Hard pressed commuters are going to read with interest the recent statement made by the official regulator in relation to Driver Only Operated trains. This has apparently been at the heart of the unions grievance for months.
Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, said:
“Following a thorough review of GTR-Southern’s method and implementation of Driver Only Operation, ORR is satisfied that with suitable equipment, proper procedures and competent staff in place, it is a safe method of working.
“ORR has made some recommendations for further improvements, including ensuring that CCTV image quality is consistently high. GTR-Southern has accepted and is in the process of implementing these recommendations. As the safety regulator we will continue our inspections and are also working with the industry to ensure it reviews and updates its work in adopting best practice procedures, training and equipment in relation to the safe dispatch of trains.”
In an earlier statement Mr Prosser had said “Trains with doors operated by drivers (known in the industry as ‘Driver Only Operation’) have been in operation in Great Britain for more than 30 years. ORR has scrutinised this approach, and our inspectors are satisfied that with suitable equipment, proper procedures and competent staff in place, it is a safe method of working.”