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Friday, July 29, 2005

London Underground and unions met today over safety issues

Largest number of police on London Transport as transport unions talk

Yesterday British Transport Police carried out its "largest ever deployment" and presence on tube and railway stations to reassure commuters. From
Yahoo News - love the headline - British Police Flood Trains and Buses - "Spokesman Simon Lubin refused to reveal how many officers were deployed, but he said 1,300 officers in the capital and about the same number across Britain were working longer hours, and some vacations were cancelled". (Mmmm - who was it who told me on
Monday
Police didn't want the public to know their movements?)

Later today (as blogged on Wednesday with some interesting comments) the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union met to discuss security issues.

There had been threats of industrial action if their safety fears are not allayed. RMT leader Bob Crowe said "We're not saying that we want changes overnight or tomorra. We wanna know from London Underground that they've got a programme that will put measures in place."

Fortunately the RMT were happy with the plans which means a strike isn't on the cards. Mayor Ken Livingstone made a commitment not to reduce staffing and agreed that any train without a working communications radio would be taken out of service.

There would also be more discussions on matters such as better emergency training and equipment, including breathing apparatus for rail staff and the strengthening of drivers' cabs.

However, the re-introduction of guards which was something the RMT wanted was not agreed. "Rail guards were last in operation in 1999 on the Northern Line and were phased out with the introduction of CCTV on trains which allowed drivers to see the platform." See the BBC for the full story on this.


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