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Now Boris Plans to Sack Key Safety Staff Across Tube Network

13 August 2013

Mayor Accused Of Being "Foolish and Irresponsible"

A new safety row erupted today over secret plans by Boris Johnson to close all 268 Tube offices across the capital in the next two years and axe thousands of jobs.

The London Evening Standard revealed that the London Mayor is to axe the safety critical role of permanent station supervisor at the vast majority of stations as part his cost cutting plans.

Documents seen by the newspaper show that only 36 key larger stations, like King's Cross and Victoria, would retain a safety qualified supervisor who would play a key role in any evacuation during a major incident.

The remaining stations would have mobile supervisors travelling between stations under budget cutting plans drawn up as part of the overall plan to cut 2,000 jobs by 2015 and a further 4,000 by 2020.

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes branded the plans "foolish, irresponsible and verging on the reckless". He wrote to Gerry Duffy, HR director of LU, calling for an urgent meeting.

"I simply find it hard to believe that the Mayor would dream of turning the key role of station supervisor into a mobile post, especially in view of London's recent tragic history involving terrorism," said the general secretary.

"These people are crucially safety qualified and play a key role in making sure that our Tube network operates safely at all times at every station.

"We simply cannot have them reduced to an underground version of the AA breakdown service where they only turn up for an emergency.

"We should never gamble with safety and this looks like the Mayor would be taking such a gamble if he implements this plan just to meet his buget cut target of £220 million."

He accused the Mayor of sorting tube stations "into sheeps and goats" on safety grounds.

After the 36 key stations*, the document divides the remaining tube stations into two categories for mobile supervisors, operational and what it calls "simple".

Operational, the larger category, covers 158 stations like Blackfriars, Chancery Lane and Clapham Common, and would have a mobile supervisor looking after three stations during his or her shift.

The remaining "simple" 70 plus stations, mainly in outer London, like Chorleywood, East Acton and Kew Gardens, would have a supervisor looking after six or more stations during their shift.

The stations which will retain their permanent station supervisors are:

Baker Street, Bank and Monument, Bond Street, Brixton, Camden Town, Canary Wharf, Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Earl's Court, Embankment, Euston, Farringdon, Finsbury Park. Green Park, Hammersmith, Holborn, King's Cross, St Pancras, Knightsbridge, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Moorgate, Old Street, Oxford Circus, Paddington, Piccadilly Circus, Shepherd's Bush, South Kensington, Stratford, Tottenham Court Road, Tower Hill, Vauxhall, Victoria, Waterloo and Westminster.

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