London Underground has dismissed a Channel 4 documentary on the experiences of London Underground staff as “inaccurate”.
Confessions from the Underground, which aired last night, was billed as “a rare glimpse into the depths of the iconic Tube network that passengers don’t see, as workers reveal the dilemmas and pressures that they must reconcile to keep this hugely complex and strained system running.”
The documentary featured actors voicing claims about the Tube network and its maintenance procedures which were then followed by a statement from Transport for London.
At the start of the show viewers were told: “Tube workers are worried they’ll lose their jobs if they speak publicly so we’ve hidden their identities. Their stories are re-told word for word by actors.”
One staff member claimed: “There was this one time when it was just me and this other guy, two members of staff trying to deal with 5,000 passengers all trying to get through this one particular gateline, and you’re under pressure you know, to keep the station open.
“You’re not scared at the time. I think you’re scared later when you come home and your lying in bed and you’re nervous and shaking and it affects you for days.”
Although it acknowledged LU’s safety was higher than the European average, the programme quoted one staff member as saying: “It’s a fingers crossed attitude, we’re just running on good luck.”
London Underground say producers declined the opportunity to put the programme’s accusations to Managing Director Mike Brown on camera.
In a statement released after transmission, Brown said: “Our staff work hard, every day, to keep London moving and to upgrade the Tube for the future. London Underground staff will simply not recognise the inaccurate picture painted by this film, the result of the highly selective and partisan approach taken by the producers.
“The film-makers and Channel 4 were given numerous opportunities to put these claims to me directly, including an interview on camera. They declined, preferring to base their programme on claims that they were either unwilling or simply unable to substantiate.
“My focus and that of all LU staff is on the upgrade and improving reliability of the Tube, delivering more frequent and reliable journeys for our customers.”