RMT and LU agree postponement of new train timetables

Dear Nick,

Thanks for your letter. I am pleased that you have decided to push back the implementation of the new Timetables, but fear that one week will not be enough.

I understand that your team has undertaken a massive task producing the timetables and schedules for 9 lines that will take us forward in dealing with this crisis. I believe that in the middle to long term these new sheets, on the whole, will provide the service London needs; but to achieve that you need to have sufficient driver numbers at work and your local management teams need to work with our representatives to amend duties.

I recognise that scrutinising sheets has long been the sole preserve of the Level 1 reps, but in these extraordinary times – and dealing with a timetable designed for use in a health crisis – it makes sense for H&S reps to be allowed to safety validate the duties.

This will go some way to alleviate my concerns about the overcrowding in the depots and travelling on the cushions impacting on effective social distancing.

I also want to share with you my concerns about the ability of the new timetable in dealing with “pinch points” in the morning peak. We recognise that the morning peak has moved forward and starts a couple of hours earlier, causing problems with overcrowding. In the same way we have worked with you in the past to reduce “pinch points” following concerts at Wembley for example, we are keen to work with you now.

It is entirely possible to have planned reductions in the late morning and afternoon when the trains are half empty, to allow a ramped-up service between 06.00 and 08.30.

I am eager to work with you in providing a service for key workers to travel to their places of work, but I also want you to work with me and my representatives to safeguard the welfare of our members.

The best way to achieve this is to confirm that you intend to postpone the implementation of the new timetable until such time as all these problems have been addressed, and when you are able to confirm you have sufficient drivers at work to do so safely.


John Leach
RMT Regional Organiser