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  • These rail strikes then…
  • oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    I wasn’t very impressed with Mick Lynch on R4 earlier, he became very confrontational

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63955617

    It was an odd question to lose his temper on IMHO
    BUT he’s got a point about the BBC being further to the right than it should be.

    matt_outandabout
    Free Member

    If they agree to a shity pay offer, it won’t stop these **** from reducing the workforce later.

    A fair point, I agree.
    It is a rock and a hard place position.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    It was an odd question to lose his temper on IMHO

    Was it because of just that question though? It’s odd that it’s cut like that.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    The government have obviously decided that this is a battle they actively want, for idealogical reasons, as everything they do seems to be to antagonise the unions and escalate the dispute further

    Because I think there’s still a lot of support for nurses, and teachers too. It gives them a strike / union to target that won’t get defended so easily (when thread resurrected a week ago, there were a few comment like one I select as example)

    Must be nice to demand a job you can’t be kicked out of with an in excess of 4% pay rise whilst us private workers can get a months notice (there are ways of getting rid of people even quicker) and are lucky if we get anything at all.

    and that’s the way to divide and conquer, to set the public against the strikers. So if they can’t turn us against nurses and teachers, then they’ll have to do it against rail workers and postmen.

    Which then makes the potential future legislation banning certain professions from taking industrial action that bit more palatable.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    TBF, Mick Lynch is a Union leader, so he is there to get the best deal for his people.
    As much as I disagree with a lot of Tory policy, HS2 is a good idea, just badly implemented.
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, what we need is modernisation of the infrastructure. That has to come first, then the working practices will naturally fall into place.
    Dropping DOO into the deal at the last minute was premature.
    However, I think the unions need to be realistic about what can be achieved. 5-10% pay rise with some improved/altered conditions seems reasonable to me and in line with other settlements.
    Part of the difficulty is the size and breadth of RMT members. Tracklayers have a different requirement to signalmen and so on.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    IMHO Mick Lynch will lose support of public with his “we’re fighting for the working man” stuff…as he said on 4….

    You never show any admiration for the fight that working people are putting up

    He’s not, he’s fighting for money and job security of his members.

    Also, I think the Driver Only train thing is a strange hill to die on….many (most?) Of the commuter lines into London are DO, as is the entire tube network (carrying millions of passengers a year between them). It isn’t about safety, it’s about protecting guards’ jobs. Which is fair enough for a union, but don’t claim it’s a safety thing.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    It isn’t about safety, it’s about protecting guards’ jobs. Which is fair enough for a union, but don’t claim it’s a safety thing

    It is about safety.  We have had a train driver on this thread explaining why

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It is about safety. We have had a train driver on this thread explaining why

    Is it really?

    We’ve had guards only trains for decades and I’ve never seen an accident or inquest report, for our lines, stating that the root cause was lack of a guard.

    Guards on trains are like banks of high streets, they belong to a different era.

    Flaperon
    Full Member

    Trying to figure out why Northern has scrapped 95% of its services over the whole strike period, not just the actual days of the strike.

    I wonder if they’re trying to turn the public against their workers. Or perhaps they’re just so incompetent that it’s easier to cancel everything and just blame it on strikes.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    With Northern it’s definitely just incompetence.

    I had a fantastic message through Trainline telling me that my trains to Birmingham and back tomorrow (conference) had been cancelled. But, hey! We can get you halfway there tomorrow and the remainder the day after. It’ll just cost you £5 more than your current ticket.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    It is about safety. We have had a train driver on this thread explaining why

    So what about all the trains and tubes that run currently DO? No disrespect to an an actual train driver, but I would expect them to support the union line.

    It isn’t about safety.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    We’ve had guards only trains for decades and I’ve never seen an accident or inquest report, for our lines, stating that the root cause was lack of a guard.

    1) it’s not about the cause, but the response… when the shit hits the fan, who steps up?
    2) if you want driver only services, sort the infrastructure first
    3) there is a large minority of Brits who simply can’t control their behaviour unsupervised

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    So what about all the trains and tubes that run currently DO?

    Are they not systems that were designed as driver only/driverless from the outset? Rather the patchwork of rail infrastructure that’s been gradually added to over the course of 150 or so years?

    I’ve had to get off at a station where the platform was shorter than the train and the bike carriage was way back on open track. That needed someone to know I was there and coordinate me getting off safely.

    As mentioned above, the suitable infra has to come first.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    Are they not systems that were designed as driver only/driverless from the outset?

