Southern Rail: Unions' safety concerns are genuine, says Christian Wolmar

Southern Rail: 'We won't get British Rail back, but having one body in charge would be efficient', says Christian Wolmar

Workers on Southern Rail have gone on strike today

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rail industry historian and Labour Party politician Christian Wolmar says there is genuine concern behind the safety issues highlighted by unions during the Southern Rail crisis.

Wolmar also told Sam Delaney that, while "we won't get British Rail back" having just one body in charge of the railways would be more efficient than the current system.

Southern Rail workers have started another strike today over the role of train drivers and conductors, leaving passengers in travel chaos. 

Wolmar, who stood for the London mayoralty earlier this year, said “There is a bit of a genuine safety concern, they’re not just blowing that particular trumpet.

"[The changes proposed by the Government] might then speed up the trains. Having that person in the middle looking at people coming in and out the doors and pushing the button is probably a faster process so in a way it’s a better service."

Turning to the prospect of renationalisation, Wolmar said: “In its 50 year history British Rail had some bad times but towards the end it was absolutely brilliant."

However we won't get British Rail back as "we have so many different players that it’ll take about 10 years to bring all the franchises together."

Listen to the full interview to find out more