Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 14:07 UK

Tube booze party was 'far uglier'

A Circle Line carriage littered with rubbish
Many trains were damaged and vandalised

At least 50 London Transport staff were assaulted by revellers who partied on trains to mark the ban on drinking alcohol on the Tube, a union has said.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said Saturday night's party was "far uglier" than anticipated.

Four tube drivers and two police officers were among those assaulted, and there were 17 arrests.

Transport for London (TfL) said it would look to prosecute anyone who assaulted staff members.

Six London Underground stations were closed and several trains were damaged and withdrawn from service following the party.

The RMT said police did not respond quickly and said Tube bosses "crossed their fingers and closed their eyes".

The union said at least 12 workers were assaulted at one station while others were spit upon and faced verbal assaults and threats.

TfL's spokesman said: "We will not tolerate any abuse of our staff, verbal, physical or otherwise... we will always look to prosecute and seek the strongest possible sentence."

Revellers at Liverpool Street station
Thousands of revellers partied with alcohol to mark the ban

One woman worker was hit by a bottle, a male staff member was punched in the face had beer poured over his head and a driver refused to move his train when a passenger climbed onto the roof.

The RMT also criticised the police response saying they were "too busy" to come to the aid of the woman who was hit with a bottle at a station.

Union General Secretary Bob Crow said: "The more reports we get from our reps the uglier the picture of Saturday's violence becomes, and the clearer it is that Tube bosses effectively simply crossed their fingers and closed their eyes.

"Local reps are telling us that the scenes were among the most chaotic they have ever seen, with none of the mitigation and crowd-control that would be in place on New Year's Eve.

Mr Crow also demanded an apology from Mayor Boris Johnson and criticised his absence from the city.




SEE ALSO
Tube drinks party sparks mayhem
01 Jun 08 |  London
Johnson bans drink on transport
07 May 08 |  London

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