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Tory and SNP governments choose not to make rail safe

4 September 2017

Responding to a You/Gov BBC poll which reveals 81% of respondents believe the threat of terrorism in Britain has increased over the past five years, 90% believe further attacks are likely and, 20% feel more concerned about travelling on public transport,

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

"This poll is another nail in the Tory government's coffin. Of course they are not responsible for barbaric terror attacks, terrorists are. However, the government are responsible for how citizens are safeguarded. Despite both an increasing terror threat, and passenger numbers the Tories have spent the last seven years cutting and culling the public services which protect us. We  are down 20,000 police officers since 2010 but do not forget public transport workers are the frontline guardians of the travelling public. And the attack on their numbers is relentless. 

"The Tory's commitment to privatisation and automation has seen customer service assistants, ticket office staff CCTV monitors and a raft of other safety critical rail staff booted out of their jobs. Yet as the evacuation of Euston after the exploding cigarette showed, machines cannot react to emergency situations in the same way as humans can. It was railway staff that kept the public calm, drivers, guards and customer assistants that ordered passengers back onto trains to ensure they could be moved out of harms way. Our TSSA review into last weeks evacuation remains ongoing. 

'In Scotland TSSA is balloting members because ScotRail is proposing to axe 22 CCTV monitors jobs leaving East and West Coast train over-exposed. We are also campaigning against the break up of the British Transport Police (BTP)  north of the border which will bring to an end integrated rail policing. That the Scottish Government should choose to reduce safety now due to its nationalist ideology is a case of the SNP cart before the national security horse. It's going through with out a whimper of protest from Theresa May or Chris Grayling. And the rumour is they intend to follow suit and break up BTP south of the border too. 

"This You Gov/BBC poll shows the  perception of terror has increased.  Yet the Tory government's austerity transport policy has maximising rather than minimising the potential risks and therefore the many threats of harm to passengers. Sadly, you can't get rid of the terrorist threat;  but you can better protect our railways. The Tories just choose not to and I'm afraid in Scotland, the SNP are mimicking them. Thankfully Labour is pledged to reversing the Tory cuts in police numbers, taking rail back into public ownership and putting safety before profit for rail passengers."

The poll has been conducted for a BBC One HD and BBC One Lo ndon programs, Terror by Text, which reveals IS trying to recruit under cover reporters by social media to plan terror atacks on London. It will be broadcast at 19.30 BST today (Monday) 

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