DRIVERLESS Tube trains run by remote control are being planned by London Underground and should be up and running in less than ten years, says a leaked document.
The Operational Strategy briefing papers for London Underground, seen by the BBC, also reveal that all Tube ticket offices face closure by 2016, with just 30 ‘travel centres’ left in some of the bigger stations.
The plans aim to cut the LU budget by 20%, partly by making 1,500 staff redundant, and give a different gloss to the Tube staff wage agreement struck earlier this month.
That deal promised above inflation wage rises over the next few years, but even the biggest wage rises mean nothing if the jobs on which they are hang are scrapped.
“This document ignores reality in favour of austerity and would impact on every single staff member on London Underground,” said Bob Crow, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, the union with the most members working for London Underground.
“Every single ticket office would be closed, stations left un-staffed and drivers would be thrown out of their cabs without a single thought for passenger safety.”
London Underground confirmed the contents of the leaked document, but said the plans it contained were only talking points.
“This discussion paper was prepared purely to stimulate fresh thinking within London Underground,” said LU boss Mike Brown.