Monday, July 14, 2008


Campaigners to target Waterloo tomorrow (Tuesday) BRITAIN’S TWO biggest rail unions have joined forces to urge South West Trains passengers to reject plans to cut ticket-office opening times at 114 stations. As SWT began a compulsory consultation over its plans, RMT and TSSA started distributing postcards to commuters with which they can object to Passenger Focus, the watchdog which has the power to challenge the plans. Campaigners from the two unions will tomorrow morning (Tuesday) distribute postcards to commuters coming in to London’s Waterloo station from 08:00 to 0930. RMT Assistant General secretary Pat Sikorski and TSSA Assistant General Secretary Manuel Cortes will be available for interview. Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead has already tabled a commons motion against the plans (text and signatories below), which will leave dozens of stations without ticket-office facilities all weekend, and dozens more with curtailed opening hours. The result will also mean more stations completely unstaffed – often late at night. “SWT’s plans amount to an attack on the service to passengers and up to 140 jobs, and they undermine safety for everyone,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today. “Passenger numbers on SWT are up by nearly six per cent and it is only a couple of weeks since SWT’s owners, Stagecoach, announced a massive jump in their rail profits to nearly £60 million on the back of year-on-year ahead of inflation fare increases. “Rail workers and passengers alike want to see more staff on stations, not fewer, and I hope that passengers will join us in telling SWT that these cuts are unacceptable,” Bob Crow said. TSSA assistant general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “These cuts will directly hit passengers, making stations unsafe and tickets more expensive. “Unmanned stations will be less safe for travellers, particularly at the weekends and in the evenings. Tickets will be more expensive because you cannot ask a machine for the cheapest available journey.” ends Early Day Motion 1969 South West Trains ticket offices Tabled by Alan Whitehead and signed by 16 others by July 14, 2008 That this House notes with extreme concern plans by South West Trains to close ticket offices and cut ticket office opening hours at 114 stations; believes that such cuts cannot be justified when these stations have seen a combined increase in passengers of nearly 27 per cent. in the last year; is further concerned that the cuts will dramatically increase the number of stations that will lose their ticket offices entirely during weekends and will leave stations unstaffed at weekends and in the evening making railway stations and passengers who use them feel less secure; believes that replacing staff with ticket machines will also reduce the quality and range of services available to passengers; and calls on South West Trains immediately to withdraw its plans. Say NO to SWT ticket office cuts, rail unions urge passengers Edit your mailing list subscription(s)

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