Train drivers’ union ASLEF has announced that introducing driverless trains on the London Underground would be “poor value for money” and cost up to £7bn according to a leaked Transport for London report.
According to the Labour Party-affiliated trade union, the paper suggests that the “high capital costs” of upgrading and integrating the new system means driverless Tube trains are not a “financially positive” option for London.
The finding undermines the claims of the Prime Minister, who has spoken in favour of making driverless trains a condition for any future TfL bailout from the government and pursued the policy as London mayor.
ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We know that passengers don’t want driverless trains. Whenever they are asked, they always answer with a resounding ‘No!’. And now we know it is not economically feasible either.”
The leaked analysis was prepared as part of a review into TfL’s finances by accounting firm KPMG, which was mandated by the government as a condition for offering the London transport group an initial coronavirus bailout.