Our ref: HSR/2/2

Head Office Circular: NP/117/23

6th July 2023

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




Your Leeds City Branch submitted the following resolution:


This branch is concerned at the obvious lack of priority given by Train Operating Companies in our area in regard to staff and passenger safety. It has recently become obvious to members of this branch that TOC’s are not giving as much focus on the safety of our members and the travelling public with regards to verbal and physical assaults. This branch reacted with horror to learn of an incident at Kirkstall Forge station where trains and passengers were shot at by youths with air rifles where windows were broken but luckily nobody was hurt.  The members of this branch believe it shouldn’t take a BBC headline to raise awareness of the dangers faced by staff and passengers alike. 


It is also apparent that the number of assaults suffered by members of this union is on the rise and that we expect these numbers to rise during the summer months. 


We are also aware of LNER Directors overruling the decisions of Train Managers who have refused travel due to safety concerns where they have instructed trains to be moved. 


The British Transport Police (BTP) are currently under resourced in our area and incidents often go unattended. Given the footfall of Leeds station we believe it paramount that our members feel they can rely on the BTP in times of emergency or when they feel in danger. 


This branch therefore requests the NEC to consider the concerns in this resolution and to then instruct the general secretary to write to all TOC’s and BTP to enforce the message that our members are entitled to work in a safe environment. It is a vital need for companies to protect both their staff and passengers and for more measured actions taken to prevent this dangerous behaviour from happening in the future.


We also request the NEC instruct the General Secretary to include in his letters to the TOC’s that they are currently not getting value for money when paying for the services of the BTP. 


At its meeting on 4th July 2023, your National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved as follows:


That we note the resolution of our Leeds City Branch and thank them for bringing these matters to our attention. 


We fully concur with these concerns, and are aware that such occurrences are increasing nationwide. Furthermore, we are acutely conscious of these dangerous situations only being further compounded by the potential slashing of staffing numbers proposed by the Department for Transport. Accordingly, we instruct the General Secretary to: 


  • Write to all Train Operating Companies and the British Transport Police in line with the sentiments of the resolution
  • Place an article in a forthcoming edition of RMT News emphasising the rights of all staff to work in a safe environment
  • Raise this matter with our parliamentary group
  • Liaise with relevant passenger and disability campaigning groups in order to raise public awareness of these issues. 


Branch and Regional Council to be advised.


I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members. 


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch

General Secretary