February 2012 in Train Operations
Drivers at Ilford depot are concerned about not receiving late or Weekly Operations Notices (WON) when booking on early in the morning.
The reporter comments that Drivers are not receiving notices relating to weather based restrictions such as rail head conditions, high winds or temperature, and on occasion they have not received the WON which contradicts the Rule Book. Depot Administrators used to be responsible for publishing the notices before Drivers booked on, but since the post was removed in February 2010, Line Managers have been responsible for this. However, Managers at the depot do not book on until 08:00 and Drivers book on from 04:30, so many Drivers begin their shift without this information. When the Depot Administrator posts were removed staff were told that screens would be installed to display up-to-date late notices, but this has yet to happen.
"...Drivers on occasion have not received the weekly operating notices..."
The reporter is also concerned that carrying out Depot Administrator tasks is taking up a considerable amount of the Line Manager's time, leaving little time to manage staff. As a result, safety related changes are not always being briefed in the most effective way. The reporter suggests that the Depot Administrator posts are reinstated to overcome this problem.
Could National Express East Anglia:
Response from National Express East Anglia
National Express East Anglia would like to thank the reporter for raising their concerns.
At the end of 2009, Train Crew supervision was centralised into the Control Centre to monitor staff booking and to enable 24/7 supervision during times of disruption. All of our Main Line Drivers have been issued with a personal mobile phone and they can contact the Duty Train Crew Manager, Controller or Fleet Technician at any time.
Recently, there has been the odd occasion where some difficulties have been experienced in getting Weekly Operating Notices (WONs) to Ilford depot. WONs are printed centrally and delivered to the depot by a member of staff. Recently, we have used restricted Drivers for this task however, this is now under review.
We are currently consulting with the union regarding the use of electronic display screens. In the meantime there is agreement with the local staff representatives for the standby Driver to post the late notices.
Managers are often at the depots early to comply with our Competence Management System and to assess the depot Drivers during the hours of darkness. Whilst at the depot they also undertake a depot check before 09:00.