Freddy Mayhew, Reporter
Monday, February 4, 2013
New Tube trains designed without any dividing doors between carriages may increase the risk of passenger crime, says Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas.
Responding to residents’ concerns over the new “walkthrough” trains, introduced on the Hammersmith and City line last year and to appear on the District line later this year, Mr Cruddas highlighted there could be a particular danger on the trains when station stops are far apart.
He is launching a campaign aimed at increasing existing security measures, including improved CCTV and transport police presence, between Dagenham East and Hornchurch stations along the District line, which see some of the longest uninterrupted journey times.
“I have seen the plans for the new trains and they look very impressive and are a vast improvement in many respects,” said Mr Cruddas.
But he added: “The distance between Dagenham East and Elm Park is one of the longest on the line and many local residents have voiced their concern that open carriages will increase the possibility of crime such as muggings.
“This is a huge concern as passenger safety should be paramount.”
The new Tube trains will eventually replace all 53 trains on the Hammersmith and City line by the end of 2014, and all 80 trains on the District line by the end of 2016, with the upgrade of signalling systems fully complete by 2018.
A spokesman for Tfl said: “We work extremely closely with the British Transport Police to ensure that all of the Tube network is safe for our passengers and staff and believe that customers on the east of the District line will enjoy the benefits of these new trains when they start coming into service.”
The number of CCTV cameras has increased to more than 13,000 and the highest ever number of British Transport Police – more than 700 – currently patrol the Tube network, says Tfl.
Passenger carrying capacity is expected to rise by roughly a quarter on the District line once all the upgrades are complete.
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