Big Dog Bob Crow’s Olympic Fears

17 05 2011

So the big dog (as young people say) Bob Crow appeared at Transport Committee and as predicted ran the show. But in fairness he could have been tougher on Boris, in fact he surprised me when he said he didn’t begrudge the fact that Boris won’t sit down with him and other unions to negotiate, but he did say he wanted “his ear” twice a year.

But an interesting line he came out with was his concerns about the situation at Stratford International and the safety issues there in the run up to the Games.

His quotes below speak for themselves really, but if true it is poor and worrying that safety plans cannot be drawn up and practiced there until only a matter of months before London 2012.

Mr Crow said: “An area of concern should be the Olympics, with health and safety. But certainly in the Stratford area where the Olympics are, there are going to be grave problems. There is nobody for us to talk to where we usually have Network Rail, London Underground or Docklands Railway.

“The landlord of Stratford International – no-one knows who it is at this moment in time apart from National Express who operate out of Stratford. There you are going to have Eurostar, Southeastern DLR and whoever is going to get the the new train operating company franchise. One thing is for sure is that it won’t be National Express, who have been told that they won’t even be part of it. So we don’t even know who is going to be running Stratford station until April of next year, just three months before the Olympics starts.

“Now I have got to say to you, where is the safety plan? The fire brigade is considering whether there will be a temporary station in the Olympic Park and stadium itself. What we would like to see for example, because you have the Westfield shopping centre about to open up, with 10,000 employees and the only access to it is from Stratford Station, so we would like to see a mock evacuation of the Olympic stadium to see where people go.

“But who is going to take control of Stratford International? It’s not a London Underground station, not a DLR, it is not Eurostar. Network Rail offered to be the landlord until after the Olympics but they were told no. It is absolutely amazing that we can’t sit down with people until next April because we don’t know who the train operating company will be until then.

“Who is bringing everybody together? We have written to Seb Coe and asked for a meeting with all the people concerned and so far we have had no response.”

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