Tube stations in London were regularly left unstaffed, creating dangerous conditions for travellers, a union claimed today.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union said it had obtained figures showing that from October 2009 to March this year surface-level stations on the District, Central, Metropolitan, Circle & Hammersmith and Northern lines were left unstaffed for entire shifts on 439 occasions. One station, Mill Hill East, was left unstaffed for 95 shifts.
Transport for London said safety is "paramount", adding that the figures showed the total number of shifts not staffed were less than 1% of stations above ground, and did not include any stations which were underground.
The union warned of "worse to come" on staffing because of LU's plans to cut 800 station posts.
General secretary Bob Crow said: "The muggers' paradise of unstaffed stations is already a reality across whole swathes of the Tube system as these new figures demonstrate.
"We already have proposals on the table that will force Tube drivers to pull away from stations without working mirrors or cameras and without the assistance of platform staff. It is only a matter of time before a passenger is dragged under a Tube train as a consequence of these reckless cuts."
A TfL spokesman said: "London Underground's future staffing proposals will continue to mean safe stations staffed at all times and all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one.
"It is very rare for stations to be left without a member of staff. When it does occur - normally on stations that are on the outer part of the Tube network and above ground - we arrange for them to be covered by another member of staff as soon as is practical.
"The only other option would be to close them to passengers, denying them access to the Tube network when staff are not available, which we do not believe is justified for relatively short periods. We do close stations which are underground should staffing levels fall below the minimum required."
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