Southern Trains - Keep the Guard on the Train!
The Southern Rail/Govia Thameslink Railway Driver Only Operation (DOO) dispute from day one has been about the guarantee of the second safety critical person on the train for safety, security and accessibility reasons. It is not just about closing or opening doors.
70 per cent of the rail services operate safely and efficiently with a guard which proves that it is a safe-work method of operation. That means that the standard rail industry operation is with a guard.
This industrial dispute is not about the introduction of new modern trains. In 2016 Abellio Scotrail, FirstTransPennine Express, Virgin East Coast and First Great Western all confirmed that they are introducing brand new trains with the guarantee of a second safety critical person on every train.
For employers and the DfT the chief difference between the two modes is cost as it is cheaper to run trains without a guard and that is the main driver for this change by the Department for Transport.
5.It is also objectively the case that if there is no longer the guarantee of a guard on all services, disabled passengers will be disadvantaged, especially at unstaffed stations and on the train in the event of an emergency.This is particularly the case when many Govia Thameslink Railway stations are unstaffed. Disability groups have voiced their opposition to Driver Only Operation and it is not clear whether Govia Thameslink Railway and the Government have met their equality obligations.Read Full Article