28 February 2017
RMT Press Office:
As RMT prepares to announce Northern Rail strike ballot result union reveals that company boss opposed plans to introduce driver only trains.
As RMT prepares to announce the Northern Rail ballot result for strike action later today, the union can reveal outgoing Northern Rail boss Alex Hynes previously went on record to oppose driver only operation and said that it was “far more efficient” to keep the guard.
It can be revealed that in 2014 when Managing Director of Abellio Northern Rail Alex Hynes told the respected industry magazine, Rail Business Intelligence that,
.. we've got no plans to do DOO [Driver Only Operation]", “trains will be modified for conductors [Guards] to open and close doors". "We have 464 stations, most of which are not staffed and don't have any retail equipment whatsoever, and actually it's far more efficient to have someone on the train with a ticket machine than it is to have someone on the station with a ticket machine".
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“It seems even some Northern Rail bosses doubt the wisdom of introducing Driver Only Operation.”
“This revelation means we either can’t ever believe a word Northern Rail say or it confirms the suspicion that Ministers in London are calling the shots and imposing rail cuts and a damaging rail dispute on the people of the North.”
“It’s time for Northern Rail to end the threat of strike action by simply saying that passengers will keep the guarantee they currently have of a guard on every train.”
“And it’s time for the Rail North Councils and Councillors, who are responsible for Northern Rail, to stand up for the North, stand up to London and scrap the plans for driver only operation on their trains.”