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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Disabled woman left stranded on cold, dark platform

Jan 12, 2017News
Is this what the future will look like for NSW Trains if the Government’s driver only operation plans go ahead?
This week a disabled woman was left stranded for two hours on a freezing cold and dark platform in the UK after driver only operation meant there was no one to help her onto the train.
According to RMT union, the woman had booked assistance 48 hours in advance but was abandoned on the station on Friday night when there was no-one to assist her and the driver, operating the train alone, was unable to help.

Mick Cash RMT General Secretary said “Sadly this woman’s dreadful experience is just one of many examples that are now being drawn to the RMT’s attention of disabled passengers being unable to use trains because there is no second person on board. 

“It is everything we predicted would happen when the company refused to guarantee a second safety critical member of staff on board and it is disgraceful that the truth about what Southern are doing is exposed in such an inhumane fashion. It also exposes the fallacy of Southern’s empty promise that trains would run with two members of staff except in exceptional circumstances, as this instance is far from exceptional.

“The RMT understands that on Saturday (January 7th) a disabled woman at Pevensey station was nearly left behind because there was no OBS on her train, and it was only because the driver went well above and beyond the call of duty that the lady was ultimately able to board the train. This action resulted in a 17 minute delay to the service. Pevensey station is situated in the constituency of Tory MP Huw Merriman, who has repeated Southern’s untrue claim that there will be a second member of staff on these trains

“Many passengers, including disabled people are now in fear over their safety and the need for assistance on trains because of the disgraceful attitude of this company and this government.”

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