Rail union leaders are calling for on-train revenue protection and ticket inspections to be scrapped because of COVID-19 safety concerns.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said several rail operators still require staff to check tickets on trains, despite the risk of working in confined space and not being able to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
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RMT said some companies, including those managed by the Welsh and Scottish governments, have suspended on-train revenue protection and ticket inspections during the current lockdown.
But others, the union said, which are managed by the Department for Transport (DfT), are putting staff at risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 by requiring them to undertake on-train checks, even though social distancing cannot be maintained.
Officials said all such on-train duties were suspended as a safety measure during the first national lockdown last year.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “While the majority of train operating companies have suspended these tasks, a significant minority are putting workers at increased and unnecessary risk by requiring staff to undertake on-train revenue inspection and ticket inspections in confined spaces.
“I am seeking confirmation from the DfT by no later than February 22 that it will immediately ensure that these duties are suspended for the duration of the current lockdown across all train operating companies.
“If the DfT fails to do this, RMT will have no option but to consider what further action it can take to ensure its members’ safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Should rail operators scrap on-train revenue protection and ticket inspections?
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