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Union reports Tube staffing ‘crisis’ as hurt passenger waited 30 minutes for aid

A man was spotted under a train in a separate incident.

A rail union has warned of a “growing crisis” of unstaffed London Underground stations after two incidents were revealed of passengers being injured and having to wait for help.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said it defied belief that Tube stations were being left unstaffed, adding that they should be closed if employees are not available.

The union gave details of two incidents, including one at Ickenham on August 3 when a member of the public fell down stairs and lay unconscious for over 30 minutes.

The union said it was “pure luck” that he was spotted by a Tube driver, with staff having to be called from other stations – leaving them unstaffed.

The second incident happened in June at Preston Road when a man was seen under a train.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It simply defies belief that London Underground is still recklessly running services on the world’s busiest railway through stations that have no staff available. That is despite a legal warning from the safety regulator, the ORR, and a growing catalogue of serious incidents including a fatality.

“RMT will be continuing to push the demand with LU directors that where the cuts mean that there are no staff available, then the station should be closed. How many more serious incidents will it take before London Underground get to grips with the staffing crisis on their stations?”

The ORR said it had not issued a warning to LU about the level of staffing at its stations.

“Station staffing levels are a matter for LU to determine on a basis of the level of risk at each station that it identifies through its risk assessment process,” said a spokesman.

ORR has issued an improvement notice to London Underground requiring it to assess the risks to staff at Canning Town and West Ham stations associated with lone-working by staff.

LU network operations director Nigel Holness said: “Safety is our top priority and fortunately these types of incidents are rare. Following a review of staffing levels we are now in the process of putting 325 additional new staff members in our stations.

“We will continue to monitor the level of staffing across our network to ensure that our customers are kept safe and receive the best possible level of service and assistance at all times.”

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