Front page of today's Metro.
John Higginson in The Metro said:Tube ‘cannot cope with 1m London 2012 Olympic fans’
The Tube will fail to cope when millions of extra passengers descend on London for the Olympics in seven weeks, insiders have told Metro.
The creaking 150-year-old network will buckle under the extra workload and turn the capital into a ‘laughing stock’.
One senior LU employee said: ‘It is simply not going to be ready and there is nothing we can do about it. It will not be able to cope with the extra numbers.
‘Trains will break down and lines will shut. The attitude at LU seems to be: “Let’s just wait to see what happens – there’s little more we can do now’’.’
Up to a million extra people are expected to cram on to the Tube every day during the Games in July and August.
London has spent £9.3billion preparing for the event but the Tube and rail network was found wanting during this weekend’s diamond jubilee celebrations. Commuters returning to work yesterday were also hit by severe delays on the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines, while a water leak near the Olympic park at Stratford closed the Central line.
Cuts to the number of safety inspections on tracks, trains and escalators ahead of the Games is already taking its toll, unions say.
There are not enough staff to cope with emergency drills, they claim. RMT leader Bob Crow said the Tube would make London a ‘laughing stock’ while the eyes of the world were on it. ‘Just weeks away from the Olympics the Tube cannot cope now let alone when it has to transport millions more passengers,’ he added.
Labour has called on mayor Boris Johnson to meet rail company bosses to make sure the transport network is ready.
Transport for London is urging commuters to leave work later or find other ways of getting to work to ease the pressure.
A spokesman said: ‘We’re confident but not complacent.’
By John Higginson - 7th June, 2012
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