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Last Updated: Friday, 24 October, 2003, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
London: PPP derailed?
London's tube users have suffered one of the worst weeks of their commuting lives. Politics Show London reports.

Camden Town
Leader of the RMT called for a strike ballot over safety fears

Last weekend there were two derailments within 48 hours of each other.

One at Hammersmith, the other at Camden Town.

Then a rush hour train failure at Oxford Circus on Wednesday brought chaos to the Victoria Line.

Strike action is now on the cards as unions protest over safety.

The RMT, which opposed the privatisation of Tube maintenance, says track inspections have been reduced, threatening the safety of staff and passengers.

Union members met Tube managers at an emergency session of the London Assembly's transport committee on Thursday.

Safety proceedures changed?

But although London Underground (LU) managing director Tim O'Toole told the committee safety procedures would have to be changed, the unions were not satisfied.

Speaking after the meeting Pat Sikorski, from the RMT, said;

We did not get any assurances today that we would return to 24-hour inspections of every foot of LU track.

We didn't get any assurances that people doing the job would have the power to impose speed restrictions.

The announcement that Network Rail is to stop using private contractors to maintain Britain's railways has intensified calls for tube maintenance also to be brought back in house.

Network Rail chairman Ian McAllister said the move would ensure:-

greater consistency of maintenance standards and help deliver efficiency savings more quickly than would otherwise have been possible.

So should the same thing happen on the tube?

The Politics Show

We will be talking to the RMT union on Politics Show London and asking where its campaign over safety goes from here.

Council tax

Londoner's pay far more to the exchequer than is handed back to their local authorities to pay for services.

Is that fair or is it time for a new deal for London?

Join BBC London's Political Editor Tim Donovan on BBC One on Sundays from midday.

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SEE ALSO:
Meet presenter Tim Donovan
21 Feb 03  |  Politics Show
Delays after Tube derailment
20 Oct 03  |  London


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