A leading politician has criticised unions for vowing to “go to war” over the introduction of driverless trains.

Transport for London (TFL) has begun a tendering process to introduce what it calls the ‘New Tube for London.’

It would provide 250 fully automated trains for the Piccadilly, Central, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City Lines.

Richard Tracey, London assembly member for Wandsworth and Merton said, “Londoners are already safely and happily riding on driverless trains on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

"If they’re good enough for Paris, and Copenhagen, and Vancouver, and Barcelona, and Sao Paulo, why can’t they be expanded in our Capital?”

Mr Tracey also said that speeding up the move to driverless trains would slash the massive £141M Tube driver wage bill.

But Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said, "The RMT will not allow Tube safety to be sacrificed on the altar of driverless operation and we are geared up and ready to go to war on this one."

Mick Whelan, leader of the drivers union Aslef, said introducing driverless Tube trains would lead to "all-out war".

Mr Tracey, transport spokesperson for the Greater London Assembly (GLA) Conservatives first proposed the introduction of driverless trains in 2010.

Driverless trains have been running on the DLR since 1987.