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Old 17th February 2017, 13:33   #11791
ainsworth74
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Originally Posted by SA_900 View Post
Would this not technically be in breach of a bylaw and place you at risk of prosecution?
Technically yes but you'd be brave to prosecute I think!
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Old 17th February 2017, 13:34   #11792
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Originally Posted by BestWestern View Post
Perhaps you could point out the significant cost benefits you feel will be achieved be exchanging a name bagde which says 'Conductor' for one which says 'OBS'?

Alternatively, perhaps you might like to consider how much has been spent attempting to batter staff into submission, on court cases, on the PR propaganda war and on everything else, and then have a think about whether it would have been worth all of that if the only intention was to let Drivers 'do the doors'. There is an end game here. It really isn't difficult to see it. The 'conspiracy' is the repeated refusal to admit that the cost savings are going to come from destaffing the railway.
Not that, BW, but there is a clear benefit to the TOC in moving staff towards Revenue Protection now, and in 20 years time even this will evolve into something else, for example as credit is drained from a passenger account as they travel and the concept of a physical ticket becomes obsolete. But there are shorter term tactical issues. I don't have the figures of how many trains are cancelled due to "staffing / operational issues" but I have like most rail users at some time been ordered off a train or been late because a guard has not been available for whatever reason. I believe all the passengers on such a service would willingly continue part of their journey wiithout a guard / OBS rather than detrain for an indeterminate wait for what will then be a very overcrowded and unpleasant continuation and the TOC of course would prefer a train to run to time than be withdrawn for financial reasons. Perhaps in an uncertain future the role of OBS may morph once again into something closer to the role of a BTP officer on every train for criminal damage deterrence - I hope not but who knows? I do accept that passengers including myself- would prefer to have a member of staff on the train whatever his/her badge says but if saying OBS or Train Manager rather than Guard or Conductor means more journeys are completed to time then I am happy. Passengers can be selfish too.
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Old 17th February 2017, 13:37   #11793
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The 24hr booking system makes a mockery of everything done to offer equality between Disabled and Non-Disabled passengers. Where I am you currently have a situation where a Disabled user can use the train virtually like any other passengers, turn up and go, with the Guard always being there to enable this. The only exception to this is for wheelchair users where travel is to or from the few stations where infrastructure like lifts and ramps to avoid step aren't provided. Even in those cases where the destination is the problem though it is the Guard who normally liaises with the Disabled passenger and control to make alternative arrangements. To take away this existing provision from these passengers, forcing a system where people, some of whom commute to and from work every day in a wheelchair, will now have to book specific trains 24hrs in advance for every day, even then without an absolute guarantee of being able to travel on their desired train, is completely against the spirit of what the DDA/Equalities Act tries to achieve.

Given the lengths many industries/companies/businesses have had to go to comply with the DDA/Equalities Act, with serious money being involved, it would seem ridiculous that the railway can seriously reduce its provision to Disabled passengers...



This ignores the circumstances of the second vote though. I appreciate that various people have played up that 'only' 54% voted no, but to me it ignores the real significance of ASLEF members having to vote no against the recommendation of ASLEF. Where I am the Drivers voting against something recommended and supported by ASLEF would be considered incredible! Going by what Drivers are saying where I am, the main reason they'd have voted yes to accept that deal (the majority wouldn't have anyway) was not because they supported the deal, but largely because that was what ASLEF recommended. I think this is also why the turnout was lower this time around, as not voting avoided voting against ASLEF's recommendation... As such, I wouldn't underestimate the continued feeling against this deal/DOO.
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Old 17th February 2017, 13:41   #11794
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Even on trains with guards, booking in advance makes scant assurance that assistance will be available. I book my weekly commuting journeys on a Saturday for the following week. This week there was no assistance on Wednesday, Thursday and today and I was helped onto the train by another passenger each time. This isn't that unusual and last week I had to get myself and my wheelchair off the train to avoid being carried back the way I'd come. If the situation is like this now with guards on the train, I dread to think what it's going to be like once they've gone.
I think you need to get a TV camera crew with you to make a documentary. You couldn't do every day live as they might make an effort just for TV.
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In Berlin on the U-Bahn(5 minute headway, stops every 1-2 minutes) and the S-Bahn(5-10 minute headway, stops every 2-3 minutes in the centre), they load and unload wheelchairs every day without station staff or a conductor.

The wheelchair user waits by the front cab door. The driver sees them, then while people are getting on and off he sets up the ramp stored on the platform adjacent to the first passenger door, and the wheelchair goes on. Then he puts the ramp back and off the train goes. This video shows the procedure : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olyphv8lEGY

They can also do DOO dispatch from the platform on the S-Bahn. In the cab there is a microphone on a long cord. The driver stands on the platform, announces he is closing the doors, presses a button on the microphone to trigger the door closure, and then gets back in the cab and drives off. Safety problems solved.

