Tube drivers on the District line are to ballot for strike action in protest over the increasing number of missile attacks on trains by vandals.
Attacks on District line trains, which run overground for large sections, have risen by 50% during the current year compared with the previous 12 months – from 60 incidents of missiles being hurled to 90.
The action, which would be continuing and not restricted to just 24 hours, would initially be aimed at preventing District line services from operating between Upminster and Barking, where the majority of attacks take place.
Steve Grant, London district-secretary of Aslef, the train drivers’ union, told the London Evening Standard: “Vandals are actually stockpiling bricks and paving slabs to hurl at trains. Unless something is done, and done now, a passenger or one of my members of staff is going to be seriously injured or worse.”
Grant, a former Tube driver, accused LU management of being ‘more concerned’ about keeping the service running than with safety.
An LU spokesman said: “The safety of passengers and staff is our top priority. No attack on LU staff or property is acceptable and we will always prosecute.
“But industrial action is not the solution to this issue. TfL has funded the recruitment of an extra 200 British Transport Police officers for the Tube.”