13 October 2016
RMT Press Office:
GTR deliberately preventing trains stopping at specific stations to force though Driver Only Operation
RAIL UNION RMT has been alerted to the fact that GTR Southern is deliberately preventing trains from stopping at specific stations to force though Driver Only Operation.
The union says that the revelations expose the fact that the company is hell-bent on DOO, despite their public bluster, and that they are determined to have 1600 trains a day running without a Guard by January regardless of the impact on access and safety.
The union was contacted by disappointed passengers to say that those expecting to travel to Redhill, on last Saturday night’s (8 October) Victoria to Portsmouth and Southampton services, were told to leave the train as it would not be stopping at their destination. The reason given was that no platform staff were available to dispatch the train.
Passengers were left bemused and angry as there were Guards travelling on those trains who dispatch the trains at other stations on the same route.
The train dispatch at Redhill would have previously been performed by the Guard but they had been recently stripped of these duties by GTR.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“GTR has yet again shown blatant disregard for the travelling public in its drive to get rid of the Guard and continues to create misery for anyone unfortunate enough to have to use its trains.
“What is even more shocking in this instance is that there physically were Guards working on those trains but they had been ordered by GTR bosses to not get involved in any train dispatch duties in the Redhill area.
“This whole incident exposes why Southern have refused every reasonable attempt by the union to resolve this dispute. They are not interested and despite all their bluster it shows that their core objective is wholesale Driver Only Operation with 1600 trains a day running without a Guard by the new year."