In 2018 The Wanstead Post spearheaded a campaign to #improvethecentralline. The intention was to encourage interested parties – such as Transport for London, the Mayor of London, Central Line management and staff as well as passengers – to come together to address problems and find innovative solutions. The campaign culminated in a meeting with Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and Chris Taggart, Head of Line Operations, to discuss the most pressing issues.
Since then the Central Line has had good and bad days. When the service runs it can be excellent but when things go wrong it can be truly appalling. After speaking with staff, you are often left with the impression that a sense of complacency permeates the running of the line and there is a general feeling that the situation will never improve.
According to the Socialist Worker website, members of the RMT Union who work on the Central Line are “fighting against chronic understaffing, imposed rosters, management bullying, inadequate welfare facilities and local agreement breaches” and have planned a 24-hour strike due to start on Tuesday 3 September 2019. There is no doubt that if the strike goes ahead utter misery will be caused.
This is an undesirable turn of events for management, staff and passengers because any strike will cause nothing but suffering. Harsh management or unrealistic aggressive demands by unions achieve little and negatively impact hard-working commuters. There needs to be a new collaboration between all involved, a renewed desire to work together and get things done, a refreshed positive energy to make a difference and move on to a better future for all those who work on or use the main arterial route through the greatest capital city in the world.