December 02, 2009 10:09 ET

RMT Officially Launches Campaign Against Driver Only Operation on Scotrail

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - RAIL UNION RMT will be formally launching the "Keep The Guard On My Train" campaign, in response to First Scotrail's plans for Driver Only Operation on the new Glasgow/Edinburgh via Airdrie to Bathgate route, at Edinburgh's Waverley Station tomorrow - December 3rd:

Official launch of RMT's Scotrail "Keep The Guard On My Train" campaign
Thursday 3rd December 2009 - 3.30pm
Edinburgh Waverley Station - Main Entrance - top of Waverley Bridge ramp
With Elaine Smith MSP and Phil McGarry RMT Scottish Regional Organiser

The campaign, aimed at mobilising public opposition to the extension of driver only train operation in Scotland, will focus on the increased safety risks of removing guards which were highlighted in the Cullen Inquiry following the Ladbroke Grove rail crash. Guards are fully trained in operational safety and emergency procedures including dealing with derailments.

Elaine Smith MSP has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament backing the RMT's arguments and seconded by former First Minister Jack McConnell and Transport Minister Sarah Boyack.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

"The launch of our "Keep The Guard On My Train" campaign in Scotland will give the public a real chance to find out what Driver Only Operation on the new Scotrail service, and across the rest of the network, really means for passenger safety and security.

"We cannot have a situation where travelers are left vulnerable because corners are being cut on staffing levels in order to maximise profits. RMT will be mobilising public and political support with the objective of making sure that passengers have the reassurance of having a trained guard close at hand when they are using Scotrail's new service."


Scottish Parliament motion tabled by Elaine Smith MSP

"That the Parliament welcomes the new rail service between Glasgow and Edinburgh via the Airdrie to Bathgate route and the continued electrification of the railway in Scotland; is alarmed, however, that proposals to remove the guards from this service and introduce driver only operation (DOO) are coupled with the reopening of this route; is deeply concerned that this will increase safety risks because passengers will not benefit from the protection of having a guard responsible for the safe running of the train, including controlling the doors and emergencies such as driver incapacity, failure of train safety systems and derailments; further shares the view of the STUC Women's Conference that the proposed introduction of DOO on the service demonstrates that the safety concerns of women passengers have not been adequately addressed; is further concerned that this decision breaches previous assurances to the trade unions that there would be no extension of DOO in Scotland and believes that this could be the thin end of the wedge leading to the removal of guards on other routes; considers that retaining the guards would cost less than the salary of First ScotRail's highest-paid director and less than 5% of the company's most recent post-tax profits, and therefore urges the Scottish Government and First ScotRail to put safety and passengers before profit and keep guards on these services."

Supported by: Rt Hon Jack McConnell, Sarah Boyack, Cathy Jamieson, David Whitton, Helen Eadie.

Contact Information

  • Geoff Martin
    0207 255 9146 or 07831 465 103
    Phil McGarry
    07931 183 836