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London Underground

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the railway inspectorate is consulted about layout and materials when tube stations are refurbished; and if he will make a statement.

Only when the refurbishment involves significant structural alterations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the railway inspectorate was consulted before London Underground decided to erect wire cages to prevent fare evasions at automatic ticket barriers; and if he will make a statement.

London Underground has no plans to erect wire cages to prevent fare evasion at existing automatic ticket barriers or the new ones which are not yet in service, hence there is no question of it consulting with the railway inspectorate on this matter. Any temporary partition which may have been seen near the sites of new barriers has been erected for short periods during construction.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to what extent the railway inspectorate bears in mind arguments on cost when considering proposals affecting the safety of the London Underground.

London Regional Transport has a statutory duty to provide or secure the provision of public passenger transport services in London and in so doing to have due regard to efficiency, economy and safety of operation. In considering proposals affecting the safety of the London Underground the railway inspectorate also bears these requirements in mind.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the matters to do with safety on the London Underground on which the railway inspectorate has changed its advice to London Underground since 1979.

The railway inspectorate's main advice to London Underground is contained in the Department's published requirements for railway construction and operation, and in the remarks and recommendations of its accident inquiry reports. The advice given by these means has not changed in any significant manner since 1979. In the matter of the one-person operation of trains the inspectorate accepted, before the introduction of one-person operation on the Piccadilly line in August this year, LUL's revised detailed criteria for one-person operation in tube tunnels. On matters concerning staff safety, the inspectorate frequently gives advice or requires action under the health and safety at work legislation, and some of this advice may be varied from time to time in response to changing circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the railway inspectorate advises London Underground on safety training and safety procedures; and if he will make a statement.

Whilst these are primarily matters for London Underground Limited, the inspectorate has commented on them in its published accident inquiry reports. Advice is also given where necessary in furtherance of the inspectorate's enforcement duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the railway inspectorate carries out safety inspections of the London Underground; and if he will make a statement.

Details of the inspectorate's safety inspection work, which covers all railways in Great Britain, including the London Underground, were given in the answer on 3 December.