Transport Committee Press Notice


Personal Passenger Safety in Railway Stations

According to the National Audit Office (NAO), less than half of all passengers feel safe in small and medium-sized stations. Even in larger stations, nearly four out of ten passengers do not feel safe.

The Government launched the voluntary Secure Stations Scheme in 1998 to encourage rail companies to improve the personal safety of passengers in railway and underground stations. The Scheme has established standards and guidelines for the design and management of stations, and it offers advice and assistance to stations seeking accreditation in order to help them meet the standard. But so far the number of stations accredited to the scheme is small.

The Transport Committee has decided to inquire into the current standards of passenger safety in railway stations. In particular, the Committee wishes to examine:

• What are the most effective methods of making railway and underground stations safer for passengers?

• Are the minimum standards to provide a safe and secure station environment high enough? Are the requirements sufficiently clear and specific to be effective? If not, what changes should be made?

• Are the minimum standards effectively policed? Are the penalties for failing to provide a secure station environment sufficiently severe?

• Is it sufficiently clear to passengers and others who is responsible for the safety of passengers in railway and underground stations?

• Why are so few stations accredited under the Secure Stations Scheme? Should the scheme be made compulsory?

• What measures would be required to ensure significant improvements in passengers’ safety in railway and underground stations?

• ls the Government’s approach to passenger safety in railway stations effective? 

T his inquiry is separate from the Committee’s on-going inquiry into transport security, ‘Travelling without Fear’ which focuses on the threat from terrorism across all transport modes. This new inquiry is focused specifically and exclusively on railway station security.

Interested parties are invited to submit written memoranda on the above questions and associated issues to the committee before Friday 31 March 2006.

Memoranda should be a maximum of 6 A4 pages in length and should include a summary and a conclusion.  Please submit a single hard copy of your memorandum by post to the above address, and an electronic version , preferably a Word document, by e-mail to [email protected] or alternatively on a disk with the hard copy.  If you are unable to submit an electronic version of your memorandum, please take particular care to ensure that your submission is legible. All submissions should be final and complete; the Committee does not accept draft memoranda or subsequent amendments. Memoranda submitted to the Committee should be kept confidential until published by the Committee.

Press Notice 31/2005-06   16 March 2006

Dr John Patterson, Clerk of the Committee