Rail union calls for security summit saying driver-only trains increase terror risk

Posted On 03 Jun 2017 at 5:14 pm

Britain’s biggest rail union, the RMT, has called for a security summit and said that driver-only trains increase the terror risk to passengers.

The union also said that staff cuts added to the risk to passengers and called for an urgent security summit on the back of fresh instructions from train bosses.

The RMT said that train guards were being issued with instructions from rail bosses advising: “If you are a conductor (guard), you should continue to make security announcements at appropriate points throughout your journey, advising customers to keep bags and belongings with them and report any suspicious activity to a member of staff or British Transport Police.”

The union said: “Despite this instruction to guards to take steps to reduce the risk of a terrorists attack, rail bosses are seeking to remove guards from Southern, Northern and Merseyrail services.

“The union is calling for a summit involving politicians, the rail industry, transport police and unions to ensure that security concerns are put at the forefront of decisions on frontline railway staffing.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Rail staff are required follow strict procedures to help reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.

“But if you remove the guarantee of the guard on trains or cut the number of station staff you will reduce the frequency of the security checks and security announcements that could be vital in preventing a terrorist attack.”

“We would hope that there would now be an industry and political consensus to say that we should not be taking guards off trains and staff off our stations.

“We are calling for a summit of politicians, the industry, transport police and unions to ensure that security concerns are put at the forefront of decisions on frontline staffing.”

The RMT suspended strikes on Southern, Northern and Merseyrail after the Manchester bombing. The industrial action was planned as part of the long-running dispute over the introduction of new driver-only trains.

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