Blair Backs Standard's Campaign for Safer Stations; MAKE OUR RAIL STATIOSN SAFE - STANDARD CAMPAIGN

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Blair Backs Standard's Campaign for Safer Stations; MAKE OUR RAIL STATIOSN SAFE - STANDARD CAMPAIGN


Byline: NICHOLAS CECIL;ALEXA BARACAIA

TONY BLAIR today backed the Evening Standard's campaign for stations to be manned until the last train at night.

The Prime Minister's move will pile pressure on rail companies and comes after Capital Radio DJ Johnny Vaughan lent his support to the campaign.

Mr Blair said: "I think there is a very strong case for having security guards at stations. Quite apart from anything else, it gives people a greater sense of security and safety."

He declared his support at his monthly press conference in Downing Street days after Transport Secretary Alistair Darling warned rail bosses they must treat safety as top priority.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks are also among 80 MPs from all parties who are demanding that train firms tackle the concerns of passengers about poor security on the rail network.

Our campaign was launched following the murder last month of lawyer Tom ap Rhys Pryce minutes after he left Kensal Green station.

We revealed how 229 stations in London were left unstaffed late at night and that experts estimated it would cost only [pounds sterling]4 million a year to provide nighttime security - at a time when the 10 private rail companies are making [pounds sterling]130million a year in profits.

Chiltern, which carries 30,000 passengers a day in and out of Marylebone, has ordered the stations it is responsible for to be staffed at night and Mayor Ken Livingstone has said that from next year, 50 Silverlink stations will be staffed whenever trains are running.

Starting tomorrow, Capital breakfast show host Vaughan will urge listeners to sign our online petition. …

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