The RMT Union says it has been alerted to GTR Southern Railway 'deliberately preventing trains from stopping at specific stations to force though Driver Only Operation'.
The union says that the revelations expose the fact that the company is set on Driver Only Operation DOO, despite their public bluster, and that they are set to have 1600 trains a day running without a Guard by January 2017 regardless of the impact on access, and safety issues.
The Union says it was contacted by disappointed passengers to say those expecting to travel to Redhill, on Saturday (8 October) evening trains Victoria to Portsmouth and Southampton services, were told to leave the train as it would not be stopping at their destination. The reason given was that no platform staff were available to dispatch the train.
Passengers were left bemused and angry as there were Guards travelling on those trains who dispatch the trains at other stations on the same route.
The train dispatch at Redhill would have previously been performed by the Guard, but they had been recently stripped of these duties by GTR.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“GTR has yet again shown blatant disregard for the travelling public in its drive to get rid of the Guard and continues to create misery for anyone unfortunate enough to have to use its trains.
“What is even more shocking in this instance is that there physically were Guards working on those trains but they had been ordered by GTR bosses to not get involved in any train dispatch duties in the Redhill area.
“This whole incident exposes why Southern have refused every reasonable attempt by the union to resolve this dispute. They are not interested and despite all their bluster it shows that their core objective is wholesale Driver Only Operation with 1600 trains a day running without a Guard by the new year."
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