RMT calls for ORR investigation as LU cuts leave stations unstaffed again at weekend and infrastructure failure leads to rush hour chaos

TUBE UNION RMT today called for a full ORR investigation into breaches of safety on London Underground after the union’s safety reps revealed that stations along the Central Line were left unstaffed last night due to cuts-led staff shortages.

The news, coming just a week after a brutal assault at unstaffed West Finchey station, nails the lie, repeated by Mayor Boris Johnson and his senior officials on a regular basis that “no station will be left unstaffed at any time” as a result of their cuts.

Last night, Buckhurst Hill, Theydon Bois, Debden, Chigwell and North Acton were all left unstaffed. In a flagrant breach of safety regulations, both North Acton and Debden were left without any supervisory cover even though they have pointwork within the stations that is required to be under the watch of the station supervisor at all times.

This morning, hundreds of thousands of London commuters faced a chaotic journey as signal failure knocked out large sections of the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines leading to severe delays in the latest of a continuing list of infrastructure failures over-shadowed by TFL’s £5 billion cuts programme.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said today:

“It’s time for the Mayor and LU to stop lying about the impact of their stations job cuts and admit that they are now planning for the de-staffing of stations on a regular basis as we saw yet again last night. Repeating the rubbish about “no stations being unstaffed at any time” is an insult to our intelligence when the facts are staring them in the face and their own rosters, which will be introduced in a fortnight, plan for nearly a third of stations to be unstaffed for a part of the working day.

“Leaving stations with pointwork unstaffed just ratchets up the safety risk a few notches and is the most flagrant breach of regulations, it requires an urgent intervention for the ORR to stop this reckless gamble with safety from becoming institutionalised.

“This morning we saw more infrastructure failures as the network creaks under the weight of £5 billion of cuts leaving passengers wondering why their fares have gone up by 7% at a time when the cuts are dragging reliability down to an all time low."

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