31 December 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT identifies 141 station “crime hot spot and no-go areas” if South Western Railway proceed with plan to remove guards
TO COINCIDE with today’s strike action on South Western Railway in defence of rail safety, rail union RMT has revealed the 141 unstaffed stations which it fears will become crime hot spots and no-go areas for vulnerable and disabled passengers if the company proceed with plans to remove guards. The shocking statistic means that two thirds of South Western Railway 210 stations will be left unstaffed, unguarded and vulnerable at a time of heightened security and crime alert.
A list of the unstaffed stations is attached below. Although these stations are currently unstaffed, protection and assistance for passengers and the train driver at stations is provided by the guard who is on all trains. South Western Railway wants services to be run without guards on tens of thousands of its trains. RMT is warning that removing the guard from trains which will then also travel through 141 unstaffed stations will result in a toxic mix of dangers where passengers and the train driver are more exposed to crime and anti - social behavior, while disabled and older passengers will not be able to get on and off the train when they wish to. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “No staff on trains, combined with no staff on the stations, will be a toxic mix for passengers at the locations we have identified which will increasingly become crime hot spots and no-go areas for vulnerable passengers while drivers will also be alone and exposed.
“There will be also be disadvantages for disabled and older passengers who require assistance because there will be no one there to help them on and off the train or provide assistance during their journey. “These are yet another set of reasons why we will keep up the fight for a safe, secure and accessible railway with properly staffed stations and a guard on every train. These are the basic safety principle our members are striking for today on South Western Railway.”
Note to Editors
The list of unstaffed stations is attached by county. The source is the South Western Railway Disabled Persons Protection policy which can be found at https://www.southwesternrailway.com/travelling-with-us/assisted-travel