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Author Topic: Stay at home Sunday  (Read 3884 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2018, 09:39:25 pm »

For years it has been known that FGW/GWR struggle to cope with Christmas and Easter, apologists for the railway blame this on customers choosing to go on holiday at holiday times, and state that not much can be done.
In recent years, other bank holidays have been badly affected by extreme overcrowding with advice not to travel.

Now they cant even provide a proper service on a normal summer Sunday.

So rush hour weekday overcrowding is the fault of workers choosing to go to work during working hours.
Holiday time overcrowding is the fault of leisure travellers for choosing to travel at weekends.
Does not leave much hope does it.

I have previously remarked that we increasingly have a "fair weather only railway" that fails to cope with only moderately adverse weather, during which roads and airlines operate as normal.
Well we don't even have a fair weather railway now ! one of the reasons given for the fiasco is "continuing fine weather"
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
a-driver
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2018, 10:32:05 pm »


For whom does the railway exist to serve?

HM Treasury.

For years it has been known that FGW/GWR struggle to cope with Christmas and Easter, apologists for the railway blame this on customers choosing to go on holiday at holiday times, and state that not much can be done.
In recent years, other bank holidays have been badly affected by extreme overcrowding with advice not to travel

No one blames this on the customers. Itís all down to a lack of investment thatís never kept up with demand. Paddington has had 16 (now 15) platforms since the 1930ís!  Itís now at the stage where it is at capacity and barely able to cope with demand. A one or two minute delay to any train will just snowball because there is no room to recover it. Going forward there is no plan to significantly increase capacity so, whoever runs services out of Paddington will always struggle in times of extremely high demand. Itís a picture repeated across the country. The governments answer to ease overcrowding was to build new trains without buffets cars. Short term, cheap and easy fixes.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 10:51:20 pm by a-driver » Logged
ellendune
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2018, 11:13:49 pm »


For whom does the railway exist to serve?

HM Treasury.

Spot on.  They actually run all departments of government.

No one blames this on the customers. Itís all down to a lack of investment thatís never kept up with demand. Paddington has had 16 (now 15) platforms since the 1930ís!  Itís now at the stage where it is at capacity and barely able to cope with demand. A one or two minute delay to any train will just snowball because there is no room to recover it. Going forward there is no plan to significantly increase capacity so, whoever runs services out of Paddington will always struggle in times of extremely high demand.

2 more platforms coming soon (Crossrail)
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grahame
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2018, 06:38:07 am »

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Due to a number of factors including on-going engineering work; the World Cup Final taking place; the continuing good weather, and the start of the school holidays in some regions, there is a reduced number of available staff.

Given that three of the four factors quoted could well apply the following week is this the tip of the iceberg?

If we were to move to the routine publication of significant updates to the Sunday timetable on Saturday (morning) rather than during the early hours of Sunday morning, it would be a good step.  We have a long way to go to a timetable that's stable from 12 weeks in advance but should remember that a long journey starts with a single step, and we should applaud that step in the right direction and encourage following steps along the same lines rather than this being just a blip of improved information for the one weekend only.
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Timmer
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 07:08:59 am »

If we were to move to the routine publication of significant updates to the Sunday timetable on Saturday (morning) rather than during the early hours of Sunday morning, it would be a good step.  We have a long way to go to a timetable that's stable from 12 weeks in advance but should remember that a long journey starts with a single step, and we should applaud that step in the right direction and encourage following steps along the same lines rather than this being just a blip of improved information for the one weekend only.
Agree it would be a start. You would need to educate those travelling on a Sunday to check the website on Saturday to confirm your train is operating. GWR should be able to do this if the roster for Sunday is done on a Tuesday.

With the Summer holidays about to start, there could be quite a few weekends of significant cancellations so something needs to be put in place to better inform passengers.

