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2nd Person to be Kept On-Board Northern Trains

Strike action will be brought to an end after a commitment was made by the DfT and Transport for the North to keep a second person on-board Northern Trains.

The aim is for Northern and RMT Union to get together in order to continue negotiating in order to restore confidence in the passengers’ that use the railway in the north.

Mick Cash, the RMT’s general secretary has said that the union is waiting for new proposals from the operator that relate to the same level of safety, security and access for the travelling public that they currently benefit from by having a guarantee of a guard on every train.

This commitment has been welcomed by Northern and they have made it clear that there is no now longer any need for RMT to continue to disrupt through strikes, particularly with the busy Christmas period in sight.

Transport for the North has said that it is open to considering all options in order to seek an agreement after the 37thday of strike action by RMT members took place last Saturday relating to a dispute over driver-only operated trains being introduced. Therefore, Transport for the North has said that it has only “acted in the interest of the North’s passengers” by showing its support for opposing the introduction of driver-only operated trains on Northern’s services and so, following the commitment from the government, this plans will not be put in place.

At this point, Northern has confirmed that any concerns relating to safety, security and accessibility have now been laid to rest as there will be a second person on-board who is available to deal with any needs that customers might have.

The disagreement has been a serious one as the union has clashed with safety organisation RSSB as to whether having a second guard is necessary for passenger safety. However, despite agreeing, Transport for the North has said that many people are now making alternative travel plans, leaving businesses in the North uncertain about how this will affect them at their busiest time of the year.

It is now clear to see that confidence has to be restored in the North’s railways and there has to be a plan that allows them to move further and so, both parties are being urged to have discussions as soon as possible.

Deborah Lillis

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