Just how dangerous do you feel your morning train is? I ask because I was on the early train this morning watching two TravelSafe officers in their dazlingly yellow jackets get on at Clapham Junction. Now in general I’m all for some sort of security presence on the train at times when you might need it. Late at night, for instance, when it’s just you and the shouty person alone in the carriage. Or when there’s a gang of teenagers busy misspelling graffitti on the train windows. But at 7:30? AM? Even if the hardened criminals are up at that time they’re hardly likely to be causing trouble. And the minor nuisances – people who put their feet on the seat or, worse, their bags – require a little more room to manouevre. Everyone else just sits there in a sort of daze, hoping that the world won’t do too much that requires their attention before they’ve fully woken up.
Having conducted a thorough health and safety analysis of the sorts of hazards that might face the early morning passenger on the 7:26 Weybridge train, I can conclude that they are as follows:
1. Risk of being suffocated in crush to get on at Clapham Junction – likelihood medium, impact high
2. Risk of falling asleep and waking up in darkest Surrey – likelihood high, impact medium
3. Risk of annoyance from rambunctious school children – likelihood low, impact low (even the teenagers are half asleep at this hour)
4. Risk of dim early-morning eyesight being damaged by TravelSafe Officer’s high visibility flourescent yellow jacket – likelihood high, impact medium
Seems to me that they can only make things worse. In fairness, though, there was exceptionally good compliance with the ‘quiet coach’ mobile phone ban this morning so maybe they were doing something right. And I realised as I walked over the bridge this morning on my way to work that their presence on our train may not have been anything to do with the safety of the train itself. They may simply have been using it to get to Weybridge in time to quell some unpleasantness – rioting in the ticket office, perhaps, or vandalising the flowerbeds. For I’m sure that they definitely, definitely get up to that sort of thing all the time in Weybridge.