YP Letters: Drivers can easily operate doors on trains

From: David Reed, Houses Hill, Huddersfield.

What should be the role of guards on the trains?

YOUR correspondent Ann Logan has completely misunderstood the proposals for driver-operated doors on our local train services. Whenever I travel on my local trains, the guard has to constantly break off from selling tickets and catering for passengers in order to operate the doors.

As a result, many passengers are not able to buy a ticket and have to join a long queue at a ticket window at their destination in order to get through the barriers. This suits no-one.

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Door operation can easily be done by the driver, a system which the Office of Rail Regulation says is safe, and which is already in practice throughout the whole London Underground and overground networks with no problems.

However, a second safety-trained customer service employee (the guard by another name) will be rostered on all trains to concentrate specifically on customers’ needs, including helping the disabled and elderly and selling/checking tickets.

The aim of the whole exercise is to cater for passengers’ needs better than today.

The rail companies have pledged that the only occasions when a train will operate without this second staff member is owing to last minute sickness while on duty.