28 May 2014
RMT Press Office
Conference, Saturday 26 July, 10am - 2pm, TUC, Congress House, London
TUBE UNION RMT has called a major conference in July to fill the void left by the Mayor of London and Transport for London over a genuine and meaningful consultation with service users and providers on the future of London Underground against a background of austerity cuts and surging public demand.
The London Underground carries as many passengers as the entire rail network and is vital to the economic, social and environmental well-being of London. The importance of the capital to the rest of the country means the future of the Tube has national as well as local implications.
There is also expected to be a massive increase in passenger numbers with the growth in the size of London over the coming decade placing even more demands on London Underground.
Despite this, the Mayor of London is advocating the closing of ticket offices, unstaffed stations, driverless trains, more cuts to maintenance and massive fare rises. The future of a safe, accessible, affordable, properly staffed Tube is in the balance. And now some right wing commentators are even actively advocating the privatisation of Tube services, ignoring the continuing, poisonous legacy of the PPP disaster.
The Mayor has held no public consultation on his cuts plan. This is despite the fact that two thirds of passengers are opposed to the cuts and both the Greater London Assembly and MPs are calling for a formal public consultation. The Mayor is refusing to listen to London.
RMT is filling that void. The conference, “Listen to London”, will be an opportunity to seek the views of a wide range of organisations as to how we can find a better way for a properly staffed, expanding and publicly owned London Underground.
Polling shows that the vast majority of Londoners do not believe the Mayor of London when he says his plans for closing ticket offices and changes to station staffing will improve passenger services.
In a poll of a thousand Londoners by the independent and respected polling organization Survation, only 1 in 4 Londoners agreed with the Mayor that his proposals are likely to improve passenger service, whilst half (49%) said the proposals are likely to worsen passenger services.
The poll also overwhelmingly supported the growing call for the Mayor to halt the ticket office closures and instead hold a public consultation, with 58% of Londoners saying the closures should be stopped until there has been a full public consultation with passengers and other stakeholders. Those views are being ignored.
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“Independent polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Londoners support RMT’s call for the cuts to jobs and the closure of ticket offices to be halted to allow a full, open and transparent consultation with staff, passengers and other stakeholders rather than the current policy of crashing on regardless.
“With the Mayor failing to consult. RMT has decided to step in and fill the void with a conference open to all, in central London on the 26th July. This is a chance for all those concerned with the future of London Underground to make their voices heard.”