Tube Safety

MQT on 2019-06-20
Session date: 
June 20, 2019
Question By: 
Florence Eshalomi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


The Transport for London Health, Safety and Environment report Quarter 3 2018/19 (16 September 2018 – 8 December 2018) Report says there was a “14% increase in injuries on escalators compared with the same quarter last year, accounting for 42% of all customer injuries. We have seen an increase in the number of escalator incidents reported in response to the launch of targeted customer communications and staff interventions as part of our Escalator Excellence† campaign.” Are you able to provide more detail on whether this 14% increase is solely due to increased reporting or is due to safety conditions on the tube deteriorating?


Tube Safety

Tube Safety

Answered By: 
The Mayor

There is no significant decline in safety conditions on the Tube. Transport for London (TfL) continues to hold a good record for escalator safety, with the number of major injuries running at one in every ten million trips.

2018/19 saw a six per cent increase in customer injuries compared to 2017/18, with the majority attributed to accidents on escalators. There are several reasons for this:

Firstly, the amount of passengers using the Tube has risen by 27m in 2018/19 compared to the previous year. The trend for accidental injuries broadly follows the same trend as passenger journeys.

Moreover, TfL's focussed initiatives, safety campaigns and improved staff engagement have also improved both the quantity and quality of incident reporting. TfL has positioned staff to areas where most customer accidents happen, at the times that most occur. This has meant that station staff see more incidents that would have previously gone unreported which are now being reported.

While alcohol is a factor in accidents on the Underground throughout the year, TfL also observes an increase in customer accidents as the festive season approaches and an increased numbers of intoxicated customers use the network. TfL rolls out targeted campaigns to try to address this.

TfL continues to work hard to reduce customer injuries, with staff on hand to help customers. Initiatives to minimise slips, trips and falls include blue footprints on the steps, hand prints on the handrails, contrasting colours to highlight the ‘comb’ between the moving steps and the landings, wording on step risers, new electronic displays, under-step lighting and frequent public address announcements.

Additionally, TfL's safety campaigns, which run throughout the year, use advertisements across the network to remind customers of the risks of running on escalators. TfL continually monitors the effectiveness of its measures and campaigns in reducing accidents and adjusts its approach accordingly.