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London Underground

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy towards the granting of fire certificates to London Underground station platforms and access passages.

The conditions under which a fire certificate is required in respect of offices, shops and railway premises are set out in the Fire Precautions Act 1971. Where a certificate is required, it is the responsibility of the owner of the premises to apply for one to the appropriate fire authority. The Secretary of State for Transport has no responsibility for the granting, or otherwise, of fire certificates for London Underground's premises.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will deposit in the Library copies of the correspondence and memoranda exchanged between Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Townsend-Rose of his Department's railways inspectorate and the London fire brigade on the subject of the granting of fire certificates for platforms and access passages at Heathrow Central underground station.

No. Copies of the correspondence have been made available to the King's Cross investigation. It will be for the investigation to consider whether it is relevant to the circumstances of the King's Cross fire or the lessons to be learnt from it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, when he last met the chairman of London Regional Transport, he held any discussion on the future staffing of London Underground stations; and if he will make a statement.

No. Staffing is a matter for management in accordance with its statutory duty to operate safely and efficiently. Within that framework, I would expect staffing levels to reflect the manpower required to do the job.