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Union warning over Tube staff cuts

A rail union has warned of the impact of staffing cuts on London Underground as the capital prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union claimed there was a "dangerous complacency" about the link between incident response times and staffing numbers on stations and platforms.

The union also pointed out that staff who were hailed as heroes 10 years ago, as they helped evacuate stations and tended to the wounded, are being "forced" to reapply for their jobs as hundreds of station jobs are being cut.

Tube passenger numbers have soared over the past decade and overcrowding is "rife", making a nonsense of job cuts, said the RMT.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "As we prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 attacks next week, RMT is reminding the travelling public that security goes hand in hand with having adequate numbers of safety-critical staff, and it is frankly appalling that those same station and platform staff who were hailed as heroes on that horrific day are having their numbers slashed.

"It appears from their statements that London Underground's senior managers, and the mayor (Boris Johnson) himself, make no connection at all between incident response times and staff numbers. That is a dangerously complacent position to adopt and flies in the face of the facts."

LU says it would never compromise safety on the Underground and has strongly defended its programme of closing Tube ticket offices, saying staff are being moved to stations and platforms.

The bombs in 2005 killed 52 people and injured hundreds more.

LU managing director Mike Brown said: "I was leading London Underground at the time of the bombings in July 2005. I will never forget the heroic response of many of our people as well as the emergency services.

"Anyone who has lived through this, as I did, will always ensure we have properly trained staff across our network. All LU stations will remain staffed at all times and we continue to invest in specialist transport police."


From Belfast Telegraph