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Trainspotters to be banned by National Express

Soon to be banned?
Following on from this post where I pointed out that despite Rafael Behr claiming we are free, we are in fact marching ever forward to a fascist state under the champagne socialists of New Labour.

He argued at great length that we have never been so free to do as we please. Doddery old cock of an MP Paul Flynn agreed with him, now this old fool has been shown up yet again as well.

As if to prove my point that his article in The Grauniad was complete cockwhaffle article on banning trainspotters lands in my inbox.
Union leaders say National Express will bar spotters from stations on the East Coast main line because they are a nuisance and pose a "security risk". There are suggestions of other operators following suit.
By purchasing a ticket to go onto a platform and jot down numbers they are a nuisance how exactly? Also whats this horse shit about security risks? 
The ban, which union leaders claim "betrays Britain's railway heritage", covers King's Cross and York, which is the spiritual home of the industry and next door to the National Rail Museum.

National Express is instigating the ban as it installs automatic ticket gates at main stations along the line, say union leaders, who accused the operator of "mindless vandalism".

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, the industry's second largest union, said one of his officials had been told by a manager that trainspotters posed a "security risk".
He said: "Do they really think that a 10-year-old boy with a pencil and notebook is in possession of a dangerous weapon? You do wonder sometimes what planet these people are on."

Mr Doherty added: "The barbarians have finally taken over the industry. Only people with no sense of history would commit such an act of mindless vandalism. Young trainspotters have been with us since Victorian times. Now National Express is saying they should be banned as they are a nuisance.

"The company has told us that train spotters will be banned at all its main line stations which will be installed with gated barriers."

Stations covered by the ban also include Stevenage, Peterborough, Newark, Leeds, Durham, Doncaster, Wakefield and Newcastle.

The TSSA could challenge the ban on legal grounds and is contacting the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police.

Mr Doherty said: "As far as we are aware, the Chief Constable's national guidelines guaranteed trainspotters access to all stations under the Act when the railways were privatised under John Major's government.

"We shall be asking the Chief Constable to make sure that these guidelines still apply to private operators like National Express."

He said he doubted whether National Express chief executive Richard Bowker "even knows the guidelines exist".

One trainspotter, who would only give his name as Roger, said: "National Express has taken leave of its senses.

"Trainspotters may be seen as a bit odd but we are friends of the railways. We don't smash it up, steal cables or blow ourselves to bits - so why are they picking on us?"

A spokeswoman for National Express said: "It is absolutely not true that we are banning trainspotters. But we are putting (automatic) gates on our stations which is a franchise commitment and supported by Passenger Focus (the national rail watchdog).

"However, we do have a system of station passes whereby anyone who wants to use the platform to wave goodbye can do so."

A TSSA spokesman said: "At our meeting in York with National Express management we were categorically told that trainspotting is being banned without exception.

"There was no mention of station passes which appear to us only to allow people on the platforms for a very short space of time."

**Its New Labour syndrome, if someone is doing something that the powers dislike and they can not tax it, regulate it or oversee it 24/7 then they do their best to ban it. You watch I bet they will bring in a ban on taking sodding photo's next.

Now National Express deny the claims, it will be interesting to see if that is actually true.

I do wonder if the heads of companies are fixed firmly up their own arseholes? If your reading that applies to you as well Tim Martin, head of JD Wetherspoons

6 people have spoken:

Old Bag said...

well, you know..those train spotters, you never can tell what their up to..sat on benches, all hunched up in their fucking duffle coats..taking notes on when trains come and go..and they could have anything in those fucking flasks!.precautions are needed in these terroist times, etc...

All Seeing Eye said...

Those plane spotters were nicked in Greece a few years back as I recall.

I like how the resident geek would only give his name as "Roger" as though he was already slipping into Stealth-Spotter mode.

Damon Lord said...

I always used to get scared of the strange people with flasks at the end of Platform 2 at Newport Station. Now I know why. They were risks to security. I could get mugged by a chav outside W.H. Smith's on Platform 1 and the Transport Police would not bother, because they're too busy worrying about the 9 year old with a flask on Platform 2.

James D said...

Perhaps it would be better if it were more than guidelines. I would love to see National Express staff prosecuted for harassment and occasioning a breach of the peace.

Fidothedog said...

It will be interesting to see what happens on this one, I think that now the cat is out they can not sneak these measures in.

Although the station passes could be a nice little earner for them.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Good for Gerry Doherty who also said that " National Express should go back to running buses ".

Train spotters are weired fucking loons who clog up the level crossing every time a "special train " comes chundering by but best wishes to them on this one.