Page last updated at 21:29 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Frontline train jobs will be cut

crowded commuter train
This week, a plan by SWT to scrap some tickets offices was blocked

The majority of jobs to go when South West Trains (SWT) sheds 10% of its staff are those of platform and ticket office workers, the BBC has learnt.

SWT said the jobs were "management, administration and other roles".

But the BBC has seen an internal document which states that only 25 of the 480 posts to go are classed as management positions.

The operator, which has blamed reduced passenger growth for the decision, refused to comment.

SWT, which operates routes through Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and London, said it made the decision to ensure it could operate efficiently.

We've got great concerns about the loss of our members' [jobs] but we've also got concerns about the service the public are going to get
Pete Gale, RMT union

BBC South's transport correspondent Paul Clifton said that of the jobs that will be cut, there are 93 full-time and 87 part-time ticket office posts.

Sixty-two full-time and nine part-time platform positions will also close.

But only 22 full-time and three part-time management jobs will go along with 14 clerical positions, he said.

Unions have said the job cuts are "absolutely incredible" and "completely unjustified" and will be resisted given that the firm increased fares by 6% this month.

Pete Gale, from the RMT union said: "You've got a situation where their passenger numbers have been going up, their profits have been going up, the dividends to their shareholders have been going up and their fares have been going up, that's for sure - double the rate of inflation.

"They do all of that and then they want to cut the staff by 10%. Absolutely incredible.

"We've got great concerns about the loss of our members' [jobs] but we've also got concerns about the service the public are going to get."

On Thursday, another memo leaked to the BBC revealed that SWT has been running about 100 shorter-length trains a day to save money.

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SEE ALSO
South West Trains cuts 480 jobs
15 Jan 09 |  England
Cuts to ticket offices rejected
13 Jan 09 |  London

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