LUL's Olympic Legacy: Carrying Customers Over Shunt Signals
As part of the Operational Effectiveness programme LUL introduced a number of changes to Rules. These changes were discussed through the machinery until finally being exhausted at Safety Forum level. LUL chose to push through the majority of these changes. These Rules were introduced as OSN101 in September 2011 in a booklet titled ‘Getting ready for the Olympics’.
One of these changes enables Service Control to divert trains over shunt signalled moves with customers on board and without the need to manually secure points. These instructions apply when the move has been authorised by the Service Manager and the shunt signal is showing a proceed aspect.
LUL introduced this change because they claimed that the current arrangements were ‘outdated’ and that their engineers had informed them that, with the exception of hand worked points, all points controlled by a shunt signal have similarly robust locking as points controlled by running signals therefore as safe to traverse.
During the consultation process LUL conceded that Train Operators should not be expected to take customers who have refused to leave their train into a siding, if the reversing move requires you to change ends. Unfortunately, LUL also felt that if a person was ill on your train and unable to alight, that the Train Operator should take them into a siding, as this was the best place for them to be. The RMT view is that the platform is the best place for ill persons to be treated as it is more readily accessible for the appropriate services.
Due to LUL’s refusal to withdraw this change the RMT balloted its Train Operator members who voted in favour of Industrial action short of strike action. RMT members should refuse to carry out this change and work to previous Rules.