January 2011 in London Underground
A reporter is concerned about London Underground's lone Supervisor proposals to remove some Customer Service Assistant (CSA) positions, despite the fact it may impact on the effectiveness of an emergency response.
The proposals - which may be introduced in February 2011 - will mean Supervisors at certain stations will work alone with no CSA support.
The proposals are likely to affect quite a few stations, but Ealing Broadway is highlighted as a particular concern because of the slightly more complicated arrangements currently in place. Two Underground lines - District and Central - terminate at Ealing Broadway, and the station is jointly operated by First Great Western, the mainline franchise holder. First Great Western staff currently have no jurisdiction over Underground trains or platforms.
The reporter is mainly concerned about the potential impact on safety if any incidents occur. For example, response times may increase under the proposals in the following situations where:
The reporter understands the need for the efficient allocation of staff resources, but would like London Underground to consider whether lone Supervisor cover would really be adequate at stations like Ealing Broadway. Please comment.
Thank you for your enquiry. There are proposed changes to LUL operations which, if implemented, will have an impact upon the LUL staffing levels at Ealing Broadway station. The proposed changes will see the number of Customer Service Assistants (CSAs) fall from three to zero with the number of Station Supervisor Multi Functionals (SSMF) remaining at the existing level of five.
Such proposed changes to LUL station rosters and staffing levels are not made lightly and are subject to a Change Assurance Plan (CAP) conducted by LUL's Safety, Quality and Environment (SQE) Directorate. CAPs are risk based reports providing detailed analysis on matters including (amongst others):
Additionally, proposed rosters will be designed to minimise the risk of fatigue in accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidelines.
Ealing Broadway is a surface station and is not subject to the 'Section 12' requirements imposed upon sub-surface stations. Consequently, there is no requirement for LUL to staff Ealing Broadway for safety reasons. For example, where South West Trains staff manages Wimbledon and Richmond stations, there are no LUL staff at all. This is the same situation at Ealing Broadway, as the station is managed by First Great Western (FGW). The proposal to retain a roster of five SSMFs at Ealing Broadway is likely to have been made for service reasons. To take the reporters points in turn:
An SSMF will be present during the vast majority of times at Ealing Broadway and will be available for such instances. Assistance will also be provided by FGW staff. FGW staff will evacuate the station during any times when the SSMF is not on site (e.g. meal relief).
Trespassers on the track
Normal operational procedures will take place when dealing with such occurrences (e.g. switching off of traction current, communications between Train Operators, Signal Control staff, the LUL Network Operations Centre (NOC), British Transport Police, etc). FGW staff are also available.
The SSMF should be competent to deal with the manual securing of points if necessary by the appropriate operational procedure. If the SSMF is not present (or if the nature of the points failure is too complex), normal LUL operational procedures designed to deal with such occurrences will be implemented. This includes support from the group Duty Station Managers (DSM) and the mobile Duty Manager Trains (DMT). If points failure leads to service suspension, then existing procedures should be adopted to deal with such occurrences.
Operational procedures apply. There will also be communications between Train Operators, signalling control staff and the NOC. The NOC will liaise with emergency services if required. There may also be a group DSM and a mobile DMT available for additional support. FGW staff are also available.
Customers ill or injured
Again, existing operational procedures apply. FGW staff are also available.