Thursday, 1 March 2012

Tube unions save lives?

A rather bizarre incident on the tube has been seized upon by the most militant of unions; a tube union, to emphasize the need for drivers and staff manning the underground. Most people assume that robots or at best monkeys could be trained to drive the tube. Some trains such as the DLR already drive themselves. Its not a hard job but it is a great palce for rent seeking if you have a mate who can get you into the hallowed closed shop.

 However a recent incident reported by the BBC sheds doubt on this indictment of tube drivers;

"A five-year-old boy escaped unharmed after falling between a Tube train and a platform, it has emerged.

The driver spotted a small hand reaching up from the Finchley Road Station on Sunday evening, drivers' union Aslef said.

The child was rescued and his family were able to continue their journey.

Aslef said it highlighted the danger of plans for driverless trains but London Underground said it would handle all incidents "safely and efficiently"."

Now I may be alone in this conclusion but my first though was WTF? Surely in this situation the train alarm would have been pulled when the parents realised that their child had fallen between the tube and the platform. I cant imagine 5 year old kids go out and about on their own. I would have thought the first line of defence are screaming parents rather than conscientious tube drivers. Still this glaring anomaly remains bizarrely unexplained in the article.

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