RMT says leaked Dept of Transport documents (pictured) show London Midland plans to profit by £1.25m a year from cuts to ticket offices and staff


The RMT has published leaked Department of Transport documents (pictured) showing that the train operator London Midland expects to profit by £1.25m a year from a programme of cuts to ticket offices and staffing levels.

The union says London Midland is ‘blazing a trail for plans in the [government-commissioned] McNulty report to axe ticket offices and eliminate station staff’.

It says the leaked emails show the company is doing so in direct collusion with government officials.

The financial reports, marked CONFIDENTIAL, show that the company hopes to make the financial returns from the complete closure of a dozen ticket office and cuts to more than ninety others.

The RMT says the cuts would threaten more than 100 jobs.

Sir Roy McNulty’s recommendations are currently out for public consultation until the end of June.

Ministers are scheduled to announce their responses in the autumn.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “These leaked documents show that for vandalising ticket offices and destroying jobs across the service London Midland and its shareholders stand to profit to the tune of £1.25 million.

“We warned from the leaked DfT emails that this was a ‘cash for closures’ programme and the extent of the money that the company plan to rake in from this scandalous assault on jobs and services is now laid bare.

“Passengers, staff, politicians and user groups will be rightly angry when they see what this trail-blazer for the McNulty cuts means in cash terms for the profiteering private rail companies and we will be using this information to jack up the national campaign of resistance to ticket office closures.”

The McNulty Report has recommended the closure of up to 675 stations that are open for up to 12 hours a day as part of a plan to save £1bn from the government’s annual £5bn subsidy.

The RMT says 18,000 people have opposed the cuts programme, along with passenger groups, statutory monitors, disabled groups and politicians.

This is the second leak of such internal DfT emails.

The first batch – revealed by the TSSA union in April – indicated that government officials were in detailed discussions with train operating companies about the closures programme.

The latest leak suggests for the first time some of the direct financial implications of the plans, if they are implemented.

London Midland is owned by the rail transport group, Govia, which currently also holds the Southern and SouthEastern rail franchises.

It describes itself as the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for nearly 30% of UK passenger rail journeys.

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