10 October 2016
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), which is purported to be an “independent” watchdog, has a rail boss as a member and makes recommendations based on profitability rather than safety, it has been revealed.
An RSSB briefing leaked on social media was seen by the Morning Star, which reports that the CEO of Southern operated Govia Thameslink Charles Horton is named as a non-executive director of the board.
The memorandum recommends the removal of guards from trains based on the potential for increased profitability rather than concern for public safety. It states: “Adopting a strategy of guards redundancies delivers the greatest economic benefits.” Horton, it is noted, took part in the discussions that led to this view.
Guards play an important role in helping passengers when accidents occur and the leak has shocked RMT members preparing to strike at midnight tonight over the proposed staffing cuts.
General Secretary of the union Mick Cash told the Morning Star: “Nowhere in this memo does it mention safety. It is all about axing guards and making fat-cat returns for the private train operators.
“That is the issue at the heart of the Southern dispute and that is why we will be taking action again. This strike is about putting passenger safety before private profit.”
RMT has called for further negotiations with the company today in an effort to avert the need for a three-day strike this week.
Read the full story on the Morning Star website