Why are there 3 further days of strike action on the Merseyrail network this month?
One of my New Year resolutions has been to speak truth to power.
The media unfortunately too often protects the establishment at the expense of the public.
There are three further days of strike action on the Merseyrail network next week (8th, 10th and 12th January).
The issues behind the long running dispute have already been covered on this blog.
In summary the positions are that Merseytravel and Merseyrail believe guards will not be needed on the new trains, the RMT union disagrees. Politicians in 2016 on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and councillors on the Merseytravel Committee (now called the Transport Committee) decided to press ahead with new trains in the full knowledge that the trade unions had concerns.
In another twist, a losing bidder Bombardier Transportation Limited sued Merseytravel over how the contract was awarded.
Below is the question I have submitted to be answered by Cllr Gordon Friel (Lead Member for Rail and Freight) at a public meeting of the Transport Committee (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) scheduled for the 4th January 2018.
Happy New Year. As the Lead Member for Rail and Freight, I am sure you are aware of the recent strikes over the past year by the RMT union on the Merseyrail train network about the introduction of new trains (rolling stock) on the Merseyrail network. The decisions to go for new rolling stock were made at the Merseytravel Committee meeting and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting both held on the 16th December 2016.
At some point in the future, both Merseyrail and Merseytravel have decided that guards are not required on the new trains. Can you please explain to the public the reasons why this change has been decided and what is planned to happen to those who are currently employed as guards?
Question 2 (Supplementary Question)
On the 22nd November 2017, there was an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on “Guards on Merseyrail trains”, which can be read in Hansard at the following link http://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-11-22/debates/23F16D15-C022-4CD5-83AA-312802B8F5CF/GuardsOnMerseyrailTrains. Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority were both referred to during that debate.
Would you like to respond specifically to the comments made by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Maynard) about guards on Merseyrail trains during the course of the debate?
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