Waiting until Sunday morning to list all the cancellations isnít acceptable. I know this is to give the chance to see if they can get more crew to work a Sunday but GWRís long suffering passengers need to have some certainty their train is going to run. This has gone on for far too long.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2018, 07:34:00 am »

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Due to a number of factors including on-going engineering work; the World Cup Final taking place; the continuing good weather, and the start of the school holidays in some regions, there is a reduced number of available staff.

Given that three of the four factors quoted could well apply the following week is this the tip of the iceberg?

If we were to move to the routine publication of significant updates to the Sunday timetable on Saturday (morning) rather than during the early hours of Sunday morning, it would be a good step.  We have a long way to go to a timetable that's stable from 12 weeks in advance but should remember that a long journey starts with a single step, and we should applaud that step in the right direction and encourage following steps along the same lines rather than this being just a blip of improved information for the one weekend only.

You are clutching at the faintest of straws in your (well meaning) quest to polish a turd, but given that a couple of the faithful have already piped up with the response that the railways are here to serve "HM Treasury" rather than the correct answer, which is of course "their customers" tells you all you need to know about how far the railways have to go to achieve a cultural shift towards a position where the sort of action you suggest is the default, and customers are placed at the top of the list of priorities.

Right now, whilst Directors, managers and employees cannot even admit through gritted teeth that they are a customer service organisation, don't expect much to change - it simply isn't on the radar.


For as long as staff sitting in the sun and/or watching football matches is allowed to have more priority than providing a service, nothing will change.


GWR needs a new broom swept right through it.
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grahame
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2018, 07:39:21 am »

[snip]

There is far, far more truth in some of your comments than I could possibly be seen to be agreeing with. It's a sham (or shambles) in the customer services stakes. 


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Timmer
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2018, 08:14:09 am »

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GWR needs a new broom swept right through it.
Weíve been saying that for years. First have had long enough inflicting their low level of customer service over the years. However, I donít see a better alternative out there.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2018, 08:53:29 am »

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GWR needs a new broom swept right through it.
Weíve been saying that for years. First have had long enough inflicting their low level of customer service over the years. However, I donít see a better alternative out there.

There is a very simple answer - insert a Customer satisfaction KPI into the contract, then any potential bidder can demonstrate their commitment against it - those who have no interest in delivering an acceptable level of customer service need not bid.

Naturally there would be an incentive to exceed the KPI as well as a penalty for failing to meet it.

Interestingly, you tend to find that organisations where the size of the senior management bonus pot is dependent on this type of measure tend to make the cultural shift rather more swiftly than others.
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Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2018, 09:03:02 am »

Not sure if these are "last minute cancellations" or weren't due to run anyway but I note that the 13:00 & 15:30 from Bristol to Paddington and the 16:27 & 18:00 from Paddington to Bristol are not running tomorrow
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phile
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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2018, 10:45:23 am »

Not sure if these are "last minute cancellations" or weren't due to run anyway but I note that the 13:00 & 15:30 from Bristol to Paddington and the 16:27 & 18:00 from Paddington to Bristol are not running tomorrow

These are are-planned cancellations, which although their route is not directly affected are an off shoot of Engineering Work.
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grahame
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2018, 11:18:23 am »

"Stay at Home Sunday" is not limited to the West.  It's also in The North. From The Manchester Evening News:

Quote
Northern is warning of train chaos on Sunday after a large number of staff booked the day off to watch the World Cup final.

The company says it may have to cancel many services as it canít persuade crews to operate them.

According to workersí contracts, they donít have to work on Sundays if they give enough notice.

Last week when England made it into the last four of the World Cup, Northern was inundated with requests for time off Ė around about.

Itís thought that many staff booked the day off with a hope the Three Lions would be playing in the final on Sunday.

A spokesman for the company said they are working to try and get as many people working as possible to minimise disruption, but urged customers to be aware and plan ahead.

