As yourselves these questions

Regarding this week’s train strikes about Driver Only Operation and the role of the guard/conductors.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you and/or your family:

• Want to travel on a train where the driver is concentrating on the route ahead, signals and electronic warnings rather than worry about what is happening in the carriages behind them?

• Want to travel on a train where there is a Safety Critical member of staff aboard (current guard/conductor), who is trained in understanding the hazards associated with the railway, trained in protecting the train in an emergency and trained to deal with accidents, fires and train evacuations if required?

• With an increase in passenger assaults and public order offences reported in the last year, do you want to know that there is a presence aboard the train in helping to moderate behaviour on the train and can contact assistance if required?

• Want to see the risk assessment that proves that Driver Only Operation is safer, considering that there have been 10 serious incidents since 2011 of which 8 were DOO? One at present 20/07/15 being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation Board (RAIB). Also how many near misses have not been reported?

• Want to have someone on the train who can give the correct information on the best value ticket to buy and travel information rather than have to buy a ticket from a machine?

• Want to see that there will be someone there to assist disabled passengers and OAPs with the platform train interface.

If your answer to these is yes then please do as I am doing which is contacting both our local MPs, to instead of criticising the rail unions, get them to earn their money by putting their constituents first and push the Department for Transport to get train operating companies to ensure that the vital safety critical role of a guard/conductor is available on all trains.

Two other things:

If Driver Only Operation is so safe, why did train drivers ballot for strike action over safety concerns?

If Southern cares so much about passenger satisfaction, why are they looking to shut ticket offices across the network?

Steve Mann

Ashburnham Road


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