15 November 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT slams latest rail industry whitewash report into train access
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said
“The Government-cheerleaders from the self-styled Rail Delivery Group’s own report into disabled access was supressed because rail bosses did not like its conclusions that there should be a guard on every train
“Now we have this shocking, highly political whitewash from the Office of Road and Rail which completely ducks the issue of driver only trains, the issue at the heart of five current disputes across our railways. The fact is that disabled and older passengers who require assistance to get on or off a train or during their journey will be placed at a disadvantage if they no longer have the guarantee of the guard. This report chooses to ignore that.
“This dereliction of duty by the ORR also breaks a promise they made to parliament almost a year ago that they would examine the impact of Driver Only Trains on disabled passengers. Not only have they not done this assessment the public consultation on assisted travel announced today does not even ask whether disabled passengers want to keep staff on trains.
“RMT will be seeking an urgent meeting with ORR to force them to face up to the realities that they are deliberately choosing to ignore. The conclusions of this whitewash report fly in the face of everything we are hearing from disability and pensioner organisations and those voices must be heard.”
Note to editors;
Transport Select Committee Recommendation
“We are concerned that no official impact assessment has been made of the potential effects of DOO on disabled people’s access to the railway. We recommend the DfT and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) jointly commission research into the potential effects of DOO on the “turn up and go” accessibility of the railway to disabled people who require assistance getting on and off trains. The Department should draw on this research to issue guidance to train operating companies on the measures that should be taken to mitigate potential detrimental effects on disabled people’s access. It should ensure that actions are taken to guarantee that disabled rail passengers receive the support to which they are entitled. The research should be conducted, and guidance published, before summer 2017.”
ORR Response 16 January 2017
ORR has responsibility for approving and monitoring train operators’ compliance with the Disabled People’s Protection Policies (DPPPs)5. These set out the help and assistance that an operator will provide to those passengers that require additional assistance to access the railway. To support and inform our work in this area we have developed a package of research, taking place from September 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. This research will include looking at the level of awareness of the current Passenger Assist and ‘turn-upand-go’ services and the experiences of passengers who use them.
Driver Only Operations (DOO) has been an established form of train operation for over 30 years. While we have not designed our research to specifically test the effects of DOO on the ‘turn up and go’ accessibility of the railway to disabled passengers, we will nonetheless adapt this research to understand better the way it affects disabled passengers.