    Absolutely not. All London commuter trains used to have guards, and the old slam door rolling stock. The tube has always been a hotch potch of different standards and rolling stock.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    3) there is a large minority of Brits who simply can’t control their behaviour unsupervised

    This is, to be polite, spurious. Again, look at Greater London (I know, but that’s my experience – commuting for 30 years)….sure you get occasional trouble with drunks/hooligans etc but a train guard isn’t going wade in and stop that.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    It isn’t about safety.

    You’ve clearly never been on the night train from leeds to manchester. 😀

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    I think the driver on here made the point they couldn’t control a 250m train by themselves, which in itself is a fair point. Same pretty much goes for a single guard though, not sure what ne person is going to do when there’s a load of yobs kicking off and it’s not like they are any good at resolving issues that they are there for like ensuring people get the seat they booked.

    Anyway

    If they agree to a shity pay offer, it won’t stop these **** from reducing the workforce later.

    No but it might stop these **** from reducing the workforce sooner. Binner’s point is spot on, the rail unions are being setup as the fall guys for the winter of discontent part 2 and they are walking in to the trap completely voluntarily. The government can’t take it out on the teachers or nurses, but them bolshie overpaid button pushers (as many will see them) will be fair game amongst many of the public.

    You’ve clearly never been on the night train from leeds to manchester.

    Lucky to get a train in the day between Leeds and Manchester, thought they stopped running at dusk, they haven’t worked out a way to stop the candles blowing out yet.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    They are taking it out on the teachers and nurses as well.

    pondo
    Free Member

    Same pretty much goes for a single guard though, not sure what ne person is going to do when there’s a load of yobs kicking off and it’s not like they are any good at resolving issues that they are there for like ensuring people get the seat they booked.

    I rather think it’s a wild misconception to think that the “safety” aspect of guards on trains is to karate-chop drunken yobs unconcious. 🙂

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    The tory policy is working, on rail, NHS, Utilties, Immigration, there’s probably more.

    The policy of running the UK into the ground and make some cheeky side cash whist they are at it.

    It’s been so transparent for so long, and yet people keep voting conservative.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Guards perform so many roles – it’s a mix of safety, customer service, supporting the driver, ticket checks/revenue collection, passenger assistance (especially for wheelchairs etc)…

    Outside London, where there’s a host of ticket options, it’s essential to have someone checking – not all stations have ticket offices or machines, contactless is far from universal, each TOC has their own app or system and pricing (2 services on the same route by different operators can be wildly different in price) so it needs someone who understands all that and can manage it.

    The Driver Only stuff is up there with the ongoing Tory insistence that TfL look again at driverless tube trains. It’d cost billions to implement for a saving of only millions. Utterly unworkable but they keep pushing this line as a way of persuading the public that train drivers are simply overpaid button pushers.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    The UK tory regime is gonna be giving Vladimir Putin a run for his money for longest uncontested rule if they stay in power much longer.

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    TfL look again at driverless tube trains

    Aka the DLR 😉

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    ticket checks/revenue collection

    So if this so important, why do the train operators want DO trains? Surely the guards would pay for themselves if this is true?

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Well, let’s say 50 customers per hour at £10 per ticket, that’s £500. The cost per hour of one conductor is probably no more than £20, or 4% of revenue.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Aka the DLR 😉

    DLR is relatively new and was built from the ground up with the ability to run driverless. It isn’t a true driverless system, there’s an “attendant” on board who can take over if required and I’ve seen it pretty regularly where they’ll open up the controls and drive it manually for a while – sometimes stuff like signalling conflicts for example.

    Trying to retrofit a true driverless system into the tube network, parts of which date back a century, is pretty much unworkable.

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Yep, pretty good point Twodogs, if there was a commercial reason to keep them the rail companies would. Sorry but the safety argument is rubbish, even when a train leaves a station, there’s much more reliable methods for the driver to see if it’s safe to move off than somebody squinting down the platform. Talking of safety how many serious incidents have been down to driver error, seems to be quite a common conclusion.

    Anyway what we believe is a bit irrelevant, there’s various safety bodies whose job it is to make sure the operating procedures are safe and if they are happy with DO then so be it.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    So if this so important, why do the train operators want DO trains?

    Do they? It was rather telling the minister refused to answer the simple question about whether it was forced on them by the government.
    Plus commercial sense and the rail company management dont really go hand in hand. Especially now they just get the cash from the government anyway.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Pretty dangerous to assume everyone will buy a ticket, just ‘cos they should! You need barriers or ticket inspectors + punishments at some point.

    darkcove
    Full Member

    It is about safety. We have had a train driver on this thread explaining why

    Is it really?

    We’ve had guards only trains for decades and I’ve never seen an accident or inquest report, for our lines, stating that the root cause was lack of a guard.

