August 2011 in Train Operations
A reporter is concerned that Drivers working Saturday evening shifts become especially fatigued when they cannot rest properly before an early Monday morning shift. The reporter states that this happens at many Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) depots.
Saturday evening shifts often finish at 02:00 or 03:00 on a Sunday morning. If Drivers sleep as soon as they arrive home, they often rise at around 11:00. They are then awake during the daytime, but would normally need to sleep before starting a Monday morning shift at 04:00. It is very difficult to sleep properly in these circumstances when the body clock is disturbed and often a full night's sleep is not possible.
If Sunday were classed as a rest day, Drivers would have 32 hours' rest which would allow their bodies to make the necessary adjustment. The reporter is concerned that fatigued Drivers are more likely to have a signal passed at danger or a station overrun if they are unable to rest fully between shifts.
The reporter would like to know:
Response from Arriva Trains Wales
At the time of writing Sundays are classed as being outside the working week and therefore are not classed as rest days; payment for working Sundays is over and above salary.
Further options are currently being explored to ensure that Driver fatigue is managed proactively. In order to do this, monitoring software is being developed. Before this can be safely implemented analysis of any potential impacts needs to be undertaken. More news will be communicated to Drivers and Union Representatives as the work progresses.