Northern will be running an amended timetable across much of the north west of England with many services in Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, likely to be cancelled.
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Timmer
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« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2018, 01:44:50 pm »

GWR are saying on Twitter that the revised timetable should be available this evening as itís still being worked on.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2018, 02:15:30 pm »

I said a couple of months back that I expected driver shortages to mean cancellations to some degree until at least the autumn, especially affecting those depots (predominantly HSS ones) who are able to chuck in their Sundayís.  The World Cup will have only made a bad situation worse this particular Sunday.

Traditionally the number of drivers who wanted to give their Sundayís away were roughly matched by the number of people who wanted to work additional ones making it unusual to be so short that trains had to be cancelled.

The reason that general equilibrium has shifted slowly but surely over recent years is down to a couple of reasons.  Firstly most drivers have seen their wage increase to a level where a larger percentage donít need the traditional wage Ďtop upí working a Sunday gave them. 

Secondly the rate of pay for a Sunday is Ďonlyí time-and-a-quarter which is the same for working a rest day during the week.  More and more drivers therefore can earn the same by working an extra day in the week and having the Sunday off than they would if they just stick to their roster.

Sundayís in the working week is the longer term solution, but as we know is a over two years away at least.  The only short term solutions are going to be very costly.  You could either pay more than time-and-a-quarter so that drivers are more attracted to Sundayís, or you negotiate a one-off payment to buy the local conditions off the drivers at the depots that can currently opt-out.

Both options might leave you shorter during the week, and the second one would need more time consuming union negotiating (and be seen by some to be unfair), so I would favour the former.

Finally, all new drivers now being employed are not able to opt-out unless cover is available, a suggestion Broadgage and maybe others have made.  Though I fear it will be at least five years before that will make any noticeable difference.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2018, 03:54:10 pm »

I said a couple of months back that I expected driver shortages to mean cancellations to some degree until at least the autumn, especially affecting those depots (predominantly HSS ones) who are able to chuck in their Sundayís.  The World Cup will have only made a bad situation worse this particular Sunday.

Traditionally the number of drivers who wanted to give their Sundayís away were roughly matched by the number of people who wanted to work additional ones making it unusual to be so short that trains had to be cancelled.

The reason that general equilibrium has shifted slowly but surely over recent years is down to a couple of reasons.  Firstly most drivers have seen their wage increase to a level where a larger percentage donít need the traditional wage Ďtop upí working a Sunday gave them. 

Secondly the rate of pay for a Sunday is Ďonlyí time-and-a-quarter which is the same for working a rest day during the week.  More and more drivers therefore can earn the same by working an extra day in the week and having the Sunday off than they would if they just stick to their roster.

Sundayís in the working week is the longer term solution, but as we know is a over two years away at least.  The only short term solutions are going to be very costly.  You could either pay more than time-and-a-quarter so that drivers are more attracted to Sundayís, or you negotiate a one-off payment to buy the local conditions off the drivers at the depots that can currently opt-out.

Both options might leave you shorter during the week, and the second one would need more time consuming union negotiating (and be seen by some to be unfair), so I would favour the former.

Finally, all new drivers now being employed are not able to opt-out unless cover is available, a suggestion Broadgage and maybe others have made.  Though I fear it will be at least five years before that will make any noticeable difference.

Thanks for your (always reliably) objective view II.

The money will have to be found - I hope and suspect tomorrow's farce which I note is not restricted to GWR will be massively publicised and bring the issue into sharp relief.


No doubt there will now be cries of "ooooooooooo's gonna pay for it" from the usual sources, but perhaps public and political pressure will assist with applying boots to the backsides of the relevant stakeholders and catalyse a short/medium term solution to be found.

Perhaps there should be a quid pro quo in part in return for the generous wages now being paid to which you allude, and a move by the employers to increase the time + 0.25 to time + 0.5 which is pretty standard for Sunday overtime.


It is truly ridiculous that a 7 day service only means 6 to a large part of the workforce, to the detriment of customers and I can think of no other industry where it exists. Time to move into the modern world.
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