You know the drill, you’re scrolling through Twitter and you might spot something like this…
Now is it just me, or does this seem to be occurring more and more often?
Well it turns out it wasn’t just me, but Diamond Geezer too – who back in January had certainly clocked on to a spate of early and late night closures on the District Line. This got me thinking… How often did “staff shortages” result in station closures last year?
So I put in a FOI request to find out.
It turns out it’s happened quite a lot: over 24,000 minutes worth. That boils down to the rather delicious “Evening Standard Style” headline of around 16 days worth of closures in total. Staff absences can happen for a number of reasons in any job, we all know this. Unexpected sickness, late running taxis, adverse weather etc. But are any particular stations bad offenders? What line suffers the most closures? And, what I really want to know, is there a correlation between station closures and TfL’s “Fit For Future” staff restructuring scheme?
Almost half the District line’s total is explained by Temple, and two thirds of the Circle’s. Meanwhile Holland Park and Queensway contributed over 60% of the Central line’s appalling-looking total. The surprise might be the Victoria line, which managed to have staff-related closures at 14 of its 16 stations. At the other end of the table obviously the Waterloo & City line had the least disruption, but the Metropolitan was next with only 369 minutes, because most of it is above ground.
Take all of this with a pinch of salt, because you can prove anything with statistics, and 2016 was a wholly atypical year. But what’s for sure is that December saw an unholy station-staffing debacle on the Underground, with 150 station closures in just one month. The RMT’s overtime ban was the trigger, suggesting it was only overtime holding TfL’s staffing reorganisation together, and this all too easily fell apart.
Source: diamond geezer