Accidents on the Underground – Facts and Figures

 In Emma Bell, Personal Injury
public transport
ARTICLE BY: RACHEL ELLIS

Accidents on the London Underground have soared in recent years. In 2017 there were nearly 5,000 recorded accidents involving passengers and visitors. This has increased from approximately 4,500 accidents in 2014, and nearly 2,500 in 2012.  The station with the most recorded accidents was King’s Cross St. Pancras, with Waterloo and Baker street coming a close second.

Year on year, the tube becomes a more popular mode of transport with over 1.3 billion passengers per year. Many of the stations struggle to cope with such high numbers, and major plans for expansion have been proposed. These are not due to take place for several years, however.

Visitors to the underground can be subjected to many familiar hazards such as slips, trips and falls down stairs. With such busy stairs and walkways, hazards can often be difficult to spot. It is therefore important that such hazards are quickly identified and resolved by staff to maintain public safety. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Many of these accidents have been blamed on the decrease in staffing levels around the stations. Fewer staff means fewer possibilities to spot slip and trip hazards. Such accidents are easily avoided, should potential obstacles be identified quickly and dealt with in the correct manner.  Sadly though, if the staffing levels are not adequate, high health and safety standards cannot be met.

Other situations are almost unique to the Underground. For example, passengers boarding or alighting the tube can find themselves faced with large gaps between carriage and platform. If these gaps are not correctly highlighted to passengers, serious accidents can take place. Nearly 300 such accidents occurred in 2016 alone, with the rise being linked to the introduction of new tube trains which create a much larger gap between train and platform in many stations.

Malfunctions with the trains themselves can also pose a threat – doors which do not open correctly or close mid-access pose a high risk of injury. Failed lighting can also cause carriages to become unlit and dangerous, as hazards cannot be seen by passengers.

Thankfully, accidents involving train crashes, derailments and emergency stops are rare in the UK, and – despite the hazards mentioned in this article – the London Underground is seen as one of the safest railways in the world.

If you have had an accident and were injured as a result of visiting or travelling on the underground, please contact us to arrange to speak to one of our personal injury specialists.

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