Posted 18th September 2018 | 3 Comments

Cost of second person on Merseyrail is revealed

THE cost of employing a second person on all Merseyrail trains will be discussed by the combined authority of the Liverpool City Region this week, and a report suggests it will add £7 million a year to the costs of the system.

Merseytravel and Merseyrail have agreed to carry a second member of staff on all trains when the new fleet arrives in 2021, after a prolonged dispute with the RMT. This led to a number of disruptive strikes before the union’s demand was finally conceded in August.

It had originally been proposed to run most trains as DOO, but have a second member of staff on board in peak periods and also on late night services. This proposal sparked the dispute with the RMT.

According to the report, Merseytravel will be required to find the extra cash, and fares may have to rise as a result.

A statement released at the end of August had warned that ‘in order to pay for a second member of staff on each train additional funding will now need to be generated. Productivity proposals have come forward from the Acas process that will cover some of the required funding. However additional means will also need to be considered by all parties, which could include an enhanced crackdown on fare evasion and increased fares.’

A final agreement with the RMT could take several months to complete, but the strikes have been suspended.

The meeting, scheduled for Friday this week, will authorise the authority to ’explore options’ for funding a second member of staff. The report concludes: ‘All parties are in agreement that any such solution will need to be conditional on affordability and as such Merseytravel are asked to work with Merseyrail to present options to the Combined Authority for financing the second person.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Graham Lees, LONDON

    'You and your colleagues have saved hundreds of lives......' A bit OTT, surely. Certainly a very broad statement to make without supporting evidence.
    If hundreds of lives have been saved, I assume the incidents have been reported and investigated? If not, why not?
    [It could be argued that every time a passenger train is safely and properly dispatched lives have been preserved, if not actually saved. This correspondence will now cease, and further letters on this point will not be posted.--Ed.]

  • Steve Jackson, Leeds

    Dear Jeremy,

    Your ignorance is plain to see for all. A supporter of DOO can only mean you have no idea how critical a second safety person on the train is. I and my colleagues have saved hundreds of lives by being the second safety-critical person on the train.

    I'm absolutely astounded that there are people out there like you that have no regard for the safety of the railway and the passengers who use it daily. Do not be fooled by the rhetoric of reduced fares for less staff. You will only receive a worse service and be lining the pockets of shareholders, financing their wealthy lifestyles.

  • Jeremy Milton, Manchester

    Make sure the second person on board actually does something, always, collecting fares etc, or review the deal in a couple of years and go to full DOO.