Disabled rail passengers protest over the role of guards on trains

There were protests today (18/04) by disabled rail passengers over plans by South Western Railway to change the role of guards.

While the company insists it will roster a second member of staff on all of its trains, it wants to be able to run trains with just the driver in exceptional circumstances.

Campaigners say that leaves them vulnerable.

For wheelchair users, they need a guard or a member of station staff to help them with a ramp to get them on or off trains. They fear if a train runs without a second person, they could be left stranded on the platform or on the train.

South Western Railway say they're committed to doing all they can to make it easy for everyone to travel. But campaigners fear there will be fewer staff.

Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP says trains should not run without a second member of staff:

Mick Tosh at RMT Union says more demonstrations are to come:

South Western Railway insists they have no plans to remove guards from trains and will roster one on every single service. What they DO say is that in exceptional circumstances they want to be able to run a train without a guard than cancel the train.