Latest Rail News

17.09.18

Second staff member on new Merseyrail trains could cost £7m and lead to fare rises

The cost of having a second member of staff onboard Merseyrail’s new fleet could cost as much as £7m a year in operating expenditure, according to a report published ahead of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Friday board meeting.

The decision to have an second member of staff was agreed in principle earlier this month after a long-running dispute with RMT.

The design of the new fleet — due to be introduced in 2021 as part of the combined authority’s £460m investment — proposed that the door control and dispatch of the trains be transferred to the driver.

“In order to pay for a second member of staff on each train additional funding will now need to be generated,” a joint statement from the combined authority, Merseyrail and RMT said – which could include a crackdown on fare evasion or increased fares.

The report ahead of the combined authority’s meeting explained that having a second member of staff aboard the new fleet “will enhance the customer experience and assist in revenue protection.”

It continued: “Under the terms of the Merseyrail Concession, the combined authority, through Merseytravel would be liable for all of this.

“It is important therefore that any solution is both affordable and minimises the combined authority’s exposure to financial risk.

“There are no direct financial implications at this stage and any subsequent recommendations and proposals will need to be accompanied by robust and rigorous financial modelling.”

Top image: wcjohnston via iStock 

 

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