*Petition text updated February 2019*
I travel on trains regularly. I have witnessed harassment of fellow female travellers three separate times, and appreciated the assistance provided by a train guard when one was present. Once I was on a train without a guard, and a man flashed at me. With no train guard to report this to, I was too scared to do anything but move away from the man. I was terrified he might try and follow me off the train. Some of my friends have even been sexually assaulted on public transport.
The presence of a train guard helps to deter perpetrators from assaulting people, and if assault still occurs, there is someone you know you can go to to ask for help.
And yet, across the UK, private train companies are cutting costs by getting rid of train guards, leaving train drivers solely responsible for passenger safety. Removing train guards leaves us passengers vulnerable to assault, harassment, and even a higher risk of death when boarding or leaving the train.
Without guards, drivers have only two seconds to check a train's 24 doors before departing from stations, leaving passengers vulnerable to being trapped in doors, falling through gaps or worse. It also has serious implications for people with physical disabilities, who may need assistance to board or leave a train.
Sign now to tell all rail companies, and the Department of Transport, to #KeepTheGuardOnTheTrain!
P.S. When I started this petition in 2016, Southern Rail staff were on strike over this issue. This turned out to be the longest industrial dispute in the history of Britain's railways, going on for 18 months. Eventually, the drivers agreed to a pay deal to end their strike, and the train company got away with implementing driver only operated trains (DOO). But, DOO trains put passengers at risk. So now it's up to us to keep fighting for our safety on all train lines.