RAIL UNION RMT today demanded an urgent meeting with Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond as a detailed study of the fine print of the McNulty Rail Review revealed that it will pave the way for:
· the closure of all Category E station ticket offices;
· reducing the opening hours at Category D station ticket offices;
· increasing the use of Ticket Vending Machines at Category A to C stations, enabling a reduction in the number of ticket office windows
RMT have calculated that the proposals will have the effect of halving the number of ticket offices on the Network and meaning that three quarters of stations will not have ticket offices. Those remaining will have substantially reduced hours.
With the McNulty Review also recommending that Driver Only Operation should be the default position on all services, that gives the train operators the green light to dump all guards from their services by the beginning of 2013 on top of the Ticket Office cuts and closures – axing safety-critical staff from stations and trains in one blow.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“On the day that Network Rail have issued their annual results this detailed scrutiny shows us just what the real consequences of McNulty will be – wholesale de-staffing of trains and stations to fatten up profits at the expense of passenger service and passenger safety.
We warned that the McNulty carve up would turn the rail system into a muggers and a criminals paradise, where profits are the only show in town, and this latest research shows the full extent of the dangerous track we are being dragged down.
For passengers it means paying higher fares to travel on unsafe, de-staffed services while the train operators are laughing all the way to the bank.”