(Bloomberg) -- The UK’s summer of travel chaos plumbed new depths Thursday when London’s transport authority said it would close one of its most crucial subway lines during rush hour -- only to reverse the decision little over an hour later.

Transport for London said at lunchtime that the Central Line would close from 5:30 p.m. because staff in its control room had called in sick.

The announcement triggered protests from commuters on social media and politicians.

Amid growing discontent, TfL quickly said that it had, in fact, found some other workers to cover in the control room and that “Central Line services will now operate to all destinations until the end of the evening.” A spokesperson added: “We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

The Central Line passes through the Square Mile, London’s financial district, as well as the West End, the main destination for shops, nightclubs and other tourist attractions.

Social media users had been bombarding TfL’s Twitter account with questions about alternative routes home. Wes Streeting, the member of Parliament for Ilford which the line serves, had tweeted the planned closure was “a totally unacceptable level of service.” He later thanked his Labour Party colleague Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, for his team’s “prompt response” to the situation.


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