London Underground wants Bakerloo line drivers to drive out-of-service trains into depots and sidings without checking first that all passengers have got off the train.
This has resulted in over 3,000 passengers being carried into depots and sidings, many times more than on all other London Underground lines put together. On other lines, staff physically check the train is empty first.
You could easily miss an announcement to get off the train, and get ‘overcarried’ into a depot or sidings. London Underground claims that new barriers between the carriages make it impossible to escape from the train and that therefore it is safe for passengers to be accidentally taken into depots and sidings. This is not true.
Last September, a 12-year-old boy got out of a train that had carried him into Queen’s Park depot. He wandered around on live track until he was rescued by the driver. He could easily have been killed.
Even if you do not get out of the train, you would be trapped inside it, which is distressing and dangerous.
After the Queen’s Park incident, drivers decided that we were no longer prepared to go along with London Underground’s dangerous policy. Both our unions - RMT and ASLEF - balloted us for industrial action, and since 15 January, we have been insisting on checking that our trains are empty before we take them into sidings or depots.
This is what has caused the delays. We are not striking, and we are not demanding higher pay. We are insisting on a procedure for taking trains out of service that is safe for passengers and staff.
We have tried to persuade London Underground to bring back the station staff it got rid of, to carry out the checks without delaying the service. There are 33 laid-off agency workers who want to work for London Underground and can do this work. But London Underground is not listening. When we discussed the dispute at ACAS, London Underground offered little more than to make more announcements!
We regret that London Underground's intransigence has forced us to take this action, which has resulted in disruption to your journey. But we will not wait until someone is killed to insist on your safety and ours.
You can help us to restore safe de-training on the Bakerloo line – please email LU’s Head of Safety Operation Jill Collis.