I support the many passengers and trade union members who are concerned about the current proposals included in the re-tendering of Northern and Transpennine services for driver-only trains with no conductors.
I hope you will agree that this is an appalling idea which threatens passenger safety and will offer a far diminished level of service. As I write a conductor is helping a passenger with their journey and the complexities of the current ticket system. Conductors also help the elderly, people travelling with children and generally ensure a better level if service. The safety implications if a passenger is ill or there is an incident on the train are unthinkable.
There is also a question from a revenue point of view that is particularly pertinent to York ie. that driver only staffing must rely on barriers at all stations (although having direct experience of how the barriers fail to work at Leeds, Bradford and elsewhere, I find it hard to see how this could be effective.) However there is clearly widespread agreement that we don’t want barriers in York.
This proposal seems to symptomatic of the worst excesses of a privatised railway system being run for short term profit rather than a long term strategy to provide excellent public transport for everyone.
Chair, York Green Party