Readers will remember that in the May edition of Monthly News we reported on a serious breach of safety at Blackhorse Road when the station was left open at the insistence of a DSM despite both escalators being out of action and contrary to the Congestion Control Evacuation Plan (CCEP). Alarmingly, the CCEP was broken again recently, this time at Tottenham Hale.

The Supervisor at Tottenham Hale was contacted by the Service Controller and asked to ride with a driver to investigate a reported loud banging noise on the track between Tottenham Hale and Blackhorse Road. The Supervisor told the Controller that he was the only Supervisor on duty at Tottenham Hale, a section 12 station, but the Controller insisted he carry out his request. The Supervisor then informed his DSM of this situation and advised him that according to the CCEP he could not leave the station open without a Supervisor; the DSM ignored this advice and told him to put a CSA in the control room and carry out the Service Controller’s instructions. The station remained open while the Supervisor travelled with a driver under protest.

The incident raises a number of questions. Why did they insist on the Tottenham Hale Supervisor doing the track check when a DMT, a Technical Officer, a DSM or even a Supervisor from Seven Sisters could have been used? Why was the train upon which the Supervisor travelled told to check the area at line speed? And the biggest question of all: why do management on the Blackhorse Road Group seem to think that safety is some kind of optional luxury rather than an issue of overarching importance? Local Health and Safety Rep, Amarjit Chumber, and his TSSA counterpart have both requested a Formal Investigation into the incident. The GSM’s response so far has been to say that she is ‘content’ with how the issue was dealt with by management. This is the kind of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude which could lead to a fatality. Safety rules are not there to be used when convenient – they are mandatory.

From September issue of Finsbury Park Monthly News