Women only carriages are not the answer

23 August 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, says women-only carriages are not the answer to the growing number of sexual assaults on Britain’s railway network.


He was speaking after Chris Williamson, the MP for Derby North, said it would be ‘worth consulting’ on the policy after new figures revealed that such crimes have doubled in the past five years. He said they would create a ‘safe space’ for women.


Mick Whelan said: ‘It’s up to the privatised train operating companies to make sure every space is safe on every train. That’s their job – and their responsibility. Let’s make all carriages, on all our trains, safe for all passengers rather than restricting where people can and cannot sit. Because we don’t want gender apartheid on Britain’s railways.


‘Separate carriages for women would normalise these attacks. The attackers are the problem, not where women want to sit, and women have a right to sit where they want.


‘That’s why we have argued that trains need staff – to offer protection to all passengers. I am calling on the train companies to stop taking staff off trains, and stations, putting profit before passengers, and ensure our railways are safe.’

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