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Unions slate Prescott over cheap train protection systems

RAIL UNIONS this week threatened to strike after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's conference platform pledge to install cheaper train protection warning system across the whole rail network.

The unions are angry that more reliable but more expensive automatic train protection is only to be introduced selectively to begin with.

They are also furious that ATP is not intended to be installed on London Underground and other rail lines.

ATP automatically stops trains from going through red signals. TPWS does the same, but can be overridden by drivers.

Union anger was mirrored by Labour party members who voted in favour of a motion from the conference floor calling for the immediate installation of ATP.

London mayor Ken Livingstone also warned that he would attempt to block the signing of the contract to upgrade the East London Line, unless it included installation of ATP.

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