15 January 2020
RMT Press Office:
New report sees MPs and RMT warn of dangers of unstaffed stations as union holds major Staff Our Stations conference tomorrow
With the publication of the Government’s rail review imminent, research by the specialist transport Union RMT reveals that only 10% of rail stations are fully staffed, 45% are only staffed some of the time and a massive 45% of stations are totally unstaffed.
The report has been published in advance of the day when RMT station activists, politicians and representatives of passengers and disabled and older people gather to campaign to staff our stations.
The report says that every year millions of passenger pass through stations which are unstaffed for part or all of the day. Despite serving hundreds of thousands of passengers every year, stations across the network are totally unstaffed, as the following examples demonstrate:
Unstaffed stations – entries and exits 2018/19
Barry Island (Wales) – 867,598
Dumbarton East (Scotland) – 453,010
East Worthing (South East) – 424,176
Belper (East Midlands) – 210,692
Looe (South West) – 117,506
Bishop Auckland (North East) – 155,378
Great Chesterford (East) – 110,120
Blackpool South (North West) – 104,480
A parliamentary motion (below), tabled by MPs, has warned that government and train operating company policies to reduce and casualise station staffing and de-staff stations threatens passenger safety and service with the MPS highlighting the vital role station staff play in protecting safety, advising passengers, deterring crime and violence, preventing suicides and assisting older and disabled passengers.
RMT is calling on the Government to ensure that its response to the rail review commits to reversing these damaging cuts to station staffing. This is essential to tackle the epidemic of violence on the railways and make our railways safe, secure and accessible for all passengers.
It is clear that in the pursuit of profit, private train companies are closing ticket offices and slashing staffing, with no regard for the impact on passengers.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“It has never been more apparent that the privatised and fragmented railway has failed to deliver an affordable, accessible and reliable service for passengers.
“Violence on the railways is soaring, yet the private train companies continue to close ticket offices and cut staffing at stations. These damaging cuts only serve to benefit their shareholders’ profits, not passengers.
“RMT is calling on the Government to prove that it is serious about improving the rail passenger experience and ensure that its review commits to a fully staffed and accessible railway.”
Notes for editors
RMT Staff our Stations conference
Thursday 16th January 2020
13:00 – 14:15 – Open Session
Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6AQ
Early Day Motion #38 is available here - https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/53491/staff-our-stations-sos-campaign and reads:
“Staff our Stations (SOS) campaign
Tabled 08 January 2020
That this House pays tribute to station staff on both the Mainline Railway and London Underground and the vital role that they play in helping to deliver a safe, secure and accessible railway; notes that station staff assist with train dispatch and safety at the platform-train interface, preventing suicides, helping make stations feel secure for more vulnerable passengers, deterring crime and terrorism, assisting older and disabled passengers and providing expert travel and ticket advice; condemns the increasing trend by Government and the train operating companies to reduce and casualise station staff, leading to the de-staffing of stations and closure of ticket offices which threatens passenger service and safety, especially at a time of rising violence and crime on the railway; and supports the Staff Our Stations (SOS) campaign launched by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, which opposes station closures and cuts to station staff and ticket offices, and promotes the benefits to passengers of fully staffed stations.”
DPTAC, second submission to the Williams Review ‘Working towards a fully accessible railway’ states: ‘Station staffing ‐ only 11% of stations are staffed at all times, with a further 45% staffed only part‐time. At some single‐staffed stations staff are unable to provide assistance.’
ORR – Estimates of Station Usage - https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/estimates-of-station-usage/