13 February 2017
RMT Press Office:
Equivalent of at least a 1000 services a year running driver only on Southern.
RAIL UNION RMT has highlighted the fact – ahead of tomorrow’s talks between the union and Southern – that new figures show the equivalent of a thousand services per year continue to operate without a second member of staff, despite promises made by GTR bosses.
Three weeks ago RMT revealed that as an absolute minimum at least six times more Southern services were travelling without a second member of staff than was promised.
At that time the company tried to dismiss the figures as exceptional by claiming last-minute changes to some services caused by the industrial action and the drivers' overtime ban had displaced the on-board supervisor so that, on occasions, they had not been able to join the train.
However, the new figures provided by rail workers and passengers are from the period (20, 21, 22, 25 January and 1,3,4,5 and 6 February) when there wasn’t any industrial action and show that at least 26 trains did not have a scheduled On Board Supervisor, maintaining the average of 3 services a day without an OBS. Three services a day is the equivalent of a 1000 a year.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“These figures confirm that as a bare minimum the equivalent of a 1000 services will no longer have a second member of staff in addition to the driver. That’s a thousand journeys where a disabled passenger may not be able to get on or off the train or where passengers and the driver are at increased risk from anti-social behaviour or if something goes wrong, such as a derailment or fire.”
“These are only the instances that have been reported and I have to say that our members think these figures are the thin end of the wedge and instances of driver only trains are far, far more widespread and increasing.”
“Guaranteeing a second member of safety critical staff on every train is only way you can guarantee access for all and a safer journey for passengers.”