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30th anniversary of Kings Cross fire

17 November 2017

On the 30th Anniversary of Kings Cross Fire, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes is calling for an Independent Safety Audit of all London rail stations.

Said Cortes:

"Anniversaries are a time to take stock. This weekend we will remember the 31 who lost their lives going about their daily commute. And we remember The Fennell Inquiry into the fire which found too few staff to help with evacuation had contributed to the dreadful death toll and led to the introduction of the minimum staffing levels at stations to ensure safety of passengers was prioritised. It is sad fact that Fennell is now ignored. Passenger volume is far higher today than 1987 and the staff/passenger ratio is far lower than Fennell could have anticipated. Automation is hindering, rather than helping safety which is why we are witnessing a spike in tube accidents. The accident toll stands at over 5,000 now for this year alone - up 11 percent on last year and up from just 53 accidents in 2003.

"In the latest round of massive cuts announced last week by Transport for London and and London Underground, they have stated their intention to slice a further 10% or £3million from their health and safety budget. Sadly, the safety standards Fennell tried to build into the rail system which required all stations to be staffed, have been abandoned by managers and their Tory political masters who prioritise rail returning profits over transporting passengers safely. I will be meeting with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan on Tuesday and I will ask him to pause the cuts and conduct an order an immediate safety audit of all of London's stations. Without one, another preventable disaster like Kings Cross Fire is just a matter of time."

TSSA is also submitting a motion to London Labour Regional Conference later this month which would commit Labour to campaign for a restoration of the central government operating subsidy which was axed by George Osborne when he was Chancellor two years ago.  

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