Protest About Southern Rail Row

26 April 2019, 10:37 | Updated: 26 April 2019, 10:39

Southern Rail

A protest today will mark three years since the start of the bitter dispute about guards on trains.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is staging a demonstration in London against Southern Railway which provides services from Tonbridge and Ashford.

The union has reached agreements with a number of other train operators about the role of guards, but the row with Southern remains unresolved.

The union said rail workers from across the country will join the protest, outside the offices of Keolis, which owns part of Southern franchisee Govia.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Since the dispute began on Southern, RMT members have been involved in similar campaigns against other companies over attempts to remove the guard from the train.

"Only on Southern have we been faced with such a stubborn and point-blank refusal to enter serious discussions.

"The union thanks the travelling public for their support and understanding throughout our campaign to put safety and access to services for everyone using our railways right at the top of the agenda."

A Southern spokesman said: "Since we made the change opposed by the RMT over two years ago, performance and passenger service on Southern have improved, and more trains now run with a second crew member on board.

"Industry safety bodies have confirmed that having the doors closed by the driver is at least as as safe as by a conductor. We urge the RMT to end their unnecessary dispute."