Safe keeping as London’s population grows

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The Office of National Statistics estimates that London’s population will grow to 9 million people by 2021. That is a 14 per cent increase on today, writes Ian Gaskin, who is responsible for developing management systems at TfL

On the rail and underground part of TfL – Tube, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and trams – demand is expected to rise from 1.5 billion journeys a year to 1.9 billion.

Extra capacity

To find the extra seats TfL is having to find more room on the timetable and create extra capacity through projects like the London Overground’s fifth car scheme.

More people equals more transport demand and more trains means more potential safety issues on the network.

In preparation, TfL, sponsored by Commissioner Peter Hendy, brought together 700 directors and senior managers from across the organisation’s many departments to talk about safety leadership.

The existing record is good. Based on ORR statistics the Underground is one of the safest significant railways in Europe.

On the roads safety has also improved dramatically over the past 15 years. Good, but no room for complacency. More is demanded and while improvements to safety rules and procedures continue, this is not enough.

Leadership is what embeds safety within an organisation

We all recognise when a person really means what they say and walks the talk. When leaders in an organisation live the right behaviours it is infectious.

Matthew Steele, programme delivery manager, Automatic Train Control (ATC) signalling, believed that looking across all aspects of

TfL was key to maintaining a strong safety record.

“I think the fact that the course considered the context of TfL as a whole made it quite different,” said Matthew.

“We understood some of the specific challenges faced in making our highways safe and thought about how we could apply some of that to the railway.” Key also was the decision to ensure those in specialist support areas like Finance, Human Resources and Procurement were included. Decisions made far from the front line in both time and distance can have a huge impact on safety outcomes for customers and staff.

Left to right: Mike Weston, operations director, London Bus Services, Tony Daly, head of safety, Surface Transport, Tony Jessop, HSE senior manager, Sarah Gardiner, HSE administrator, Martin Brown, HSE general manager, Tess Watson, support manager, Jill Collis, director of Health, Safety & Environment, Cathy Hunsley, HSE senior manager, Ian Gaskin – HSE general manager, Cathy Behan, HSE general manager, Simon Peacock, HSE senior manager, Rob Mair, HSE senior manager, Mike Brown, managing director, London Underground.

Left to right: Mike Weston, operations director, London Bus Services, Tony Daly, head of safety, Surface Transport, Tony Jessop, HSE senior manager, Sarah Gardiner, HSE administrator, Martin Brown, HSE general manager, Tess Watson, support manager, Jill Collis, director of Health, Safety & Environment, Cathy Hunsley, HSE senior manager, Ian Gaskin, HSE general manager, Cathy Behan, HSE general manager, Simon Peacock, HSE senior manager, Rob Mair, HSE senior manager, Mike Brown, managing director, London Underground.