SOUTHERN STAKEHOLDER FORUM 10TH NOVEMBER 2017

SOUTHERN & GATWICK EXPRESS STAKEHOLDER FORUM, Croydon 10TH NOVEMBER 2017

Local representatives:
SHRIMP, Martin Woodfine
BRAG, Yolanda Laybourne
HBC, Kevin Boorman
RF, Roger Blake

We thank Southern for covering Travel & Refreshment costs.

For Southern, presentations were made & questions taken by:
ANGIE DOLL, Passenger Services Director; DAVID COATES, Head of Stations; KERRI RICKETTS, Head of Passenger Experience / Customer Service; PHIL HUTCHINSON, Head of Strategic Planning/Timetables
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These notes primarily relate to local impacts.

AD has a support team comprising divisional heads: David (stations), Chris (OBS), Ollie (Metro) and Martin (Coastway), Sakindar (job title ???!!!???)
Priority is to MODERNISE to reflect massive increase of passenger footfall, whilst trying to get best result from a third-rail (ie inferior) power supply infrastructure
The new Thameslink network will be the (rough) equivalent of an ‘overground Northern tube line’ designed to move a maximum capacity and minimise j/times
Gibb report noted historic underinvestment and imported £200m into Southern network (see later)
Trying to incorporate an overnight maintenance programme
PPM considered most important measurement factor for public consumption (NOTE: Transport Focus take 100% opposite view on this)
London Bridge re-opens early 2018
Xmas blockade best time for major work due to reduced commuter traffic
ASLEF deal agrees DOO. Little hope of agreement with RMT whose dispute is widening geographically
Concede dispute and background issues poorly communicated (see later Q&A!)
RMT dispute having minimal impact, 60% of RMT workers at work on 9th Nov.
A net increase in drivers, now 1,794 from 1,600.
New train crew training techniques iro imparting of info
Punctuality up 14%; satisfaction up 9%; info up 19%; maintenance up 20%; cleaning up 14%; TVM performance up 9% (but….); station staff up 8%

DC: 471 new TVMS but beset by reliability issues, leading to 2 pauses in roll-out. All Gatwick machines now replaced, with rest of network by end of 2017.
Jan-Oct 2017, 90 staff left. 100 new staff in situ with a further 50 open positions.
Impact of this should show in early 2018.

AD: Looking towards a Right Time Railway (RTR) culture. Southern must perform to deliver a successful Thameslink programme.
Farringdon, London Bridge and Blackfriars platforms to have DA humps.
All staff must learn to make the right decision, every time.

QUESTION from SHRIMP:
RailPro magazine Sept carried interview with CEO of ORR who noted that the ORR-required improvements required of Southern , notably at stations, were still being monitored.
What are these required improvements and what is the timetable for implementing them?
Response from AD, who prevented the STATIONS manager from answering:
We need to upgrade the driver CCTV on all trains on series 377/100-400 (note: that’s ALL the units on Coastway services). The requirements are available as a public document which I can send the link to (not rec’d yet)
SO MUCH FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION. DODGED THE ISSUE ON STATIONS AND TIMING.

AD: we have 196 conductors & 350 OBS. We have introduced OBS co-ordinators to ensure best operational use / maximum train coverage on a rolling basis. There was a 2 week agreement in June for no services on BML without OBS.

QUESTION FROM WEST SUSSEX:
Can timetables show what crew designation can be expected on a particular service?
ANSWER: Could be a consideration.

There are to be 5 x Area Improvement Teams, each concentrating on the performance of an operational area: On board service; Train operations; Performance; Fleet; Operations.
The Three Bridges Operations Centre must learn how to manage their decisions and understand the impacts of them. Both BRAG & SHRIMP hammered on this, noting the impacts of the short-running of London services to/from Eastbourne.

Network Rail conceded the need to better inform the public of the benefits gained from engineering works.

There will a THIRD timetable consultation, this one looking at weekend service proposals. It will run 22/11 to 20/12 – watch Southern website for links. Southern note & acknowledge the issue of poster info at SouthEastern managed stations.

KR: Massive repay/delay process improvement. Refunds on delays 15-30 mins now automatic if paid through Key system. Whole process is being simplified to reduce administration time & payment delays.
A new Southern/GX website launching within next few weeks, similar to those in use at Thameslink & Gt Northern.

PH: This presentation – to start – was basically a re-run of previous information about the need for Thameslink and its proposed operations. New info:
Dwell times in the Thameslink London Core stations will be ONE MINUTE
Trains will operate on an average of one every 2.5 minutes
There were 10k responses to Phase 2 consultation, including 1500 e-mails and 120 representative body responses. 95% of stations were represented (88% in phase 1); 24% responded to both consultations; 76% only to Phase 2
In the top 10 stations response catchments: BRIGHTON (6) and SEAFORD (7) were overall UNhappy.
Connectivity between Lewes> The Saturday timetables will reflect the existing weekday off-peak schedules, with additional early & late services
The SOUTHERN/GX £200M was used to: replace tracks, upgrade signalling; improve security against trespass; drainage in tunnels; work on securing cuttings & embankments

PH contd.
MAY 2018 = EVERYTHING CHANGES to reduce network weaknesses and strengthen resilience across the network.
The May 2018 Southern t/t will be robust to ensure T/L can run as planned
METRO operations will be simplified to create self-contained routes.
The final agreed Southern timetables will be revealed early 2018, but they will come into full force in May 2018.
The Thameslink / Gt N timetables will be PHASED IN to avoid a big-bang hit and to identify weaknesses etc.
Jan 2018, some services start through London Bridge; May 2018, all routes start but on reduced lengths; Dec 2018, the number of services on routes (above) will double; May 2018, join up some of the routes that were split to start; Dec 2019 FULL operations.

DC presented a new map showing restructured Management divisions and noting station status on DA issues. THE INFORMATION ON ORE STATION WAS INCORRECT (designated as fully DA), TO BE AMENDED.

Coastway will be a self-managed area from Ham St to Brighton, including Seaford branch and stations between Lewes/Brighton to Balcombe. We think this will stay under the control of Andy Leister, but to be confirmed hopefully very soon.

SUMMARY
This was overall a very constructive, useful, positive meeting. However, the issue of transparency and straight talking is still to be addressed. We found that many issues were raised that had been discussed many times previously, so the further promises of action must be seen to be put into action.

SHRIMP, BRAG 19th November 2017.