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Guards to be reintroduced on commuter trains if Labour wins

The proposal to end 'Driver Only Operation' is one of the measures in Labour's plan Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

Guards are to be reintroduced on commuter trains if Labour wins the election, according to the party's leaked manifesto.

The proposal to end 'Driver Only Operation' is one of the key measures outlined in Labour's plan to renationalise the railways.

The party also pledged to freeze fares and hand control of suburban rail services to London's mayor.

The Mayor currently runs services on some lines under the London Overground and TfL Rail brands but none of the trains have guards.

The bitter, long-running dispute between Southern Trains and the rail unions was sparked by the axing of traditional guards.

Labour's proposal was condemned as a 'return to the past' by the body representing privately owned train firms.

The Rail Delivery Group claimed a return to public ownership would put at risk £50bn of improvements including new trains.

"Passengers and taxpayers do not want a return to the past. Together, our industry is investing, competing and innovating to improve as one team. Our promise to deliver 6,400 extra services a day and 5,500 new carriages by 2021, part of a £50bn-plus upgrade plan, demonstrates our long-term commitment to the communities, passengers and businesses we serve, now and for the future."

– PAUL PLUMMER: CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RAIL DELIVERY GROUP

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats claimed Labour's plan was uncosted and commuters would suffer from years of upheaval.