Exhausted drivers...

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by AndrewE, 6 Jan 2020.

  1. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-51005755 says
    Driver fatigue was a factor in the Croydon tram crash too.
    I just can't understand the UK obsession with not employing enough people to do a job properly. I know it's for the benefit of the shareholders and the top brass's salaries, but why can't we legislate to eliminate this? It's unfair on the employees, damages the economy by not passing it round and is a danger to the rest of us.
     
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  3. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    If they are driving within their legal hours then is it the legislation that needs tightening up ?
     
  4. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Don't think legal hours are the issue, be more shift patterns, TFL services are either 24 hour, with those that aren't operate 4am until 1am, or night only routes, if you've done a 8-10 hour shift finishing 11pm or later say Monday, have Tuesday & Wednesday off, then you have an early turn with a 8-10 hour shift from 3-4am Thursday, then vice versa the following week, it's impossible you set your body clock to get enough sleep
     
  5. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Can't the legislation be amended to make appropriate allowances ?
     
  6. Megafuss

    Megafuss Member

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    [
    Schedulers should be able to avoid this sort of thing in all but extreme cases (such as outstation work). But I think the Unions could ask to revisit schedule agreements as part of pay talks as well in order to guarantee minimum rest/max work
     
  7. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    I wouldn't let it anywhere near pay talks, as we shall only get all the usual culprits accusing the unions of blackmail. It is a basic H&S issue that can be raised by safety reps at any time.
    The original article makes it very clear that the management are aware of the issue and implies that the union has run out of patience because the can is being kicked down the road.
    I would say that even commissioning the report would completely undermine the fine words in any Company safety policy and has made it clear that their Risk Assessment (or response to recognised risks) is totally inadequate.
    Inaction (continued inaction) will count against the employer in the event of an accident put down to fatigue: The offence of Corporate Manslaughter was devised for reckless management who put the public (or their workers) at risk. Unfortunately the HSE - or Traffic commissioners or whowever - don't have enough teeth and courts don't seem to bother about holding employers accountable.
     
  8. Geordie driver

    Geordie driver Member

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    I can guarantee that in the event of an accident if the drivers hours at legal there will be no action against the company. It's the length of the legal hours and the race to the bottom that is the problem.
    2 full days off between a late finish and an early start not enough?!!
    I have driven right at the max of my hours ( when I was young, fitter and daft) with my legal "day off" being, in reality, finishing at 3pm on a Sunday and starting at 3pm on a Monday, often for weeks on end.
    It's the current legal hours that are a problem.
    Companies will squeal like stuck pigs should they try to bring the hours down, nothing will be done.
    I would be interested I the long term health implications of the current UK local service hours. Very few drivers I knew from the 80s made it past 70 years old.
     
  9. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I’ve heard that most shifts in London buses are short with drivers complaining they aren’t getting enough hours and being ‘forced’ to do overtime to make up their money.
    On a CPC day I asked about fatigue (they see no problem employing people commuting in 2 hours from the seaside) and was laughed at.
     
  10. Geordie driver

    Geordie driver Member

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    When I started driving in the mid 80s most shift were 6 or 7 hours driving Now 9 or 10 hours driving is the norm.
     
  11. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    After 50 years the memory gets a bit hazy, but when I worked in London Transport Bus Schedules Dept the maximum shift was something less than 8 hours, and the maximum duty within that shift something like 4 hours 30 mins, except for a 5 hour straight shift, which was incredibly rare.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2020
  12. Simon75

    Simon75 Member

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    I travelled today on a D&G bus 94 Newcastle to Congleton. Caught bus in Tunstall 10.07,arrived about 10.50 (driver drove back to Newcastle then back to Congleton). Same driver at 13.45 back to Newcastle
     
  13. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

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    I just looked at the timetable and I don't think it was the same bus - so the driver hadn't stuck with it all day with no break. There's a short route to Bradwell and back that could have been swapped.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    One of the Stagecoach MCSL routes X2 Preston-Liverpool is operated by Preston depot, driver does the 13.45 from Preston arrives in Liverpool 16.20, has a 5 minute layover, departs 16.25 & that's providing the X2 is on time, scheduled to arrive back in Preston at 18.53, 5 hours 10 minutes with a 5 minute break, the X2 takes 2 hours 15 to 2 hours 30 for one journey.

