Latest Rail News

10.08.12

Rail job cuts could jeopardise female safety

The Women’s Institute has warned the Government that rail cuts could threaten women’s safety on the railway.

Ruth Bond, chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, has written a joint letter with TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady to the transport secretary Justine Greening highlighting the issue. 

The authors of the letter believe job losses at stations and on trains could make travelling by rail a “dangerous and daunting” option for women. 

Job cuts on the railway could be imminent following the McNulty Value for Money review, which called for a 30% reduction in the cost of running the industry. 

The letter, seen by The Times, reads: “Incidences of violence against women and girls and sexual harassment on public transport are unfortunately commonplace. 

“Surveys clearly indicate that passengers want staff at stations and on trains. This is particularly the case for women who, with good reason, view deserted stations and unstaffed trains as threats.” 

Bond told The Times: “With over 210,000 members and as long-standing members of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, women’s safety is hugely important to us and we are deeply concerned about the proposals to reduce the number of railway staff. 

“We are urging the Government and train companies to ensure cost cutting doesn’t compromise safety.” 

A Department for Transport spokesperson responded: “The McNulty agenda is about maintaining services while reducing the cost of running the railways so that we can end the era of inflation-busting fare rises.” 

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Comments

Former Controller   11/08/2012 at 11:53

Not just women at risk - older, disabled, young people too, anyone seen as vulnerable. CCTV and mechanisation aren't the answer as 'reaction time' extends and becomes critical. Longer reaction times impact on the railway, not just at the incident location. A staffed railway may be expensive in some eyes but a safe railway is cheaper in the long term. As a former Control Room worker, I know which I'd prefer to see.

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