Some London Tube drivers are now earning more than £100,000 a year, despite new technology that makes their jobs easier.
Figures obtained by the Sunday Times reveal the highest-paid driver earned £103,374 in the year to November, a 69 per cent rise since 2012.
The surge in pay comes despite five of the network’s 11 lines being automatic, meaning drivers only have to open and close the doors.
In addition, nine drivers were paid more than £100,000 and another 30 earned over £80,000, according to Transport for London (TfL) figures obtained through a freedom of information request.
The basic salary for Tube drivers is £55,000, more than double the average wage of a nurse in London and more than many airline pilots earn.
Conservative MP Greg Hands criticised mayor Sadiq Khan for the salaries, which he described as “madness”.
A TfL spokesperson said the wages were agreed in 2014, when Boris Johnson was mayor.
TfL said the figures refer to total remuneration, including base pay and pension contributions, and said the top earners are test drivers and instructors who have additional responsibilities.
But the figures do not include the two free annual travel passes worth £3,548 each that all drivers receive.
“The overwhelming majority earned total remuneration – including base pay, overtime, employer pension contributions and certain allowances – of £70,000 or considerably less,” the TfL spokesperson said.
The revelations come as Londoners brace for more travel chaos amid further planned Tube strikes. Drivers on the Central Line are planning walkouts on Friday and Saturday this week, in a move that will hit retailers during the vital pre-Christmas shopping period.
Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are striking in protest over the dismissal of a driver who failed three drug tests.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “There is a growing culture on London Underground that revolves around refusing to employ enough drivers, bullying staff and expecting our members to pick up the pieces when the service breaks down.
“RMT members on the Central Line have made it clear that they have had enough and are prepared to stand up and fight for workplace respect and justice.”
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