Tubelines cuts Hit Escalator Safety Inspections and Signal Maintenance
Photo by James Cridlan

TUBE UNION RMT today accused TfL and Tube Lines of slashing safety standards to dangerous levels as it emerged that twice weekly inspection of escalators will be cut to just once a week and the 12 week frequency of signal maintenance on the Jubilee Line will be cut to a 16 week cycle.

The latest safety and maintenance cuts on the Tube Lines section of the Underground have come just two weeks after RMT exposed moves to hack back the frequency of track inspections on the Jubilee Line extension.

RMT reps will be raising the issues at a meeting of the Health and Safety forum today – Thursday 3rd December – with a demand that the cuts be reversed as a matter of urgency.

RMT have pointed out that one of the causes of the Kings Cross fire was a lack of regular escalator inspections. The union are also challenging the failure to consult with health and safety reps before the cuts were implemented, making a mockery of the agreed procedures.

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said today:

“We are demanding the intervention of TfL Chair Boris Johnson to reverse the safety and maintenance cuts programme which is leaking out in dribs and drabs from Tube Lines.

“The Mayor told Londoners that the cuts on London transport would not hit passengers and front line services. These latest cuts, bulldozed through by Tube Lines without consultation, make a nonsense of those assurances. These are dangerous reductions in key maintenance and safety frequencies that will set alarm bells ringing for staff and passengers alike.

“There is a growing suspicion that the Tube Lines cuts are tied in closely with the financial turmoil facing the company and the massive gap between them and TfL on the value of the next phase of their contract. With the chaotic overruns on the Jubilee Line upgrade the time has come for TfL to pull the plugs on Tube Lines before we end up plunged into a re-run of the Metronet privatisation disaster.”

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