Tube suicides increase by 74 per cent as recession worries hit home

Thursday, November 10, 2011
By Paul Martin

Tom Harper
ThisIsLondon.co.uk
9 Nov 2011

The number of people attempting suicide on the London Underground has soared over the last 10 years, the Standard can reveal.

Transport for London figures show 80 people threw themselves in front of Tube trains last year compared with 46 in 2000 – a rise of 74 per cent in a decade.

Tube passengers have suffered a total of 29 days of delays in the last 10 years because of people killing themselves across the network.

There has been a marked increase since the global financial crisis in 2008. In 2007, 61 people threw themselves in front of Tube trains. By 2009 the annual figure had soared to 82, a 34 per cent increase.

Paul Castle, 54, a Mayfair property tycoon who played polo with Prince Charles, threw himself in front of a train at Bond Street station last November after he saw his multi-million pound empire suffer in the recession.

The worst affected station was King’s Cross St Pancras with 18 suicides over the last decade.
The next highest was Mile End with 17 self-inflicted deaths, more than at much larger stations such as Victoria and Liverpool Street.

The Northern line saw the most suicide attempts, with 145 over the last 10 years. Last year, London’s busiest Tube line dealt with 20 people under trains compared with just six in 2000.

Other badly affected lines over the last 10 years were the Central line with 99 suicides, the Piccadilly line with 92 and the District line with 81.

The Jubilee line recorded the lowest number of suicides with just 27 during the decade. Last year, Tube commuters were delayed by 89 hours in total by suicides, a 137 per cent rise over the last 10 years.

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