So there are other options if you think outside the box a bit, and see the driver as a flexible human worker, not someone strapped into a chair. I doubt this could ever be implemented in Britain though. If ASLEF were told their members had to work harder and the in process make on train staff redundant they would go ballistic.
Unfortunately they didn't stick the disabled space by the drivers cab. Now you might say they were stupid idiots for not doing so when they designed the rolling stock. However that is with hindsight.

Last edited by infobleep; 17th February 2017 at 13:55.
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Old 17th February 2017, 13:45   #11795
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What case law are you talking about? Have there been any cases about disabled passengers turning up to go and their right to get on a train? AFAIK Bestwestern is correct, DOO has been in place elsewhere without any such cases.

Anyway Parliament is supreme, the judiciary may overrule the Goverment (as it has recently in the Article 50 case) but it can't overrule parliamentary law.

It really is grasping at straws to believe otherwise.
It was found that one law the government had written was against EU Law so the law was found to be illegal. I don't have the details of the law to hand but it highlights how a law could be ruled illegal. This occurred within the last couple of years.

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Old 17th February 2017, 13:53   #11796
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Would this not technically be in breach of a bylaw and place you at risk of prosecution?
I'd love to see that go to court.
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Old 17th February 2017, 14:00   #11797
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If drivers were to do the ramps, as they're leaving the cab to walk down the train, the cab would have to be shutdown and secured (The Signaller informed etc). Then load the passeenger, stow the ramp, return to the cab and set up (contact the signaller again).. and then proceed... easily several minutes added.
Why is all that necessary on the GB rail network but seemingly not on the Berlin U-Bahn?
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Old 17th February 2017, 14:15   #11798
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Originally Posted by Domeyhead View Post
Of course it is about saving money! You say this as though this is a revelation of a sinister conspiracy between the DFT and the Franchise holders.


More likely reason is that its about making sure every service that can impact on the Thameslink 2018 timetable has the most efficient possible dwell time - not that there's much chance of that timetable working anyway unless DfT has a complete rethink and recasts it as a short distance metro-style timetable.
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Old 17th February 2017, 14:17   #11799
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Would this not technically be in breach of a bylaw and place you at risk of prosecution?
Possibly, but I would not expect too harsh a punishment in the circumstances! Alternatively, simply stick one's wheelchair in the doors and wait.
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Old 17th February 2017, 14:29   #11800
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More likely reason is that its about making sure every service that can impact on the Thameslink 2018 timetable has the most efficient possible dwell time - not that there's much chance of that timetable working anyway unless DfT has a complete rethink and recasts it as a short distance metro-style timetable.
I assume you've not been out and experienced the new DOO regime on Southern then? It has certainly not led to shorter dwell times, quite the opposite as several posters on here have commented on.
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:12   #11801
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As mentioned upthread, the uncertainty can be really stressful, especially where you are doing the journey frequently and this is on top of the usual commuting stresses
This is a good point, and one which we should all remember, including sceptics of the strikes like me.

It's easy to rationalise that, on one level, if a lack of guard cancels a train, a disabled person would not have been able to board it anyway, whereas with the OBS model at least the train can continue in normal service and reduce congestion.

But I entirely appreciate that the uncertainty must be a real source of stress, anxiety and frustration, to the extent that it might reduce disabled travellers' confidence to take a job in London.

Similar uncertainty has, after all, been the major cause of stress, anxiety and frustration in all commuters on the GTR network during the travails there and it would clearly be wrong to wish that on disabled travellers on a permanent basis.

I think my only qualification to the above is that we should be happy to investigate all methods of dealing with the issue, including technological changes (automatic ramps, etc) and greater use of station staff.
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:27   #11802
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Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
Why is all that necessary on the GB rail network but seemingly not on the Berlin U-Bahn?
Well its a bit different staying near the cab.. to having to walk 3 coaches away to load a passenger. Drivers can't leave the cab active and walk away down the platform. Unfortunately you never know what kind of person might just gain access to the cab (etc etc).

I also don't write the rulebook so can't answer why the German Operation on U-bahn is different to GB Rail.
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:42   #11803
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Why is all that necessary on the GB rail network but seemingly not on the Berlin U-Bahn?
Or the Munich S-Bahn?
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Old 17th February 2017, 17:03   #11804
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Ok so let's say that all trains are changed so there is a wheelchair area behind the driver at both ends with an accessible toilet, so you have two wheelchair areas and two accessible toilets, one at either end of the unit. What happens where drivers are required to change ends mid journey? How do you factor in the addition dwell times of the driver getting out of their cab, accessing the ramp etc and then getting back in their cab? What about platforms that tapper at the ends so there isn't the room to get a wheelchair off?
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Old 17th February 2017, 17:19   #11805
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Why is all that necessary on the GB rail network but seemingly not on the Berlin U-Bahn?
You are trying to compare one underground system in one German city against the whole national network in the UK, surely the comparison your looking for is one national network ie Germany against one national network ie UK.
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