RMT calls on Mark Harper to unshackle rail operators and end ticket office closures

RMT calls on Mark Harper to unshackle rail operators and end ticket office closures

2 October 2023

RMT Press Office:

The Rail, Maritime and Transport trade union has called upon Mark Harper to allow rail operators to make an offer that can end the national rail dispute.

Ahead of his speech to the Tory Party Conference, the RMT issued a fresh call for the Transport Secretary to step up to the plate, when it is the government who contractually controls the companies and sets the parameters of any deal.

RMT recently unearthed documents, from a Freedom of Information request, showing the government stitched up the ticket office closure consultation process and ministers were involved in drawing up the proposals.

Emails reveal that London Travelwatch, one of the bodies scrutinising the proposals, branded the current proposals for ticket office closures as “unacceptable."

Among other issues where difficulties and concerns for disabled passengers if ticket offices were shutdown across the network. 

“There are no steps to prevent the ‘toxic combination’ of no staff at the station or on the train,” the watchdog said.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The Transport Secretary needs to stop hiding behind inadequate offers that have been rejected by our union and unshackle the rail operators to put forward fresh proposals.

"We have done deals in every other part of the railway and with rail companies who are not controlled by DfT mandates.

"So, a negotiated settlement can be reached but only if Mr Harper allows the rail operators to act accordingly.

"Our findings from our FOI requests on ticket office closures shows the whole process to be a stitch up between the train operators under the auspices of the Rail Delivery Group and ministers.

“The DfT claims that this process has been ‘industry led’ and a meaningful consultation have been proven to be farcical.

"It is clear from the level anger and the unprecedented engagement on the consultation despite all its flaws, that the whole plan to close ticket offices should now be halted immediately."



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Tagged with: RMT, Mick Lynch, National Rail Dispute