The government has announced that it will delay its attempts to scrap 'Section 12' fire safety regulations for sub-surface railway stations.
Governments are not known for backing down on a whim, so this is surely the result of campaigning by the unions, in particular RMT, ASLEF and the FBU.
The key word, though, is "delay", as against "abandon". So we have to keep up our campaigning.
It seems sad that just as the RMT celebrates this success, it is backing down from the fight to stop unsafe cuts in stations staffing levels.
Read RMT's press release here.
This from RMT HQ
PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ON RAILWAY FIRE SAFETY REGULATIONS – WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY 2006
I am writing to advise you that supportive MPs have secured a parliamentary debate on the future of the railway fire safety regulations which were introduced after the 1987 Kings Cross Fire.
The debate has been secured by Celia Barlow MP and will take place on 25th January. it is open to the public and will begin at 9.30am in Committee Room 10 in the main House of Commons building. Members wishing to attend should go the main public entrance at the House of Commons and advise the police that they are attending the adjournment debate in Committee Room 10.
If you do wish to attend I would also advise you to arrive twenty minutes before the start of the debate to allow yourself good time to clear House of Commons security and get to the Committee Room.
The debate comes shortly after the Government announced that they will be delaying the abolition of the regulations. The government had previously said that it would allow the ‘Section 12’ regulations to continue in operation for at least six months after the introduction of the new and less specific Fire Safety Order. However, ministers have now indicated that the new Order will itself be delayed, for a minimum of three months and perhaps until October. That could leave the existing regulations in place until April 2007.
We hope the government will now use the delay to think again about the wisdom of abolishing specific fire-safety measures in favor of what amounts to a discretionary approach.
To keep up the pressure please also don’t forget to ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 549, click here.