Last year the Evening Standard reported accidents on the London tube network had risen to 5,000 a year, an 11% increase from 2015. Also, with the summer fast approaching, the likely hood of heatwaves through the summer we really need to be prepared for any eventuality on the tube network in London.
There are a number of reasons for this increase, in smaller stations around London there is an increase in accidents taking place due to decrease in staff. Richard Freeston-Clough of London Travelwatch was quoted as stating “The figures would suggest that smaller stations with fewer staff around are recording more accidents because staffing is likely to have been reduced”. However, the problem does not just stop here, larger stations are also becoming more crowded. Bigger stations like Bank/Monument and Baker street are reported as stations that have an increasing growth in accidents due to overcrowding at these stations.
So what accidents and injuries do we expect to find on the tube network. A passengers’ health deteriorating unexpectedly, from stroke, heart attack or fainting due to heat, these accidents are intensified due to over-crowding and staff shortages but, in all stations there is an increased risk of any accident occurring.
With Summer now in full swing, memories may flood back from last year’s problems on the tube and train network. We remember being stuck on a hot train for around an hour travelling to South East London, with unbearable heat and people haveing to stand, it really does increase stress levels and we are not always prepared after a hard day at work, to remember to pick up that bottle of water before rushing to catch our train home. Last year a tabloid newspaper reported and showed temperatures of the London underground system topped 42.3C, which is a worrying figure given that EU legislation specifies cattle should not be transported at temperatures higher than 30C.
It is imperative that staff at these stations are kept up to date with all the necessary training, especially when dealing with health issues in such a difficult environment of heat, staff shortages and over-crowding. Also, with staff shortages at some stations, it is always a great preventative measure for people of the general public to really consider taking first aid courses. It is always a great feeling to learn new skills and what better skill to help someone from an accident or even save a life.