London Underground’s biggest union has demanded double-crewing of all Northern Line trains and daily safety checks after the emergency braking system failed for the fourth time in as many weeks.
The RMT union said it would give complete support to drivers exercising their right to refuse to move Northern Line trains on safety grounds.
The emergency “trip-cock” braking system, which triggers automatically if a train passes a signal at danger, has failed on four occasions since 9 September.
“This system is designed to prevent the potentially disastrous consequences of trains passing signals at danger, and the seriousness of these failures cannot be understated,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
“The disruption to services that these emergency measures will cause is preferable to running the risk of a potential disaster. The RMT will support any driver who refuses to move a Northern Line train on safety grounds.
“Under the public private partnership it is London Underground that runs the trains, Tubelines that is responsible for maintaining them, but Alstom that actually does the work.
“That is crazy enough, but under its contract Alstom has 65 days to find the fault. In such serious circumstances that is a complete nonsense, and if Alstom cannot find and rectify the fault, the work should simply be brought back in-house.”