In the government’s plan for rail, up to a third of the rail industry’s savings are expected to come through reduced labour costs.
This could lead to thousands of cuts to staff on trains, including guards and catering staff, in stations, in ticket offices and in safety-critical operations like signalling and maintenance, as the following figures from the McNulty Review suggest:
|Job type||Numbers at risk|
|Ticket office staff||2,000|
|Non-driver on-train staff||6,800|
|NR maintenance, signalling and operations||6,300|
There is no evidence that rail industry wages are excessive, unless you look at the boardrooms of the train operating companies where executive pay is among the highest in the UK.
Passengers consistently say that they want more not less staff at their stations and on their trains. Passengers want help and advice from knowledgeable, trained staff. They want help with ticket purchases, timetable information, help with access and getting on and off trains and the feeling of safety and security that station staff provide.