February 2012 in Train Operations
A reporter is concerned about a new method of working which reduces the number of staff on the gateline at Newport station.
Previously the ticket barriers at the station had to be staffed by two members of Revenue Protection staff at all times. It is believed this was for safety reasons. However, following a risk assessment that was carried out at Cardiff station, staff have now been informed that only one Revenue Protection Assistant needs to be on the barriers.
The reporter is concerned that having only one member of staff on the ticket barriers means that they won't be able to do their job effectively when having to deal with enquiries from passengers or fare evaders. As the two sets of ticket barriers are not close to each other or the booking office it is feared that staff are more vulnerable to assault.
It is believed that this new method of working has not been adopted at other stations on the network, including Cardiff where the risk assessment was carried out.
Could Arriva Trains Wales:
Response from Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales thanks the reporter for raising their concerns and would like to take the opportunity to reiterate that we consider the safety of all of our employees of utmost importance.
We can confirm that the minimum staff levels for gatelines have not changed. The requirements are for one employee to be present at each group of gates when they are in use. Wherever possible, we will allocate more employees to gateline duties but this is for ticket sales and not for any specific safety reason. If extra employees are not available, then only gateline monitoring duties are undertaken.
Arriva Trains Wales has risk assessments in place for all its gatelines and the Newport risk assessment was reviewed in September 2010. Employees at Newport and the Local Union Safety Representative were consulted on the findings of the risk assessment at the time of its review. The consultation will be repeated at the next review of the risk assessment. We cannot say that risk assessments at every location will come to the same conclusions.
Whilst we aim for a consistent approach, the risk control measures required will always depend on local factors and requirements. Arriva Trains Wales will ensure that the Newport Station Manager places a copy of the risk assessment on display at Newport for employees.