Thursday, 4 October 2012

Why staff are essential to a safe London Underground

From  the RMT

A London Underground cleaner pulled a child to safety from a railway line just moments after a driver hit their trains emergency brakes and prevented what could have been a fatal incident.

The eight year old boy was pulled to safety from the Jubilee Line tracks at Stanmore just moments after a train was brought to an emergency stop by the driver a few feet away.

This incident comes within days of a young girl being hit by a train on the Victoria Line. Previously a child on the Jubilee Line who had fallen between the train and the platform at Finchley Road could easily have lost his life, had the driver not spotted him on CCTV moments before he was about to depart the station.

All of these incidents come at a time when the London Mayor Boris Johnson and London Underground are planning for driverless trains, and the drastic reduction of station staff.

A leaked document on LU management plans for London Underground gives detail of these plans and ideas. London's Mayor Johnson has spoken openly of his wish for trains to operate on the underground without a drivers cab. These plans would most likely mean having no driver at the front of the train to see any dangers or risks ahead.

All of these incidents could easily have been much worse had it not been for professional train drivers reacting swiftly to stop their trains, and station staff and contractors speedily dealing with these situations.

The cleaner who reacted without thought for their own safety - and in doing so pulled a young child to safety - is a hero. The train driver who reacted swiftly to stop their train having spotted the child on the tracks ahead is a hero too.

The RMT has long called for more staff, not less on the underground. These incidents demonstrate a few of the reasons - in the most real of terms - of why staff are essential to a safe railway

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this is a silly rationale for opposing driverless trains. There are metro systems all over the world with superb safety records which are entirely sans driver. There are, indeed, good reasons for not cutting some types of staff. This is not one of them.