An important travel petition needs all our support

An overcrowded train station demonstrating why this petition is needed
Support us and go ad-free

There’s an important petition doing the rounds on social media. It’s about our rail network and an issue that affects every person who uses it. So, here’s why you should get involved.

An important petition

As the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) tweeted, the petition calls for “fully staffed and accessible stations”:


Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The petition has clear aims:

  • “Stop the cuts to station staffing across the railways and on London Underground”.
  • “Stop ticket office closures and cuts to ticket office opening hours”.
  • “Ensure all stations are fully staffed and accessible for passengers”.
  • “An end to the violence against passengers and railway workers”.

You can sign the petition here.

Creaking under the strain

It also laid bare some shocking statistics. Not least, the RMT said that:

In 2018/19 there was a 16% rise in violent crime on our railways. Despite this, train companies are increasingly attempting to close station ticket offices, cut hours and staffing at stations and increase levels of lone working.

The Morning Star reported that the situation in London is dire:

Assaults on… employees shot up from 505 in 2016 to 628 in 2019 — an increase of approximately 25 per cent.

Knife-related violence against workers also jumped by 84 per cent, from 19 incidents in 2016 to 35 in 2019.

But the rot goes deeper than this. As Engineering and Technology reported, an RMT report found that:

  • Only 10% of UK stations are fully staffed.
  • 45% are staffed “some of the time”.
  • The other 45% are never staffed.

In the capital, Transport for London (TfL) is going to cut the opening hours of London Overground ticket offices. So, across the UK our rail network’s staffing levels are shrinking, while the need for them increases.

Disabled people: hit hardest?

A lack of staff often hits disabled people the hardest. As campaigner and disability rights activist Paula Peters tweeted:

Our rail network is all too often not good for disabled people. For example, only 21% of stations have accessible ticket offices:

Accessibility of the UK rail network

The privatisation game

The RMT petition affects us all. As its general secretary Mick Cash said:

It has never been more apparent that the privatised and fragmented railway has failed to deliver an affordable, accessible and reliable service for passengers.

Violence on the railways is soaring, yet the private train companies continue to close ticket offices and cut staffing at stations. These damaging cuts only serve to benefit their shareholders’ profits, not passengers.

RMT is calling on the Government to prove that it is serious about improving the rail passenger experience

So, by signing this petition we’re lending our support to the RMT. But also, we’re sending a message to the Tories that our rail network should not be compromised.

Featured image via the Association of British Commuters 

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

  • Sign the RMT petition.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. “If you see something suspicious report to a member of staff or a police officer”. This announcement is often to be heard at unstaffed stations and when passengers are aboard overground and underground trains with no guards. I heard the announcement on the London Underground only yesterday on the day of the Streatham street knifings incident.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.