12 November 2014
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT is to lobby rail minister Claire Perry over the threatened carve up of rail services across the North when she arrives in York next week, with Northern Rail boss Alex Hynes in tow, for a presentation at the National Rail Museum in the City.
The event at the National Rail Museum is scheduled to start at 6pm next Wednesday (19th November) with RMT promising a lively demonstration outside, assembling from 5.30pm, as part of the union’s on-going campaign against the threat to jobs, services and safety bound up in the Government and Rail North’s proposals for both the new Northern and TPE franchises.
Claire Perry, whose Government are planning to axe guards from services in order to maximise company profits, faces the prospect of an embarrassing conflict with Northern boss Alex Hynes who has publicly contradicted the plans to remove the guards and conductors;
"We've got no plans to do DOO [Driver Only Operation]", Northern Rail Managing Director Alex Hynes told the influential Rail Business Intelligence magazine , pointing out that the Class 319s transferring to the route from Thameslink in the south and which are set up for DOO "will be modified for conductors to open and close doors".
DOO at Northern was "currently being consulted on, but you would need to invest hugely in either station or train-based infrastructure to implement it", he pointed out. "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".
Rail Business Intelligence August 14, 2014.
Meanwhile, RMT has welcomed news that Sheffield has become the latest big city to publicly pass a motion opposing the Northern and TPE franchise plans, heaping further pressure on the Government and helping to fuel the on-going RMT campaign.
RMT has blasted the franchise moves as “a kick in the teeth for the travelling public and staff alike on Northern and Trans-Pennine Express franchises , reinforcing the importance of the community standing alongside rail workers in the fight to stop the destruction of rail services right across the North”.
RMT has also pointed out the rank hypocrisy of Government ministers talking up plans for an un-costed and vague proposal for a northern “HS3” service, light years off in the future, while at the same time their current franchise plans on existing routes would rip apart services, jobs and safety.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT will be at the National Rail Museum in York to confront the sheer hypocrisy of Government ministers like Claire Perry and their Rail North allies who are talking up grand and un-costed plans for HS3 while at the same time, in the here and now, they are driving through proposals that would decimate rail services and rail jobs across the whole of the North.
"The fight to stop the outrageous carve up of jobs and services under the Northern and TPE franchise plans is gathering pace by the day and is sending out the clearest possible message to the Government and Rail North that they need to scrap this attack on transport services. Claire Perry will have an ideal opportunity in York next week to hear about RMT’s concerns first hand and we don’t intend to miss our chance.
“Let’s not forget that the core of the Government’s future plans for Northern and TPE is to axe jobs, restrict services, throw the guards off the trains and jack up fares while capacity to meet surging rail demand in the area is left to stagnate. That attack on the fare-paying public has already begun with the abolition of a wide range of off-peak fares and only an all-out and coordinated fight can stop the savage assault on rail in the North.”