EXTENSION OF DRIVER-ONLY DISPATCH OPERATION, CLASS 387 TRAINS – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY

Our Ref: BR2/0146

24th May 2017

Dear Colleague,

EXTENSION OF DRIVER-ONLY DISPATCH OPERATION, CLASS 387 TRAINS – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY

I have received a resolution from our Paddington No 1 Branch that a train dispatch risk assessment covering Slough station has been prepared by GWR. The assessment details information regarding the introduction of new 12-car Class 387 passenger trains operating between Paddington and Maidenhead.

The document raises a number of concerns and states that the operational dispatch method proposed would be an extension of Driver-Only Dispatch Operation / Self Dispatch, similar to services at unstaffed GWR stations in the Thames Valley area. This is incredibly problematic as Slough and Maidenhead are currently staffed stations, therefore, this document proposes an extension of DOO in the Slough area by making Class 387 trains ‘self-dispatch’ at these locations. Additionally, it is alleged that these documents have been risk assessed and signed by an RMT Representative. However, the alleged ‘signatory’ has no prior knowledge of these documents or given any permission to such documents. As you are aware, this is incredibly worrying and obviously has wider implications especially considering the company has just provided us with guarantees on no extension of DOO or DCO operation.

Therefore, the NEC has considered this matter and noted the unacceptable approach to conducting health and safety risk assessments by Great Western Railway. I am currently seeking an urgent report from our Lead Officer and a response from the company on the extension of Driver-Only Dispatch for Class 387 trains. Furthermore, a meeting is being arranged with our GWR Stations and On-Trains Divisional Council, Lead Officer and NEC to discuss this issue. Additionally, I have informed the company that we expect them to contact the Lead Officer to appoint the relevant accredited representative to carry out any assessment to avoid any misrepresentation.

Your union is monitoring this situation carefully. Therefore, I shall keep you fully advised of any further developments relating to this matter.

Yours sincerely
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary