TfL accused of lying over unmanned Tube stations

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The Independent Online

Transport for London was today accused of "lying" over staffing levels on the Tube after the biggest rail union said a leaked document showed some stations were being left unmanned.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union stepped up its call for a halt to job losses because of the internal management document, which stated that "some stations were left unstaffed from time to time".

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The management claim that they have no plans for unstaffed stations as a result of the cuts is a total lie."

The union said Transport for London (TfL) had previously pledged that all stations with a ticket office would continue to have one despite plans to axe 800 jobs.

Mr Crow said: "Once again TfL have been caught out lying about the service and safety impact of their station staff jobs cuts plans. They have repeatedly told the public that they have no plans to run unstaffed stations and yet this communications report shows that that is exactly what they are planning for.

"There is no way that on an unstaffed station they will be able to communicate with the public in the event of an emergency or pass on service information. This report shows that the cuts are a disaster in the making.

"Unstaffed stations are also a muggers and vandals paradise. The mayor has promised that there will be no unstaffed stations but his officials say not only that there will but that there already are. It's about time they told the public the truth about their cuts plans."

A TfL spokesperson said: "London Underground has staff at all stations and staff rostered for shifts covering all hours that a station operates. This will not change. On rare occasions, at small above-ground stations, when staff are not available for short periods due to sickness or other unplanned circumstances, a station maybe left unstaffed temporarily while another member of staff is found. This is preferable to closing the station and causing inconvenience to passengers.

"London Underground is a very low-crime environment, with crime falling by 4% last year - just 13 crimes for every million passenger journeys."

Talks aimed at averting another strike by Tube workers at the end of the month will resume today at the conciliation service Acas.

Meanwhile, Tube services were disrupted again today, with problems reported on lines including Central and Bakerloo.