Staff Assaults - Cross Country Services

Our Ref: HSR/2/2
Head Office Circular: NP/114/20
18th May 2020
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Dorset Rail Branch submitted the following resolution to your National Executive Committee:

Dorset Rail Branch is alarmed at the increase of assaults on Cross Country train crew. Many if not most of these assaults are provoked by overcrowding on Cross Country services. Train services on the network have experienced a year increase in passenger numbers which currently result in over forty million journeys per annum (2019).

The DfT public consultation document from 2018 identified overcrowding as the main source of passenger dissatisfaction and identified that despite the service being largely successful overcrowding presented the franchisee with its biggest challenge.

Part seven of the consultation recommended various ameliorative measures in response to the problem of overcrowding. Suggested measures included:

Longer trains

Redefining the network

Cascading trains

Leasing new trains

Reducing short distance passengers

Altering calling patterns

Using ‘set down only’ scheduling

Removing the validity of multi-modal tickets

All of the above measures are worthy of consideration for implementation but Dorset Rail queries the level of urgency and ambition in the introduction of such policy and strategy. We therefore request that both directly and through our Parliamentary group the RMT seek an update of the situation from the DfT and the franchisee.

Your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee at its meeting on 13th May 2020:

We note the resolution on file from Dorset Rail Branch. General Secretary is instructed to obtain a report from the Lead Officer on assaults in the company and what is being done to address our members concerns.

General Secretary further instructed to write to DFT to establish what actions can be put on the franchise holder to resolve train design and service levels.

Relevant Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you updated on developments. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary