July 31 2012
RMT demands urgent investigation into tube maintenance cuts as Central Line reduced to chaos this morning
TUBE UNION RMT this morning demanded an immediate investigation into the real impact of cuts to fleet maintenance schedules, and specifically brake inspections and renewals, as it began to emerge that the likely cause of the Central Line shutdown during this morning’s Olympics morning peak was defective brakes seizing up.
Although RMT is awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the incident it is reported that the driver saw smoke billowing from the tunnel at Leyton and noticed a strong smell of burning.
The delay in clearing the blockage would be consistent with the brakes failing and welding together – a potential impact from maintenance cuts that RMT has been warning of for over two years.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“All of the reports received so far are consistent with a brake failure leading to a fire hazard and the welding tight of over-heated parts. It is down to LUL to now confirm the cause of this major breakdown and disruption and RMT safety reps will be playing a full role.
“RMT has warned for over two years about the impact of fleet maintenance cuts and specifically brake inspections and the doubling of schedules from 14 to 28 days. We have even released pictures of worn parts from the trains and LUL and the Mayor have not only ignored us but dismissed it as “scaremongering.”
“Our reps are closely monitoring the situation and staff and passenger safety remains RMT’s key priority.”
Worn brake picture taken from Central Line train