Boris Johnson has said that if he continues in his role as Mayor of London he will fight to make a number of routes on the London Underground completely automated by the end of the decade. By 2014 he wants to see the Northern line operated by driverless trains with the same going for the Central, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines by 2018.
The announcement is likely to anger the unions. Mr Johnson has been faced with a series of strikes on the Tube over the past few years which have resulted in travel being disrupted for millions of passengers.
Aslef has already said that it will fight any plans by the government to reduce jobs for drivers on the London Underground and the RMT has slammed that idea of automated trains describing them as unworkable and deadly. Mr Johnson said that he believed that he could work with the unions on implementing the changes.
There are already some automated trains operating on the Central, Jubilee and Victoria lines, but these trains still have drivers present in the cab. The Docklands Light Railway is automated, and Mr Johnson said that without having to pay for workers the DLR was producing revenues which could be reinvested in the system
Although it is believed that Mr Johnson has his eye on the leadership of the Conservative Party he has not said that he will not be running for a third mayoral term.