Round-the-clock Olympic Tube travel discussed

A working party has been set up to investigate running Tube services for 24 hours a day during the 2012 London Olympics, it was revealed today.

Union sources said they expected a battle over pay rates for round-the-clock working by thousands of London Underground staff during the Games, which run from July 27 to August 12.

Hundreds of thousands of extra visitors are expected to be in the capital for the Olympics, placing an extra strain on the transport system, including the Tube, which is used by more than three million passengers every day.

It is understood that the working party has been set up between Transport for London (TfL) and the Rail Maritime and Transport union and Transport Salaried Staffs Association.

Union sources said they had already ruled out a two-year deal from this April, to include the period covering the Games.

The unions are still in dispute with TfL and London Mayor Boris Johnson over 800 ticket office job losses, which sparked a series of strikes last year.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today: "Despite a campaign of spin from Transport for London and Boris Johnson suggesting that all is sorted, the hard fact is that there is no agreement with the unions in place for operating hours, volume of service, staffing levels or payments for next year's Olympics.

"Not only that, but the continued job cuts and attacks on maintenance schedules mean that the Tube is short of capacity and prone to regular breakdowns at the best of times, let alone when we've got another million people to shift around the City.

"None of this is helped by Boris Johnson's continued refusal to actually sit down and talk directly with the transport unions on the crucial issue of the cuts programme being driven by his senior officials.

"It's clear, as we lurch from crisis to crisis, that the Mayor can't keep London moving now, let alone for the Olympics in 2012, and his refusal to even meet with the representatives of the transport workforce makes a mockery of all his claims about having a transport strategy in place."

A TfL spokesman said: "We are on track to deliver all transport improvements well ahead of the Games and are confident of supporting a fantastic London 2012 Games and keeping London moving.

"We are now drawing up our detailed transport plans for the Games. However, no decisions have yet been taken about the Tube's hours of operation during 2012."

A senior TSSA source said: "Boris played shamelessly to the Tory right during last year's ticket office dispute by deliberately provoking walk-outs by sacking staff without any sort of agreement.

"But we only regard it as half-time as far as pay and conditions are concerned.

"In the second half, with the Olympic wind at our backs, we expect Boris to be much more reasonable when it comes to rewarding loyal staff for working hard to ensure the success of the Games."

Meanwhile, the RMT said today that a decision to switch maintenance of trains on the Jubilee Line from Alstom back in-house was the "final nail" in Tube privatisation.

TfL said the fleet maintenance work will move in-house from May so it can have full control over management and costs and was being implemented via a clause in Alstom's contract with Tube Lines, whose work is being taken over by LU.

A TfL spokesman said: "To ensure there is no disruption to customers during the transition, 115 staff currently employed by Alstom, which has maintained the fleet since 1997, will be transferred to Tube Lines, which is wholly owned by TfL.

"This will help London Underground to provide a full, reliable service to Jubilee Line passengers during an important period in the line upgrade when more trains are needed for the new timetable, and the entire fleet is due a maintenance overhaul. Alstom and Tube Lines will work closely to keep all staff fully informed during the transitional period."

RMT leader Bob Crow said: "The shambles at London Underground deepens by the day and for months Boris Johnson has presided over chaotic management, attacking RMT and our members and now he has the embarrassment of admitting through this private contract collapse that we were right and he was wrong.

"Passengers have put up with months of chaos with some forced off trains and sent up tunnels as this contract has been allowed by Johnson and his officials to drag on. The collapse of this contract should be the final nail in the coffin of Tube privatisation."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Investigo: management accountant

£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...

Recruitment Genius: ORM / Online Reputational Consultant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of educat...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore