Branch motion raises concerns about removal of Tunnel Telephone wires

London Underground has announced plans to remove tunnel telephone wires despite the concerns of RMT members.

Following the announcement of the decision, several branches passed the following motion:

This branch is concerned to learn of London Underground's plans to remove all tunnel telephone wires from the tube network.

Train Operators have been trained in the essential safety net that tunnel telephone wires provide as a last resort in switching off traction current in an emergency and making contact with the line controller when no other method is available.

We believe it is essential that if this important safety equipment is removed the following should happen first:

- Any new procedure should be explained to each driver by an appropriately trained trainer in a face to face briefing.

- Each area should be checked to ensure there are no radio blind spots before the tunnel telephone wires are removed.

- Train operators should be provided with a spare battery for hand held radios so it is readily available in an emergency.

Further more we understand that a new procedure would state that putting a short circuit device on to live track would be stated as a last resort in an emergency.

We believe this is dangerous and that there should be no expectation that any front line worker should be expected to do it. However, if London Underground bosses do wish to make laying scd's on live track a part of the procedure for discharging traction current in an emergency this should be tested regularly by a senior London Underground manager, for example the general manager of each line.

The motion which has been passed by Jubilee South, East Ham and Central Line East branches has been sent to the National Executive Committee for their consideration.