    1/X1 Chester Business Park/Chester-Liverpool are quite long routes now, 1, timetables to take 2 hours, X1, takes 90 minutes, both are notorious for delays especially around Cheshire Oaks with buses running up to 45 late are not uncommon, drivers can easily do a 5 hour shift without a break on that route.
     
  15. Geordie driver

    Geordie driver Member

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    I am not sure why people are surprised at these driving periods, it has become the norm in much of the industry and perfectly legal. Worst shift we had was 5 hrs 30 mins on a circular route, no access to toilet facilities and no real turning around time as you were always late, 30 minute break then pick up the same route for another 4 hours. But I have been told on this forum that this doesn't happen, it does.
     
  16. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Not sure what your point is. That's perfectly legal.
     
  17. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    The shift length, hourly pay rate, facilities and lack of cash handling in London are on the face of it considerably better than most other places, so what is it that's making drivers so disgruntled? Pressure? Management attitude? Passenger attitude? Constant traffic congestion and late running?
     
  18. carlberry

    carlberry Established Member

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    The drivers will get it in the neck a lot because of the London idea that the buses are there to be choreographed into a nice regular frequency and not for the benefit of the passengers most of whom resent hanging around for 5 minutes 'to regulate the frequency' or being turfed off at somebodies whim.
     
  19. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    That's a fairly recent development, though, which unfortunately imo didn't get nipped in the bud before it became commonplace. It's a result of the payment/bonus regime that's evolved since the time when private operators became charged with running the buses under contract, rather than TfL running them themselves cf the rail 'industry' which adopted the same model first, with the disastrous results we witness today!
     
  20. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    This is very true and seems to be getting worse. It's a difficult nut to crack given the wildly varying running times on London even on the same day of the week at the same time, which seems to be getting ever more variable.

    I don't think holding buses can be totally eliminated (it's always been done on the underground to regulate the service), but controllers seem to be taking an increasingly crude and simplistic approach to it without any thought given to the passengers and drivers. It's like a video game to them - how close can you get that EWT variance on the screen to zero?
     
  21. richw

    richw Established Member

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    For domestic hours we have to have the 24 hours off after 13 days straight work. My employer enforces this as a calendar day rather than 24 hours by clock.
     
  22. Geordie driver

    Geordie driver Member

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    Are they being given targets to meet? In which case,common sense goes out the window?
     
  23. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Yes, EWT variance has to be as close to zero as possible and is displayed in real time and continually updated on the controller's screen. It's like a live bus control video game.
     
  24. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    As far as I know, all TfL routes have to meet targets. How closely they meet the targets is, I believe, taken into account when the route comes up at 5 years, and again (if applicable) at 7 years when determining who should be awarded the next tender.
     
  25. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    They are incentivised through quarterly bonuses and penalties based on how close they can get to the schedule average wait time on a high frequency route. This is directly in the control of the controllers.

    Every route has an excess waiting time (EWT) standard which is published in the tender specification. This may typically be 1.0min, meaning that on a 10 min frequency service the expectation is that the average wait time will be 6min (headway/2 + 1.0). Achieve less than 1.0 min EWT and the operator gets a bonus as a % of the contract price. Achieve greater than 1.0min EWT and the operator has a similarly calculated penalty deducted from the contract price.

    The controller's job is therefore to keep those buses at regular headway. Each bus on the route diagram is coloured to show whether it's on time, late or early.
     
  26. Geordie driver

    Geordie driver Member

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    I thought so and I know nothing about how TFL works, but this is the modern way.
     
  27. RT4038

    RT4038 Member

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    But this is easily fixable by not having rotating rosters - drivers working the same (more or less) shift times each day and having fixed rest days, USA style, -permanent evening shifts and every Tuesday & Wednesday off anybody? Eliminates this type of fatigue. Rotating rosters are there for the convenience of the staff (sharing out earlies and lates, long weekends etc). Be careful what you wish for.
     

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