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London Underground (Safety)

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 3 July, Official Report, column 496, what action he intends to take in respect of authorities which have restricted traffic on busy routes across London Underground passenger transport lines in order to repair these routes and remove any future danger of bridge collapse.

It is the responsibility of each highway authority to determine what action to take if a structure is found to fail the criteria set out in departmental standard BD 21/84.My Department has set up a working group including representatives from the London boroughs, London Underground Ltd., British Rail, the British Waterways Board and the Metropolitan police, whose terms of reference are to co-ordinate the work of assessing and strengthening road carrying structures in London by highway authorities and structure owners to achieve a programme of optimum priority, and to ensure minimum disruption to London's transportation systems.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with representatives of British Rail and London Underground regarding the incident at Waterloo station on 3 July involving a potentially dangerous build-up of passengers; what evaluation he has made of the explanation provided; and what plans he has to pursue the matter further.

An officer of the railway inspectorate has discussed with British Rail (BR) and London Underground Ltd. (LUL) both the cause of the incident and possible means of improving passenger movement at Waterloo. I understand that a direct telephone line has now been installed between BR and LUL operations rooms at Waterloo and, in the longer term, a joint operations room will be established. BR will also be installing closed circuit TV to monitor subways and escalators in the peak hours.The inspector will be submitting a full report on this incident and on subsequent action taken by the operators, to the chief inspecting officer railways. He will consider in due course whether any further action is necessary.