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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

More talks today to avert industrial action & strikes & leaked document

Just heard on the radio that today there will be more talks between the RMT and other rail unions and tube bosses of the private consortia over the recent safety issues, derailments and resulting delays and go slows. This will get a lot of media attention as yesterday there was leak of a report made six months ago were grave worries were issued about safety under PPP (part public privatisation).

The Guardian said:

"It has now emerged that before the introduction of the government's part privatisation of the tube, the Health and Safety Executive served an improvement notice on the network because it was unhappy with the maintenance regime. It said the standard of engineering safety breached regulations, with thousands of examples of "substantial non-compliance".

"London Underground told the HSE it could not inspect track at the required frequency "due to the lack of competent staff to perform the inspections".

"The documents, written in May, confirm that the underground deteriorated before partial privatisation in July and seem to support warnings repeatedly voiced by London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, that only luck stood between the travelling public and further serious accidents. "

Even Lynne Featherstone - Chair of the London Assembly Transport Policy Committee and part of emergency talks commented in this blog with the following:

"My own view, following the emergency summit...... I am pretty convinced that the infrastructure is delapidating and that the PPP contracts do not buy replacements or improvements fast enough.

The key concerns for me arising from the session were:

1) that the unions stated that tube staff reporting faults with equipment, track, whatever - were ignored (scary)
- outcome, Tim O'Toole (MD of London Underground and TfL tube director) committed to ensuring that this would be addressed pronto (seemed genuinely horrified himself about this)"

It is horrifying and scary. Why are the government and LU bosses ignoring safety issues on a system that carries 3 million people every day?

; Posted by Unknown Tuesday, October 28, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE