-10.

A number of specific factors contributed to the disruption, including problems with the installation of new signaling on the Jubilee line, over-sensitive doors on new Victoria line trains, and industrial action.

However, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, who also appeared before the Committee, agreed that performance in 2010-11 was unacceptable.

The Committee heard that a systematic “root and branch” review is being put in place to look at ways to reduce disruption for passengers. Mr Brown also said that despite a difficult autumn and winter, performance had started to get better and that this time next year he expected to see an improvement on all lines.

“We recognise the challenges London Underground is facing as it works to deliver an extensive upgrade programme while carrying more and more passengers, but the past year has seen an unreliable service for passengers who are exceptionally frustrated by their daily commute," Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM, said.

“While we heard that if you go back several years things are generally improving, the recent performance of the Tube has undoubtedly deteriorated and is not good enough.

“With major upgrade work about to start on the Northern line we hope lessons have been learned so that passengers who use it will not have to deal with the levels of disruption seen on the Jubilee and Victoria line upgrades.”

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