We’re in the news! Save our ticket offices!

Women from WinVisible and National Federation of the Blind UK were on Channel 4 News on Friday 1 September, featuring the joint campaign to Save Our Ticket Offices, petitioning Downing Street, and supporting RMT union station staff fighting for jobs, pay and conditions — their right to care for passengers and what happens to us. Click below on the image to watch the video.

We were in the Daily Mirror paper and online, and The Canary photo.

Petitioning at Downing Street

Eight people are in a row holding placards.  Please do not shut our ticket offices down.  Save our ticket offices please.  Leave our ticket offices alone.  Rural women's safety matters too.  Humans not machines.  We need staff at ticket offices and on trains.
Sarah Gayton from NFBUK organised for people from NFBUK, Inclusion London, Association of British Commuters, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, WinVisible and local groups, to deliver the NFBUK petition and other evidence that we wanted registered, to Downing Street.

A smiling woman wearing a headscarf holds a placard, For disabled/women's safety, Keep the Guard on the Train!  winvisible.org
Emny from WinVisible came to Downing St. We highlight disabled/women/of colour’s safety, and support the petition for women’s safety from having train guards or managers on board, many of whom are women. Emily Yates from the Association of British Commuters relaunched the petition recently. (Photo: Paula Peters)

Transport for All, representing disabled passengers, condemn the government’s refusal to publish their overall Equality Impact Assessment of the ticket office closures, which Transport for All (TfA) asked for via a Freedom of Information request. TfA quote one of the companies’ assessments which Northern did publish:

  • Staff capacity to provide assistance: Staff “will be at a station for an average of 29 hours per week compared to 73 hours currently staffed by Ticket Office colleagues” resulting in a reduction in “Passenger Assistence capacity”
  • Safety: “Disabled people are at greater risk of incidents of abuse and unwanted sexual behaviours” and “The lack of colleagues’ presence may increase personal security and safety concerns when travelling.”
  • Hazards for blind and visually impaired passengers: “49% of train stations in Great Britain have either no or only partial tactile surfaces on operational platforms. This means visually impaired customers who cannot navigate stations independently may currently rely on station colleagues to assist. A reduction in colleagues members may adversely impact them.”
  • Turn Up And Go: “Over a third of disabled rail passengers in Great Britain do not book assistance in advance. Instead, passengers tend to depend on colleagues at stations for assistance. A reduction in the number of colleagues to meet this on-the-spot support request has the potential to negatively impact.”

These findings confirm what we have been saying, including when Claire spoke at the RMT King’s Cross rally in July and referred to the preventable death of Cleveland Gervais. Watch here.

Our joint campaign continues — watch this space!

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