Health and safety fears on Southern Rail network

Commuters say overcrowding and “mass panic” in crowds are unsatisfactory health and safety risks

Commuters using the Southern Rail network have warned that dangerous overcrowding and “mass panic” in crowds are unsatisfactory health and safety risks and not acceptable conditions for the public to have to deal with.

The Association of British Commuters (ABC), said they’ve been “inundated” with even more reports as a result of the long-running strike action and have asked the Department for Transport (DfT) whether these health and safety risks mean the franchise should be terminated.

Health and safety fears on Southern Rail network

Brighton Railway Station © Copyright Nigel Thompson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Southern Rail said that the safety of their passengers was a priority and on strike days the company used extra staff at their busiest stations.

In a statement the company said: “When stations do get busy, such as in times of disruption, our staff’s priority is to ensure our passengers can get on and off trains safely – which sometimes necessitates holding passengers back from the platform.”

Lawyers for ABC have written to the Department for Transport to find out whether they carried out any risk assessments before the strikes began.

There were reports of numerous incidents including dangerous overcrowding, “mass panic” in the crowds, violence at Brighton station and a child being abandoned on a platform, plus two reports of trains driving through stations when they should have stopped.

In a statement, the DfT said that improving rail services for passengers using the Southern Rail network was their first concern.

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