Monday, December 29, 2008


Publication Date: December 29 2008 BRITAIN’S BIGGEST rail union has today urged the government to use its powers to ensure that South West Trains is not allowed to slash ticket-office opening times, in line with objections made by the rail passengers’ watchdog, Passenger Focus. With a government decision imminent on whether to allow cuts at 114 stations that would leave dozens without ticket offices at weekends and dozens more without evening and early morning cover, RMT has asked transport Minister Lord Adonis to act decisively in passengers' interests. "SWT trains passengers are already facing New Year increases in unregulated fares of more than seven per cent, but the government can act to stop ticket-office cuts which would impose a vastly poorer service as well," RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said. "The government has the power to stop these unwarranted cuts and I have asked the minister to act decisively in the interests of passengers. "Our campaign against these cuts was endorsed by large numbers of passengers who were as horrified about the prospect as our members are. "It is unacceptable that a hugely profitable company like SWT should attempt to lay off vital front-line railway staff, not least in the current economic climate. "We need to see more staff on stations, not fewer, but if SWT is allowed to get away with it other greedy train operators will see it as a green light to shut ticket offices across the rail network," Bob Crow said. ends The Passsenger Focus press release objecting to the cuts can be found at: The Full Passenger Focus objection can be found at:

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