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Kenyon Confronts: The Gravy Train

Synopsis

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Rule-breaking, malpractice and sloth on Britain's busiest transport system are costing us millions. Secret documents and covert film footage of maintenance gangs working for London Underground are among the evidence gathered by reporter Paul Kenyon and his team.

Investigation
Kenyon Confronts 7.30pm BBC1
Anyone who has ever travelled on the London Underground, and certainly anyone who is a regular Tube commuter, will be both appalled and infuriated by this extraordinary investigation. A member of investigative reporter Paul Kenyon's team spent weeks working under cover as a member (of subcontracted crew of workers who supposedly toil underground during the night on repairs and maintenance. The men have a four- to five-hour window in which to get crucial work done, after the trains have stopped running and the power has been turned off. Kenyon's hidden-camera footage reveals a group of men who, variously, mess around with potentially deadly equipment, fall asleep on platform benches and spend unconscionable amounts or time doing (or rather, not doing) the smallest and simplest of jobs, for which they're being paid the full rate. One crew member even picks up wallets thrown from Tube trains by pickpockets looking for cash, and uses the credit cards he finds to fund trips abroad. And, after all this, one of them has the nerve to shout to his workmates, laughing: "Now you know why it's so expensive for tickets." Yes, indeed, because, Kenyon tells us, 3.5 per cent of the cost of a London Tube ticket goes towards such "maintenance".

Kenyon, obviously not a man who is easily socially embarrassed, very bravely takes a megaphone and a giant screen to London's streets to show commuters exactly what is being done with their money. And he even gives London Underground managers a nasty shock when he turns up at their headquarters with his evidence.
(Alison Graham)

Contributors

Reporter: Paul Kenyon
Producer: Nick Aarons
Series Director: Derek Jones

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Kenyon Confronts: The Gravy Train

BBC One London, 22 January 2003 19.30






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