Abellio ScotRail Sunday cancellations

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jonnysr, 27 Apr 2015.

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  1. jonnysr

    jonnysr Member

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    Since Abellio have taken over ScotRail they seem to cancel lots of services on a Sunday without notice which has meant turning up at the station and the train displayed on the screen simply doesn't arrive. It is an absolute scandal and one that seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the media. When the ScotRail website actually displays the status of the train the cancellation seems to be down to "a member of staff being unavailable". The truth seems to be something like Abellio have changed the way Sunday's are paid, they used to be overtime with First but they are now voluntary? I'm completely fed up with the unreliable service Abellio are now offering on Sunday's which has made me 2 hours late for work twice this past month, as I said it's amazing the media haven't picked on the this.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  2. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    do you have evidence that they've cancelled "lots" of trains? Are you sure it's not just a bad coincidence that you've had two in one month cancelled?
     
  3. cf111

    cf111 Established Member

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    I've no idea why services are being cancelled, but I'd advise checking Journeycheck before heading to the station to avoid nasty surprises: http://m.journeycheck.com/scotrail/?null

    There were about 30 cancellations in the Strathclyde area on there yesterday and the Sunday before with the "staff member unavailable " reason.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  4. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Do you (or anyone else) have an idea how that compares to a similar period last year?
     
  5. cf111

    cf111 Established Member

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    Not the foggiest. I don't work for ScotRail so I can't substantiate the claims in the OP either.
     
  6. linkyork

    linkyork Member

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    I suggest you inform the media and see what they do
     
  7. jonnysr

    jonnysr Member

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    Thanks for the tip re journeycheck, it is no use whatsoever though as everything looks ok, the train even appears on the screen in the station but simply doesn't turn up. As I said it appears to be a dispute with staff with the way Abellio have Sunday's contracted. Apparently the staff aren't turning up for work. Absolutely shambolic, and it's left me late for work twice in the past four Sunday's.
     
  8. 87015

    87015 Established Member

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    Correct, the trains will NOT have been on live CIS, journeycheck or anything like that. They were 'pg' cancelled (simply removed from timetables overnight) so as to NOT count as PPM failures ie fiddling the figures.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  9. SkinnyDave

    SkinnyDave Established Member

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    It's not the way Abellio have Sunday's contracted it's not changed since the franchise changeover.

    Sunday is not inside the working week and is classed as overtime, this is an outdated way of working in today's world but some would rather it stay others including ASLEF in Scotrails case want it inside the working week therefore it becomes a pensionable part of the salary.
    In short many TOCS rely on Rest day working to cover shifts on Sunday's and this is not sustainable. Someone from Scotrail may be along to advise on here but it sounds as if drivers are doing their booked Sundays only which is their right to do so.

    I am a driver and I like working Sunday's when I can because there is always something different happening, unusual shunt moves, single line working etc.
    I am in favour of it becoming part of the week.
    We are moving to a 24/7 railway which society demands then the Train companies need to start sitting down with the unions to agree a way forward to meet this demand and not try to run a service on the hoof
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  10. jonnysr

    jonnysr Member

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    ^^^ Thanks for the reply SD, sounds correct the way you have described it. Unfortunately us customers are bearing the brunt at the moment when trains don't turn up as planned. The guard I spoke to the other day said there is a meeting soon (could be today?) to try sort it out.
     
  11. scotraildriver

    scotraildriver Member

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    Nothing has changed with Abellio. Seems to be a combination of higher than normal sickness and people just not wanting overtime. There is no dispute and 30 cancellations is probably only 3 or 4 diagrams.
     
  12. jonnysr

    jonnysr Member

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    The Scottish Government can set the franchise within UK limits, and why shouldn't they? They cannot however re-nationalise etc, there are limits to their powers.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The ScotRail staff member I spoke to seemed to suggest that people weren't doing overtime for a reason, ie so that trains are then cancelled, seems very much like a dispute to me. And your lack of care for your customers is astonishing, only 3 or 4 diagrams so what, people like me rely on these services. I hope all drivers aren't like you and are so blasé about cancellations.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  13. SkinnyDave

    SkinnyDave Established Member

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    He isn't being blase about it he is confirming what I said earlier ..he is just explaining the reality of the situation
    If a Sunday service is to be more reliable then TOCS need to get it into the working week there is no other way around it if not it will always be reliant on overtime.
    The last time this happened Scotrail took to Twitter to say services were being cancelled due to drivers not turning up to work shifts which was grossly inaccurate and I'm surprised that didn't escalate further.
    DFT want it brought in as I understand it and I'd be surprised if Transport Scotland were not of same opinion
     
  14. scotraildriver

    scotraildriver Member

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    I was simply pointing out the large impact of only a few people shortages. Drivers ARE turning up for work when they are rostered, if they didnt they would be disciplined. The issue is that Transport Scotland want more and more Sunday services but dont want to include Sundays in the working week as it would cost them in pensions etc. So services are relying on overtime to run and when not enough people volunteer there are problems. Drivers are doi g what they are contracted to do. If they didnt they could be sacked. As others have said the issue is with the system but staff are an easy target.
     
