UK: Driverless Train Plan for Tube

Driverless tube trains should be introduced in the next few years to reduce the power of union bosses, London Mayor Boris Johnson has said.

He wants to force the radical overhaul through in the biggest battle yet for control of the London Underground.

His plans were announced yesterday as he set out his stall in the race for city hall and a second term of power.

Johnson believes driverless trains will take away the unions' ability to hold the city to ransom by calling drivers' strikes. There have been 23 during his four years in office.

Tube trains would instead be staffed by a "train captain" — like the Docklands Light Railway — where a worker monitors safety.

He said: "I want to stress that in making these reforms, I believe it's going to be possible to work with the unions. There will be some union bosses who won't agree but I'm not funded by them."

City hall said yesterday that it was "very unlikely" that London Underground would ever again buy a fleet of passenger trains with conventional drivers' cabs.

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