Latest Rail News

23.09.16

Union calls for TfL workforce review as staff cuts have ‘created a death trap’

Staff cuts on the London Underground (LU) are putting passenger safety at risk, RMT has warned following a leaked 21-page TfL report into an incident where a passenger was trapped between the train and platform at Canning Town.

The woman’s foot was trapped for about 15 minutes during the morning rush hour on 26 May, with LU struggling to respond in time because the control room at Canning Town had recently switched to unstaffed operation.

TfL’s safety report into the incident said: “With the control room at Canning Town being unstaffed there was no central base for communications to flow in and out of.

“Station classification led to low numbers of staff being present to manage an emergency. The current operating model did not match customer demand or resourcing levels.”

It added that TfL had also “failed” to conduct a post-implementation review responsible for identifying any issues following staffing changes. Before the shake-up, control rooms were staffed by an assistant who could contact other control centres.

John Leach, a regional organiser at the RMT rail union, told RTM that the union’s opposition to staff cuts was “vindicated” by the report.

“They’ve created a death trap,” he added.

Leach said RMT’s opposition to the cuts wasn’t about opposing new technology, but about “old technology having the people that run it taken away”.

Mick Cash, the union’s general secretary, called on LU to bring forward a planned one-year review of the new staffing arrangements, due to start in six months.

In response, Steve Griffiths, LU’s chief operating officer, said TfL will be carrying out a review.

“The safety of our customers is always our top priority and our staff were on site within seconds to help the customer,” he added.

“The emergency services were also called within minutes to resolve the situation as safely as possible.

“Thankfully, incidents of this nature are extremely rare at Canning Town and as our report makes clear, we are carrying out a full review.”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has also recently commissioned London TravelWatch to review the impact of the closure of ticket offices on the Underground.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Dave H   23/09/2016 at 12:06

Don't recall any RAIB notification coming out after this and not found any sign they have issued a bulletin or are investgating. Have I missed something or have LUL not followed procedure to immediately inform RAIB?

Martin T   23/09/2016 at 14:50

Any safe operation is not achieved by throwing lots of people at it (which is the RMT's solution for everything) but to have proper processes in place to cope with incidents and then implement them. This is the 21th century, not the 19th century. People may be one solution but they are not the only solution.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

25/06/2019Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

Grand Central will run a new route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020, the train operator announced today. The new InterCity services... more >
Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

25/06/2019Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded three companies to begin preparatory works on the £738m South Wales Metro, the organisation announced... more >
Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >
Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

24/06/2019Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >