Is Southern Looking After Your Safety?

PRESS RELEASE – 12 October 2016



As expected, strikes have started again this week with more scheduled over following weeks.

But what is the difference between Southern Railways and the RMT ? In a press statement issued by Southern on Wednesday, it seems clear the difference has been refined down to Southern wanting a train to run if an On Board Supervisor (“OBS”) has been scheduled to join a train but is not available (for whatever reason – say a late incoming train with the scheduled OBS on-board). Southern say that the RMT, in those circumstances, wants the train delayed or cancelled.

In summary, Southern says its objective is that “customers will come first” and the train will run: the RMT (probably with the same objective) says it should not run.

Now here’s a question for the moral maze or maybe the Health and Safety Executive – is it true to say a customer’s interests are being put first if a train service is allowed to run without an OBS on-board. Passengers, on a one-off basis, keen to get on with their journey may well want to take the risk (Southern say there is no risk) and let the train run without an OBS. But should a regulatory authority, evaluating the general case, permit this approach to safety ? The RMT suggests not.

What are the views of passengers (if you find a train to travel on) ?


Stuart Harland


MarshLink Action Group

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