Londoners have narrowly avoided travel chaos after Transport for London (TfL) backtracked on its plan to close the Central Line during rush hour.
The proposed closure came this afternoon, with TfL blaming staff shortages.
It would have seen Londoners unable to use the Central Line, with no trains running except for a shuttle service between Leytonstone and Epping.
The closure could have left thousands of people struggling to get home, during peak commuting hours.
After announcing their plans, TfL backtracked and announced the service would indeed be up and running.
There has been a lot of confusion amongst commuters, with some taking to social media to share their anger.
Here’s everything you need to know about whether the Central Line is running today.
Is the Central Line running today?
Yes, the Central Line will be running as usual today.
There has been widespread confusion after an email from TfL to commuters this afternoon telling them the Central Line would have to close this evening started circulating on Twitter.
Greater Anglia reported that TfL would begin “shutting down” the Central Line from 5pm, with a “complete closure by 6.30pm expected”.
Commuters were advised to travel earlier or take an alternative route.
The TfL statement advised passengers to: “Plan ahead, check before you travel and leave more time for your journey. We apologise for the disruption to your journey.”
However, they then changed their tune, stating that services would no longer close and would now remain open.
Commuters were left confused, with many taking to Twitter to contact TfL for confirmation.
One Twitter user tweeted: “What’s going on with the Central Line today? An email from TfL sayings it’s closing early at 5.30 followed by a further email saying it isn’t!”
With the TfL replying: “There will be normal service on central line. Central line will run to normal scheduled close tonight. ”
Why did TfL say it was going to close?
There was widespread confusion as TfL changed to say that there would indeed be a service on the Central Line.
In a statement to the Evening Standard they blamed the proposed closure on staff shortages and explained: “Cover has been found and a normal Central line service will operate until the end of the evening”.
There has been condemnation from Londoners who only learnt the news with a few hours notice.
Wes Streeting, Shadow Health & Social Care Secretary and Labour MP for Ilford North in East London, tweeted that the proposed cancellation was a “totally unacceptable level of service from TfL.”
Adding: ““I will be raising this with the TFL Commissioner, Deputy Mayor for Transport and Mayor of London. Passengers deserve better.”
He later removed his tweet and gave an update after speaking with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Streeting said: “ Just had an update that the Central Line service will now run as TfL have now managed to cover staff absence. Have deleted my original tweet to avoid risk of confusion. Thanks to MayorofLondon’s team for the prompt response.”
What is the Central Line status?
The status for the Central Line today according to TfL is: “Minor delays due to train cancellations.”
The line is up and running as normal, but there do appear to be some cancellations causing longer commutes.
The Central Line is one of the busiest tube lines in London.
Regularly used by both tourists and commuters it has connections at major London stations like Liverpool Street and Oxford Circus.
It’s one of the capital’s longest lines, running from Epping in Essex all the way to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip in west London.