Following the furore over Philip Hammond’s comments over female train drivers, The Rochdale Herald has been contacted by an employee of Southern Rail who has blown the whistle about the supposed difficulty of driving a train.

The man, who due to the threat to his continued employment we can only identify as Rob Scruggs of 31 Trowel St in Penge, said “It’s not as if you have to steer because it’s on rails. And the points mean you end up where you’re supposed to be going.

It’s essentially just a stop/go lever which you push to reach the speed you want to go. It’s no more difficult than a Vespa”.

“You don’t even have to remember to blow the whistle as you have a specialist Whistleblower like me on board.”

“When you consider how tricky it is to programme a Bosch 3260 1800 spin washer-dryer, which my wife regularly does, train driving is a piece of piss.”

After a moment’s reflection he mused “Though if you mess up the programme on a washer you only end up with soap streaks on your clothes rather than mangled corpses rolling down Penge embankment.”