TUBE BOSSES today stood accused of “lying through their teeth” over the effect of industrial action being taken by train drivers to protect passenger safety on the capital’s Bakerloo line.
Since January 15, Bakerloo drivers in RMT and Aslef have been physically checking that trains are empty of passengers before moving into sidings, after LUL stopped station staff checking carriages.
LUL’s reckless move had resulted in more than 3,000 ‘overcarries’ into Bakerloo sidings in the last year, including one involving a 12-year-old boy who could have jumped onto live rails but for the action of an alert driver.
The drivers’ safety action has eliminated the problem of overcarrying, but has resulted in substantial delays to the service, which LUL has tried to hide – including by suppressing routine internal reports that show the true level of cancellations and delays.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
“It is bad enough that LUL seems happy with 3,000 overcarries on the Bakerloo in the last year, compared with just 94 on nine other lines put together, but to lie through their teeth when our members have to take action to keep the public safe is despicable.
“The Bakerloo line’s own routine review showed that 12 of 29 trains scheduled to run in the first three hours of our members’ action last week had to be cancelled – so Tube bosses simply stopped the reports being issued.
“LUL must have a very low opinion of its passengers to think that pretending nothing is wrong will fool anyone – and they are even making matters worse by refusing to allow control staff to put special measures in place to cope with the delays and cancellations.
“The twittersphere is buzzing with angry passengers wanting to know why they are being delayed and not being told about it, and LUL should stop this ridiculous charade, admit they got this one wrong and reinstate the safe procedure they have banned.
“And if it’s a staff shortage that’s stopping them doing it, they can re-instate the 33 competent agency people they fired last week and refused to allow to apply for permanent jobs, presumably because they had all joined RMT and fought for equal pay.”