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TSSA - Non Essential Public Transport Workers Must be Stood Down 

7 April 2020

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called for all non-essential public transport workers to be stood down after the Government revealed a huge drop in numbers using the railways. 

Figures from the latest Downing St briefing (6th April) show a widespread change in the use of public transport since the Coronavirus lockdown, with national rail usage dropping to below 20 per cent across Britain. 

Ahead of today’s meeting of the Commons Transport Select Committee, Cortes - the boss of the transport and travel union - said: “We can clearly see numbers using public transport, and our railways in particular, have fallen dramatically.  

“That is good news because only essential frontline workers should be travelling at this time in the fight again the virus, and it is our view they must be given free travel as has already been done by Transport for Wales and in the West Midlands. 

“Very sadly we have seen some deaths amongst public transport staff and I’m now urging the Government to make it clear that all non-essential public transport workers should be stood down. This must be a matter of priority. 

“We need a standard approach on this across our railways and the wider transport network. We know that some companies continue to have booking offices and gateline staff working at stations – this flies in the face of the Government’s own advice. 

“I’m happy to work with Ministers at this time of crisis because we must all realise that this is a battle for lives not company profits. I hope they have the good sense to act so that no-one is working on public transport without due cause.” 

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