January 2011 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about the lack of time Planners in the National Delivery Unit (NDU) have to carry out accurate possession planning.
It is felt that the time available is inadequate for proper checks of finer planning details. Concern has been expressed that if checks do not pick up on possible errors there could be a chain of events that lead to an accident occurring. The reporter fears a work site could be planned partially within possession boundaries and some of it outside.
Despite raising concerns with Managers, the reporter has been told to "just get on and do it". Workload management is a key issue that the reporter believes needs to be addressed to ensure the safety of Track Workers is not put at risk.
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention.
Could Network Rail review the possession planning time available for NDU Possession Staff?
In line with the National Delivery Service (NDS) reorganisation that went live in September 2009, the Network Rail "national planning process" (Standards NR/L2/NDS/202 and NR/L3/NDS/302) was re-written and agreed with all parties within the industry. The structure and number of the planning teams was determined on current data of number of possessions/work sites/T2's and resources planned by the group.
Is it possible for Network Rail to provide Possession
Planners with more time and resources to plan possessions more
The number of individuals in any planning team is derived from the workload (as described above). This is based on the new process and the concept of continuous planning; from T-37 to the commencement of works, with the T-7 lock down being moved further out to facilitate more time for quality planning, and to facilitate accurate possession packs in line with possession and work site delivery.
In line with our policies and processes, NDS have always stated that we will review the processes and workload where necessary - this will continue and be actioned accordingly.