Latest Rail News

29.11.18

After almost a year of strikes, DfT commits to keeping second person on-board Northern trains

The DfT and Transport for the North (TfN) have committed to keep a second person on-board Northern trains in a momentous decision that could bring an end to strike action and settle the long-running dispute between the TOC and the RMT union.

TfN yesterday declared it did not support removing the second person from trains and urged Northern and the RMT to get back around the negotiating table, arguing that passengers’ confidence in the north’s railway must be restored.

In response, the RMT’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said his union awaited any new proposals from the operator “which maintain for the travelling public the same level of safety, security and access that they enjoy at the moment based on the guarantee of the guard on every train.”

Today, the government and TfN, which jointly manage the franchise through the Rail North Partnership, committed to retaining a second person across services.

Northern welcomed the commitment, saying there was “no reason for the RMT to continue its disruptive and economically damaging strikes in the build up to Christmas.”

Managing director at Northern, David Brown, added: “I look forward to RMT suspending their December strikes, and accepting my long-standing invitation to get back round the table at ACAS to resolve their dispute.”

TfN said yesterday it was willing to consider all options that could lead to an agreement after last Saturday marked the 37th day of strike action by RMT members in the bitter dispute over the introduction of driver-only operated trains (DOO).

The subnational transport body said it had “acted in the interest of the north’s passengers” in confirming its support for opposition to DOO trains on Northern’s services, and now, following the government’s commitment, the plans will not go ahead.

TfN’s support for RMT’s opposition to DOO trains on Norther rail services follows support from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for the campaign.

Northern confirmed that any remaining concerns about safety, security and accessibility have now been answered, adding: “There will be a second person on-board to meet customers’ needs in those areas, and in the other vital customer service they do.”

The row has been a turbulent one, with union heads clashing with safety organisation RSSB as to whether a second guard is truly critical to passenger safety.

TfN’s chief executive Barry White said: “Businesses across the north’s villages, towns and cities are reaching their busiest time of year. But this is being hampered by uncertainty and disruption on the rail network. People are choosing to make other plans as a result.

“It’s apparent that we need to restore confidence in the North’s railways. There needs to be a way forward. We urge both parties to begin meaningful discussions as soon as possible.”

Image credit -  Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17/04/2019Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help b... more >
Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

17/04/2019Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

Helium-filled balloons are causing hundreds of train delays at a cost of £1m in taxpayer money every year, Network Rail has revealed. ... more >
Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17/04/2019Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Coun... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08/04/2019West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Changing the London skyline with HS2

26/03/2019Changing the London skyline with HS2

Lisa Hogben, HS2 programme delivery manager for area south enabling works, explains how the arrival of HS2’s first tower cranes shows chang... more >
Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

26/03/2019Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

In 2018 Steve Featherstone, programme director of track at Network Rail, set his team a challenge to secure 100 high-speed track handovers in a y... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >