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Office of Rail and Road's new safety principles do not reduce risk for rail passengers

5 April 2017

Responding to the Office of Rail and Road(ORR)'s publication of safety principles it expects train companies to follow when rolling out and managing Driver Controlled Operation (DCO).TSSA Organising Director, Steve Coe, who leads on rail health and safety said:

"The issues around DCO are not just about who opens and closes the doors, they are about passenger safety and security. At a time when passenger numbers are at record levels and overcrowded carriages common, making train drivers solely responsible for passenger safety and security will only increase risk. Drivers simply can't assist passengers getting on and off trains, deal with assaults or spot potential suspect devices while the train is moving - never mind deliver passengers a quality customer service!

"As passenger numbers continue to increase, it is more important than ever that trains are staffed by people trained in crisis management that can safely evacuate a train - particularly if the driver at the front is incapacitated. If the driver is not available, who else will provide emergency first response, summon assistance, or deter assaults? The ORR's six principles fail to address these issues. It is simply ridiculous to reduce passenger safety to the issue of train door opening and closing."

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