Lis­ten to the guards

Rail (UK) - - Let­ters -

It seems that the RSSB has now con­ducted re­search into the po­ten­tial dan­gers to pas­sen­gers of trap-and-drag in­ci­dents, and be­lieves that the train op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies will want to do every­thing to min­imise this risk when a ser­vice is in the process of leav­ing the sta­tion by hav­ing suf­fi­cient staff avail­able.

Per­haps the fact that there were more than 1,500 plat­form-train in­ter­face ‘in­ci­dents’ last year has fo­cused their at­ten­tion. And this de­spite the best ef­forts of the RMT and the guards they rep­re­sent, warn­ing ev­ery­one of this dan­ger­ous part of any jour­ney for the past year or more...

As a re­tired North­ern guard, I ex­pe­ri­enced daily the ‘mis­takes’ by pas­sen­gers - and even our man­agers - as they at­tempted to leave or board a train as the doors were clos­ing, and reg­u­larly had to re-re­lease the doors due to items of lug­gage, cloth­ing or limbs be­ing caught ac­ci­den­tally (and some­times not ac­ci­den­tally) in the train doors. Usu­ally, when it was cloth­ing, the pas­sen­ger was ini­tially un­aware of the trapped item.

Fi­nally, it is about time that the me­dia was al­lowed to in­ter­view guards openly, to en­able a bal­anced view of the risks - without fear of be­ing dis­missed - to be placed in front of the trav­el­ling pub­lic. John Smith-War­ren, Crofton, York­shire

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