Home Business News Mayor's Tube 'boast' slated by Labour

Mayor's Tube 'boast' slated by Labour

by LLB Editor
7th Oct 11 10:57 am

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been criticised for boasting about the Tube’s performance while commuters endured the “worst week” of chaos due to staffing problems, signal failures and faulty trains.

Labour’s transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross said passengers had faced the worst week of delays in her memory while Johnson painted a far rosier picture to the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Manchester.

Shawcross, member of the London Assembly for Lambeth and Southwark, said: “I can’t remember a worse week of delays on the Tube. No line has been spared delays this week with severe delays and whole line suspensions causing huge inconvenience to the daily lives of millions of Londoners.

“It’s simply not good enough when Londoners tell me that delays are the norm, not the exception, whilst they are paying record high fares to use a Tube service which we cannot rely on. While Boris Johnson was boasting about how great London’s Tube services were to the Conservative Party conference this week, millions of Londoners were stuck on Tube trains.”

Labour said line closures, delays and suspensions had heaped misery on commuters over the past week. The party counted 33 separate incidents of disruption caused by faulty trains, signal failures and non-availability of staff.

The District Line was hit by nine severe delays, closures and suspensions, while passengers on the Circle Line came up against four line suspensions, according to Labour. The District and Circle lines have both been suspended three times in the last six days, while the Victoria, Northern and Hammersmith & City lines were all part-suspended once.

Meanwhile, London Underground drivers are to be balloted on taking action short of a strike in a dispute over safety. The consequences of “massive reductions” in staff, faults in platform camera systems and a new procedure for reversing a train have all been listed by the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) as issues of contention.

Management also want to remove the inbuilt function which stops a train if an object is trapped in the door, according to the union, instead allowing drivers to continue after a visual check.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “It is our members who have to deal with the consequences of these ill-conceived policies. We have tried to get LUL (London Underground Limited) to see sense, but they have continued to put cash and job cuts ahead of passenger safety and we now have no choice but to ballot for action to put a stop to these dangerous proposals being imposed without agreement.”

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