Greater Anglia services to go ahead on strike days after safety review
- Credit: Archant
Rail company Greater Anglia has been cleared to operate trains with stand-in guards during next week's 48-hour strike by RMT members.
That means a full service should be run on Wednesday and Thursday while conductor-guards who are members of the RMT hold their two-day strike over the issue of their role when the new trains arrive in the region in 2019.
During the two one-day strikes at the beginning of October the RMT said there were a number of safety incidents, including one where a stand-in guard opened the doors on the wrong side in Ipswich station leading to two members of the public jumping down on to a path next to a platform.
This led the Office of Road and Rail, the government's transport safety watchdog, to tell the company it needed to see and approve its proposals to use non-guards who had been trained to operate services on strike days.
The ORR has now approved those plans – which means Greater Anglia is confident of running a full service during the next two-day strike.
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Richard Dean, Greater Anglia Train Service Delivery Director said: 'We are pleased that the Office of Rail and Road has completed its review and agreed our arrangements for training and deploying back office staff as conductors to cover for RMT industrial action are safe.
'We have proved to the ORR that our stand-in conductors have received the same standard of safety training as our usual conductors and that our plans are robust.
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'We can now go ahead with providing a full safe service to our customers should RMT strikes go ahead on 8-9 November.'
'We highly value our conductors and are guaranteeing the future of conductors until the end of the franchise in October 2025, and plan to recruit more. All conductors will continue to be safety trained.'
Sixty per cent of Greater Anglia trains do not have conductors. These are mainly commuter trains into London Liverpool Street from Essex, Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Ipswich.