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Author Topic: Rail Strike Looming  (Read 8539 times)
JayMac
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« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2022, 11:53:36 pm »

We could do a lot worse than adopt the German concept of co-determination, where unions have a direct input in the management of companies. Co-dermination allows for worker councils who work with management on the shop floor to iron out issues, and for union representatives to be elected to supervisory roles at board level.

That said, it's hard to see company directors in the UK (United Kingdom) welcoming the likes of RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) firebrands to their boards. It would require legislation. An attitude shift would also be required. From our current adversarial approach between unions and employers/goverment to a more collegiate one.

No system is perfect though. Germany has faced recent rail strikes. The GDL union representing rail workers in Germany is, not unlike its UK counterpart, the RMT, one of that country's more millitant unions.

When you can disrupt public transport you can wield disproportionate power compared to say shutting down a car plant or a white goods factory.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #46 on: May 26, 2022, 06:11:10 am »

https://twitter.com/GWRHelp/status/1529442805084561409?t=zDM7BguIoTQFoUEXQnhOGQ&s=09

Message from Mark Hopwood. Actually sums up the colossal amounts of taxpayers money pumped into the railways recently very well, and provides very good perspective and context for the many who need it.
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« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2022, 06:26:49 am »

https://twitter.com/GWRHelp/status/1529442805084561409?t=zDM7BguIoTQFoUEXQnhOGQ&s=09

Message from Mark Hopwood. Actually sums up the colossal amounts of taxpayers money pumped into the railways recently very well, and provides very good perspective and context for the many who need it.

There is no disputing the larges sum of money pumped into the railways during the pandemic, however the UK (United Kingdom) Government made the decision that the rail network would operate a full train service despite there being no or very little revenue being generated.  The rail industry did make a recommendation to the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) to reduce capacity and services whist maintaining adequate services for key workers; the proposal would have meant furloughing rail workers.  The Government decided the political damage could be to high if key workers had even the slightest trouble getting to work, also it was 'more cost effective' to employ rail staff than furlough them.

The Government are now trying to recoup the money when they could have reduced the cost during the pandemic   
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ChrisB
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« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2022, 07:23:09 am »

Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.
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« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2022, 08:08:26 am »

Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.

The subsidy is (in broad terms) the difference between the cost of operation and the farebox income, and from what I saw on Monday, that farebox has come back strongly, but probably still has some way to go.   Trains were crowded enough / busy along the south coast though I have a feeling that some of the 4 car trains would have been 8 cars in the past.  5 and 4 cars on the Cardiff - Portsmouths I used.  The TransWilts service at 09:46 from Westbury had a real surge on when the incoming train arrived - amazing as I expect that train's main pickups to be Trowbridge and Melksham.

Any "recouping" will be when and if the farebox income exceeds the operating cost.  With shorter trains in places, that's unlikely (although you could "simplify" fares by removing better value options).  And it's also unlikely if reliability gets worse - be it because of staff illness, industrial action, cows on the line or cracked trains!
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« Reply #50 on: May 26, 2022, 04:41:51 pm »

BTW (by the way), I received a ballot paper in order that I could vote by post in the recent strike ballot.
I am not, and never have been a member of the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers).

I returned it, unmarked, and have now received a letter thanking me for returning it.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2022, 04:50:20 pm »

Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.

The subsidy is (in broad terms) the difference between the cost of operation and the farebox income, and from what I saw on Monday, that farebox has come back strongly, but probably still has some way to go.   Trains were crowded enough / busy along the south coast though I have a feeling that some of the 4 car trains would have been 8 cars in the past.  5 and 4 cars on the Cardiff - Portsmouths I used.  The TransWilts service at 09:46 from Westbury had a real surge on when the incoming train arrived - amazing as I expect that train's main pickups to be Trowbridge and Melksham.

Any "recouping" will be when and if the farebox income exceeds the operating cost.  With shorter trains in places, that's unlikely (although you could "simplify" fares by removing better value options).  And it's also unlikely if reliability gets worse - be it because of staff illness, industrial action, cows on the line or cracked trains!

Now this the scary part ....................

Rail fare price increase are based on? .............. Will the Government put a cap on the increase for 2023?
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JayMac
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« Reply #52 on: May 26, 2022, 07:03:28 pm »

however the UK (United Kingdom) Government made the decision that the rail network would operate a full train service despite there being no or very little revenue being generated. 

There were cuts to services during the pandemic though. My local service was cut from hourly to two hourly. Ticket office hours were reduced. Catering was removed.
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« Reply #53 on: May 27, 2022, 07:07:56 am »

 I notice Scotrail have offered their Driver's 4.2 %  with no compulsory redundancies.
 
  Quite a good offer in my opinion,  surprised if GWR (Great Western Railway) would match that bearing in mind their agenda to
   'run-down' ticket offices.
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« Reply #54 on: May 27, 2022, 07:14:11 am »

I notice Scotrail have offered their Driver's 4.2 %  with no compulsory redundancies.
 
  Quite a good offer in my opinion,  surprised if GWR (Great Western Railway) would match that bearing in mind their agenda to
   'run-down' ticket offices.
Have you got a source or any further information regarding GWR’s agenda to ‘run down’ ticket offices Henry?
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Henry
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« Reply #55 on: May 27, 2022, 07:24:25 am »


 Apparently their was the rumour of changing Schedule 17 with regard to the
 ticket office hours. Of course with the expansion, in some area's, of 'smart cards.'
 and e-tickets etc. etc.  the downturn in the use of ticket offices has alarmed ticket office staff.

 
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grahame
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« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2022, 08:04:17 am »


 Apparently their was the rumour of changing Schedule 17 with regard to the
 ticket office hours. Of course with the expansion, in some area's, of 'smart cards.'
 and e-tickets etc. etc.  the downturn in the use of ticket offices has alarmed ticket office staff.

 

Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Traditional counters at banks have largely gone, to be replaced by fewer branches with machines doing much of the remaining work and a smattering of reception staff "out front" rather than locked away being screens to handle the human touch where it's needed or wanted for some reason.

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?   My local station had an impressive ticket office with racks of Edmonson tickets up the 1960s, when it closed along with the station itself.  Since then, the station has reopened and many, many years later a ticket machine was added. Last year a cafe opened run by the local CRP (Community Rail Partnership), and I find myself thinking that it could usefully be providing a rail passenger support service, such as ticketing and travel advice ... along with so many other station cafes.
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« Reply #57 on: May 27, 2022, 08:21:33 am »

A current small-scale example is the not-for-profit rail travel agent Severn-Dee Travel at Gobowen station http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/.
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grahame
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« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2022, 10:09:54 am »

A current small-scale example is the not-for-profit rail travel agent Severn-Dee Travel at Gobowen station http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/.

Indeed - and I can recall models at Chester-le-Street and Llandrindod Wells and a concession at Looe.     Complexity of fare systems (but GBR (Great British Railways) will sort that out, right  Grin ) and so staff training levels, etc, have been an issue.   Also who pays for the service - it's been percentage commission on ticket sales based or was when I looked into it.  Percentages have been squeezed over the years, and for stations with primarily local traffic are slim, especially when cost of sales including card provider commissions are taken.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2022, 10:52:34 am »

Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?

I don’t think that’s left field at all.  It’s already happening to some degree on the railway and there will clearly be no long term future for ticket offices as we know them.
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