Our Ref: HSR/4/2
Head Office Circular: NP/037/19
21st February 2019
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Our Guards Company Council and Lead Officer for South West Rail have raised concerns over the method of operation of class 444 trains at Platform 4 at Woking. The company are completely ignoring our safety concerns. A report of our officials has now been considered by the NEC who have noted and adopted the following:

We note the report from our Lead Officer along with the report from our Guards’ Company Council.

This NEC find it astonishing that this issue has been on going for many months without the company doing anything to solve the problem and by cutting out the fence on platform 3 has only made matters worse leading to the action being taken by the Guard Company Council.

We therefore instruct the General Secretary to complain to the RSSB and ORR over this issue highlighting the huge potential risk to members of the public and staff.

Further the General Secretary is to write to SWR raising our concerns and completely backing our Company Council Representatives in the actions they have taken by issuing a 7 day prohibition notice and hope the company rectify the safety concerns of our Guard members and travelling public. Further stating that any member that has faced discipline action or placed on any Guard’s Support plans should be removed forthwith.

Lastly the Guard, Commercial Guard and Drivers members be written to by Thursday 21st February 2019 clearly stating the risks on Platform 3 & 4 at Woking and advising them of the actions we have taken further to work within the rule book. The RMT suggestion would be to work from the 10th coach of a 444 opening the first door as their local door and ensuring no part of the train is past the white line which the company are stating is the operational platform. If part of the train is, then the Guard is to follow the rule book and only use a local door to allow passengers off.

All developments place back before this NEC.

Branches to advise.

In line with this instruction I have written to all parties and have set out our expectation that this matter is addressed in a timely matter. We have called on the ORR to inspect the location with our Guards Company Council members; we have asked RSSB to look into whether SWR are working outside of the railway rule book and called on SWR to review the situation and cooperate with these matters.

I will keep you informed of developments.

Please make the contents of this circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary