Driverless tube trains for London

February 29th, 2012 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 29 (IANS) Driverless tube trains should be introduced in the next few years to reduce the power of union bosses, London Mayor Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson wants to enforce the radical overhaul in the biggest battle yet for control of the London Underground. His plans were announced as he set out his stall in the race for City Hall and a second term of power, the Daily Express reported.

London Underground is a rapid transit system in Britain, serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Johnson believes driverless trains will take away the unions’ ability to hold the city to ransom by calling tube drivers’ strikes. There have been 23 during his four years in office.

Tube trains would instead be staffed by a “train captain” — like the Docklands Light Railway — where a worker monitors safety.

He said: “I want to stress that in making these reforms, I believe it’s going to be possible to work with the unions. There will be some union bosses who won’t agree but I’m not funded by them.”

City Hall, the headquarters of the Greater London Authority (GLA) which comprises the Mayor of London and London Assembly, has said that it is “very unlikely” that London Underground will ever again buy a fleet of passenger trains with conventional drivers’ cabs.

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