“We have secured a deal that protects our modernisation programme for the extension of DOO and the new OBS role which we’ve now implemented and is retained going forward as part of this agreement.” – Charles Horton, GTR Boss, 2 February 2017.

The GTR deal is bad news for Traincrew and passengers.

  • You have lost the guarantee of a second member of staff on your train. Drivers will be on their own and exposed and vulnerable. We already know that GTR have been running many trains without OBS and the exemptions in Appendix A of the deal will make this even more frequent and represent the thin end of the wedge leading to the de-staffing of our trains.
  • OBSs will not be safety critical, despite what was said at the conclusion of the talks.   They will only be trained to “undertake the relevant specific degraded safety critical task.” So the OBSs –even if one is on a train – will not be trained and passed out in the safety critical responsibilities that a guard/conductor has including  track safety – they are not PTS trained;  protection; and  route.
  • There cannot be and will be no legal indemnity from prosecution for drivers if a passenger is injured or killed in a PTI incident and the driver is responsible for closing the doors. Remember that the driver of the train involved in PTI incident at Hayes and Harlington is now being prosecuted.  And GTR has only committed to “explore” an indemnity scheme.
  • And we need to remember the ORR report on Southern DOO of January 5th 2017 which says: GTR-Southern has carried out some research and trials into leaving the in-cab monitors on until the low speed relay operates at approx. 4mph. This is the accepted practice on London Overground 378 units since approximately 2014.” Is this one of the technology improvements that GTR wants to introduce under Appendix D? Rail unions have rightly opposed this until now, for the obvious reason that this will distract the driver from observing the signal ahead, particularly with a 10 or 12-car train that stops on the platform close to or right up to the starting signal. Leaving the monitors on as the train is moving increases the risk of a SPAD if the starting signal reverts to red while the train is at the station, or if starting from a platform on a single yellow.
  • With no guarantee of a second member of staff the deal is a disaster for disabled passengers and will see even more disabled passengers left behind on platforms.
  • The deal allows for the extension of DOO to nearly all Southern Lines.

Protect yourself. No More DOO on Southern