    Guards on trains are like banks of high streets, they belong to a different era.

    DOO incidents happen all the time. They just don’t get reported. Now we can’t say these would have been prevented with a Guard but a second pair of eyes would have perhaps prevented these incidents.

    https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/safety-digest-05-slash-2022-north-london-pti-events

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    DLR is relatively new and was built from the ground up with the ability to run driverless. It isn’t a true driverless system, there’s an “attendant” on board who can take over if required and I’ve seen it pretty regularly where they’ll open up the controls and drive it manually for a while – sometimes stuff like signalling conflicts for example.

    Yeah, I was being a bit facetious….I travelled on the DLR daily for about 12 years, and it always amused me that a driverless train had windscreen wipers 😉. Regular users know that you never bother sitting in front left seats cos chances are you’re gonna be kicked out by the passenger assistance bod when they need to drive.

    But presumably a driverless tube would also be “partly driverless”

    Klunk
    Free Member

    kelvin
    Full Member

    I stopped watching him. That one is absolutely spot on though. Nail on head.

    pk13
    Full Member
    TiRed
    Full Member

    Guards on trains are like banks of high streets, they belong to a different era.

    Until your daughter is travelling home on one late at night.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    It doesn’t look good! This is what Great British Railways and the new arrangements are supposed to stop – rewarding failure. However, the new concession approach could just as likely create severe regional divisions, with everyone fighting over the best/nicest contracts, with nobody wanting the crap ones.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    TLDR……

    Guards on trains are like banks of high streets, they belong to a different era.

    Unless you’re a wheelchair / restricted mobility who needs someone to put a ramp down at unmanned stations……

    Can someone explain how the Government, Network Rail and the ToC’s work with paying the drivers?
    Struggling to work out how it’s all funded.
    Presumably the ToC’s pay the drivers wages? Are these subsidised by the Government/Network Rail?

    alanl
    Free Member

    Can someone explain how the Government, Network Rail and the ToC’s work with paying the drivers?
    Struggling to work out how it’s all funded.
    Presumably the ToC’s pay the drivers wages? Are these subsidised by the Government/Network Rail?

    The Train operating Companies run the trains.They are Governement owned, the Govt pay them a set fee to run the trains, so there is a small bit of privatisation to it still, but, only a very small part. The TOCs pay Network Rail (owned by the Government) to run the trains on NRs tracks. NR own most of the infrastructure, some stations are ran by the TOCs, some by NR. The vast bulk of Staff working and servicing the infrastructure are employed, or sub contracted to NR. The TOCs employ drivers, Guards, catering Staff and some station staff. Most TOCs run at a loss. There are maybe 5 that ran a profit before Covid, maybe only 2 or 3 are back in profit now.
    Most passenger TOCs employ their own Drivers. This is what caused the wage inflation for Drivers in the late 90’s. Before that, drivers were not a well paid bunch, and all were employed by British Rail, but Virgin, and Cross-Country needed a lot more drivers, so advertised at far better rates, and it has continued until now, in that the higher paying TOCs take Drivers from the lower paying Companies, who then have difficulty getting new Staff (it really isnt a great job for some TOCs), so have to increase their wages.
    So, yes, the TOCs pay the Drivers wages. But, now, all of the TOCs are Government owned, and ran by the Dept. for Transport, via the TOCs. And the DfT dont want to give a large pay award,or else everyone will want a big pay rise if the Rail workers get one (it isnt just Drivers).
    Subsidies. Yes, there are lots. And none of it is clear. An estimate is whatever is coming in through fares is matched by Government subsidy. The latest ‘High Level Output Specification’ came out in December. This is what the Government will allow the Railway to spend in the next 5 years.It was the worst report for 20+ years, or, since it was introduced. No key points that need to be done, no aims to improve services etc, it was just a ‘this is what you’re geting’. The DfT have lost the plot, and it has been left to the Railway to sort out what is going to be a priority. This is both a good and bad thing. The Office for Rail Regulation oversees what Netwrok Rail do. NR have recently had to be told off for denying access to extra trains in Cheshire. But surely that is their job – get more traffic on the railway, and get more income? On the other hand, they could get some quality small electrificiation schemes done that would allow a lot of diesel engines to be taken off the network, but, they dont seem at all interested in actually doing that work.
    Its a malaise coming from the Government. The Govt. cant be arsed doing something, so pass the buck, and NR cant be bothered sorting it either, so the Public are left with the worst of both worlds.

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    @alanl thanks for the reply – makes more sense now.
    I thought the ToC’s were all private – didn’t realise they ran them on behalf of the Government.
    Every day is a school day!

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