Walk­out planned on Pic­cadilly

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

COM­MUTERS re­ly­ing on the Pic­cadilly Line could face three days of travel chaos as Tube driv­ers are set to stage a 52-hour walk­out.

Strike ac­tion has been planned on the line, which trans­ports around 700,000 peo­ple ev­ery day, from 9pm on Wed­nes­day July 11 to 1am on Sat­ur­day July 14.

The ac­tion has been taken by the RMT union, one of the big­gest unions rep­re­sent­ing Lon­don Un­der­ground work­ers.

This lat­est strike, which com­pounds on cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ences of de­lays and gaps in ser­vice on the line, is over a dis­pute be­tween Tube driv­ers and Lon­don Un­der­ground.

RMT has said the is­sue is re­gard­ing “a se­ries of at­tacks on work­ing con­di­tions and staffing lev­els”, which it says has turned the line into a “pres­sure cooker”.

The line serves 35 sta­tions in west Lon­don and is split into two branches con­nect­ing the cen­tre of Lon­don to Eal­ing, Har­row and Hilling­don as well as Houn­slow and Heathrow Air­port.

RMT al­leges that Lon­don Un­der­ground has shown a “con­tin­ued failure” to em­ploy enough driv­ers to work on the line and the con­tin­ued break­ing of agree­ments be­tween unions and the Tube op­er­a­tor.

RMT gen­eral sec­re­tary Mick Cash said: “There have been re­peated prob­lems on the Pic­cadilly Line go­ing back a num­ber of years which have led to dis­pute af­ter dis­pute and the failure of LU man­age­ment to get a grip has tipped the sit­u­a­tion over the edge yet again.

“That is why we have had no op­tion but to put on these strike dates.

“Ev­ery ef­fort by RMT reps to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment has been ob­structed by the com­pany and it is now down to LU bosses to start lis­ten­ing to their mem­bers, take the raft of is­sues at the heart of this dis­pute se­ri­ously and start en­gag­ing in a way that will al­low us to make some gen­uine progress.”

How­ever, TfL has urged the union to re­con­sider its ac­tion which will heav­ily dis­rupt the Tube net­work spread over four days.

Nigel Hol­ness, direc­tor of net­work op­er­a­tions for Lon­don Un­der­ground, said: “We urge the RMT lead­er­ship to work with us con­struc­tively on the lo­cal is­sues they have raised rather than threaten to dis­rupt our cus­tomers.

“We re­main avail­able for talks to pre­vent any un­nec­es­sary in­dus­trial ac­tion on the Pic­cadilly line.”

RMT also cited the age­ing Pic­cadilly line stock, among the old­est on the en­tire Lon­don Un­der­ground net­work, as one of the rea­sons be­hind the strike ac­tion.

Some of the trains in op­er­a­tion date back to 1975, but they only had a de­sign life of 40 years, which they have al­ready ex­ceeded.

With a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of the Pic­cadilly line be­ing above ground, fall­ing leaves in au­tumn have caused is­sued over the past three years, with 40 trains hav­ing to be taken out of ser­vice in 2016 alone af­ter they de­vel­oped ‘flats’.

As a re­sult, while the train’s wheels were be­ing re­placed and tracks were be­ing im­proved, com­muters on the line ex­pe­ri­enced heavy de­lays and long gaps be­tween ser­vices, in­clud­ing dur­ing rush hour, which had a knock on ef­fect on how busy trains and plat­forms were.

In June, Lon­don Un­der­ground an­nounced that it was to sign a con­tract with Siemens Mo­bil­ity to get 94 new state-of-the-art “Deep­Tube” trains for the line, with de­liv­er­ies be­gin­ning in 2023.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.