Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Publication Date: January 13 2009 ‘Huge step forward’ says union – but need is still for more staff, not fewer BRITAIN’S BIGGEST rail union today welcomed the government’s decision to block the vast majority of proposed cuts in ticket office opening times at South West Trains. RMT, which has campaigned hard against proposed cuts at 114 stations around the SWT franchise, said that the government had responded to the clear wishes of rail passengers that the planned cuts were unacceptable. “We have yet to see the final detail of what the government has decided, but most of the proposed cuts have been rejected and that is a victory for all those who have campaigned against them,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today. “Our thanks go out to everyone who joined in the campaign, everyone who took the time to object and the dozens of MPs who signed the early-day motion, and all should take heart that campaigning can make a difference. “During the Christmas break we urged the government to act in the interests of passengers, and, for the most part, that is what it has done. “SWT, like all the train-operating companies, has been making huge profits, and this decision should send a message to all of them that cutting vital front-line staff just to protect their shareholders’ dividends is not on – not least in the current economic climate. “The honourable thing for South West Trains now would be to drop all the proposed cuts – and the same applies to First Capital Connect, which is proposing a similar cull of ticket office opening times. “It remains the case that passengers need to see more staff on stations, not fewer, and we will continue to campaign for all stations to be adequately staffed every moment they are open to the public,” Bob Crow said. ends The DfT press release can be read at: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=389455&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False The Passsenger Focus press release objecting to the cuts can be found at: http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/news-and-publications/press-release.asp?dsid=1841 The Full Passenger Focus objection can be found at: http://www.passengerfocus.org.uk/news-and-publications/document-search/document.asp?dsid=1839

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