Latest Rail News

04.04.14

Centro cuts 89 jobs to balance the budget

Centro is to cut its workforce by a quarter in an effort to save £7m from this year’s budget.

The West Midlands transport authority has confirmed that a “major restructure” of the workforce was voted through by councillors earlier this week.

Prior to the vote, Centro had explored numerous ways, including scrapping half-price fares for children and free tram and train travel for concessionary pass holders, to make the savings, but it will now see its staff shrink from 364 to 275.

Cllr John McNicholas, Centro’s chairman, said: “Balancing the budget has proved extremely difficult but our priority throughout has been to protect passengers as far as possible.

“It is a tough situation we find ourselves in but one that is a direct result of the unprecedented cuts being imposed on local government.”

On top of the £3m cut in operational and staffing costs for 2014/15, a further £4m is being found through a streamlining of bus station and infrastructure maintenance, changes to subsidised bus access standards, measures to reduce financing costs and a reduction in the Ring and Ride grant.

Mark Langford, a Centro spokesman, told RTM: “The job losses will be made across the board, but a number of these include retirements and staff not being replaced when they leave.

“This process has been gradual and ongoing since the start of the year. We are pretty sure that this will not have an impact on front-line services.”

However, the £7m total savings for this year means that through on-going staffing restructures and other efficiencies, Centro will have reduced its operational and staffing costs from £27m in 2010 to just £15m in 2014/15 – a cut of nearly 45%.

(Image of Centro HQ: Andy Mabbett)

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