Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Rail union: Women-only carriages will be nightmare for train crews

© Andrew CawleyPost Thumbnail

Women-only carriages on trains would be a nightmare to enforce and could lead to guards being assaulted by drunk passengers, according to unions.

Single-sex compartments have been proposed after Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth last week promised to make the railways safer saying there is a “systemic problem” of women being scared to use public transport because of “men’s behaviour”.

She told Holyrood she would not board the last train home because it was full of drunk men who would “squeeze in beside you despite the fact that you’re surrounded by empty seats”.

Gilruth, who was addressing MSPs about ScotRail’s return to public ownership from April 1, promised to address the issue and ask women’s groups how public transport could be made “safer and more enjoyable”.

Charities campaigning against male violence have backed single-sex carriages but Mick Hogg, RMT regional organiser for Scotland, said: “A guard trying to manage that on a Friday or Saturday night, or on the night of a special event in Glasgow or Edinburgh – it would be a logistical nightmare for that individual. A guard looks after not just one or two coaches, but the whole train.

“The chances of our members being assaulted and verbally abused by passengers would be through the roof. Anti-social behaviour on Scotland’s trains is on the increase.”

Asked if police officers could be put on trains, he said: “There are fewer than 300 British Transport Police officers in Scotland, and there is just no way we could have one on every train. It is just not feasible.

“What we need is for stations to be staffed, booking offices to be staffed and for our trains to be staffed to ensure Scotland’s trains are safe.”

Women-only carriages have been introduced on some train services in Brazil, Mexico and Japan and Transport Scotland has said it will look at “examples of best practice”.

Ann Moulds, founder chief executive of Action Against Stalking, said of women-only trains: “Trains are not manned the way they used to be, and often women can be left very vulnerable.

“Women should be able to have the choice of travelling home on the train, regardless of what time it is, without being subjected to the threat of abuse or sneery comments. Even having female-only trains does not stop men behaving badly or being disrespectful towards women in general.

“That’s the root problem that has to be addressed one way or another, and if that means bringing on police to these trains to address this type of behaviour, then maybe that’s what needs to be done as well.”

Transport Scotland said: “While it is too early to comment on any specific measures, we will look at other examples of best practice and take a variety of views on such initiatives.”

Gilruth met with rail unions on Thursday to discuss the future of ScotRail when it is taken into public ownership.

She was urged to shelve plans to cut ticket office opening hours until the consultation on women’s safety was concluded.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association union, said: “It makes no sense to close ticket offices whilst consulting over ways to make women safer on the railway.”