  15. 68000

    68000 Member

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    I noticed quite a few trains cancelled on the Argyle Line yesterday, the wife was delayed getting home from Motherwell because of the cancellations
     
  16. AngusH

    AngusH Member

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    Given that some services are being cancelled (or not running) are Scotrail still meeting the service specification for services on Sundays?

    Or are the cancelled trains on top of the required specification?

    If they aren't extra, wouldn't Scotrail get fined for missing the target?
     
  17. cf111

    cf111 Established Member

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    I don't think anyone can reasonably have issues with staff about this. Most employers would drop you without a second thought, so nobody should feel compelled to do anything they're not contracted to do. Not a nice situation but if you can't force people to do overtime then it either needs to be in their contract or the services don't run.
     
  18. scotraildriver

    scotraildriver Member

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    Conversely this is why some drivers avoid overtime especially anyone with incidents on file. How mad would you be if you lost your job over an incident and you didnt even need to be there! People are very much on edge regarding operating incidents at the moment and the more you are driving the more chance you have of an incident, especially as Sundays can be odd working.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  19. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Maybe its time Nicola Sturgeon sorted this problem out in her own back yard instead of rabbitting on about how she is going to govern England. ;)
     
  20. SkinnyDave

    SkinnyDave Established Member

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    Fair point, there is also the trap of thinking because a Sunday is generally quieter that you can have a false sense of security and switch off
    Is it TS that is against Sundays inside I thought it was more the company? I am surprised if that is the case as they can't have their cake ie more Sunday services just doesn't make sense
     
  21. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Few people understand diagramming and appreciate that a train driver dosnt just drive 1 train a day. This makes the problem of crew shortages seem far worse than it is.

    If an average driver turn at a suburban operator includes 3 return trips (so 6 trains) and 2 drivers are unavailable (say out of 120 diagrams that day) then instantly you loose 12 trains. If one of those trains ends up in the wrong position due t cancelations this may lead to a 13th train being cancelled. Say one of those jobs includes bringing in a set of empties off the depot at the end the. The train which it forms can't run so you may loose a 14th. If the last train on the other job is relieved en route by another driver then that entire train may be cancelled because they only have a driver for a portion of the journey who can't get there to start the trains journey.

    So when you see 30 trains cancelled a day that dosnt mean industrial action. I know it looks major but it's not and as scotrail driver said, at 6-8 trains in a diagram and considering what I said about cancelled trains not being in the right location for their next bit etc those 30 cancellations may be the result of 4 or 5 driver turns being uncovered out of possible 150+ drivers at work that day.

    I'm not saying it's not a big deal or that that makes it acceptable but pointing out that it's not as many drivers unavailable as you think. 4-5 driver jobs uncovered in a day is pretty good going as far as most TOCs go, most likely vacant posts rather than staff sick or annual leave.
     
  22. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    And then if a ToC employs a few more drivers such that these problems don't happen so much, there's the risk of "PASSENGERS PAY FOR DRIVERS TO SIT AND WATCH TV ALL DAY" scandal headlines
     
  23. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Thanks to all for the informative posts on Diagramming. Whilst the Sunday services dont personally affect me too much as I am generally a creature of habbit, those friends and coleegs who do make Sunday journeys and are by and large full of praise for the service the rest of the week regularly report that it all goes to pot on Sundays with a lot of short forming, overcrouding and admittedly a few cansilations, but again this has all been explained very well upthread.
    Based on this and my own limmited experience of Sunday trains in Scotland I have to agree with whoever said that Sturgen and Co should think local and not national and at least make some effort to sort this mess out, particularly as a huge sum of money each year is spent cramming as many tourists into 1 country as possible. They arnt likely to come back if on the 3rd day of there holiday they have to stand beside the bog on a wedged 170 for nearly 4hrs to reach Inverness, and thats after they got up early to catch the morning train which was canseled at Perth as the driver booked to work it had quite rightly exercised his entitlement to a day off!

    I'm not taking it out on rail staff here, they are fully entitled to both rest days and a propperly paid and rostered working week, regardless of wheather it includes Sundays. There is however a demand from workers, leisure travelers and holidaymakers for services 24/7 so the railway and in this case Transport Scotland had better start adapting so that staff who are relied upon to run these services get a good deal out of it. The longer this goes on the more problems we'll have and I am sure that, like in many other industries that if you dont want to work a Sunday on your roster it can be arranged as there clearly are many who are quite happy to take your place, a fact demonstrated by how many Sunday services do actually run.
     
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