For over thirty years, thousands of trains have run each day in Britain with only the driver operating the doors. Most commuter trains out of Liverpool Street, King's Cross, St Pancras, and suburban services from Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge operate this way.
In the main, trains are dispatched from stations by one person which can either be the driver, guard or a member of platform dispatch staff. The removal of any possible miscommunication, which could exist between driver and guard could, potentially, deliver some safety benefits.
Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), an independent body, that analyses safety data and provides standards and risk guidance to the GB rail industry has found no evidence to suggest that there is an increased risk of harm to passengers where drivers operate powered doors providing the correct procedures have been followed. In fact, no one has died as a result of being caught in train doors for over 15 years.
This reflects an overall downward trend in the levels of passenger harm recorded on the railway. Taking into account the rapid rise in the number of journeys taken across the network, the rate of harm for passengers has fallen by approximately one-quarter over the last decade. RSSB's analysis shows that Britain's railways are one of the safest in Europe and also by far the safest form of land transport in this country. Taking the train is statistically 22 times safer than travelling by car and over 1,200 times safer than by motorcycle.