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'Pingdemic' and isolation requirements and the impact on Northern services

175001

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Heads up that there are changed due to the pingdemic from Monday.

Liverpool - Man Airport expresses have been withdrawn again unfortunately.

Cuts in off-peak calls for stations between Horwich and Chorley, to be replaced by a bus.

Reduced frequency on certain lines such as New Mills Central

Morecambe branch is a bus all day other than the thru services on the Little North Western.


Changes are to be published soon on line.
 
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Spandau

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Heads up that there are changed due to the pingdemic from Monday.

Liverpool - Man Airport expresses have been withdrawn again unfortunately.

Cuts in off-peak calls for stations between Horwich and Chorley, to be replaced by a bus.

Reduced frequency on certain lines such as New Mills Central

Morecambe branch is a bus all day other than the thru services on the Little North Western.


Changes are to be published soon on line.
Slightly ironically TPE will be operating an hourly Liverpool-Manchester Airport (via Chat Moss) service for the next couple of weeks! This is a consequence of the closure of all lines east of Manchester Victoria for engineering works, with Newcastle-Liverpool trains diverted to terminate at Manchester Piccadilly and the Liverpool-Lea Green- Newton le Willows calls picked up by the temporary Liverpool-Airport service.
 

Kite159

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Is it just me who thinks there should be information underneath the bullet points detailing which services have been cancelled at a glance?
 

js1000

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All these endless timetable changes are going to do is put people off returning to the railways post-pandemic. Surely the DfT, train companies and Network Rail are aware of this risk?
 

Nicholas Lewis

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All these endless timetable changes are going to do is put people off returning to the railways post-pandemic. Surely the DfT, train companies and Network Rail are aware of this risk?
Well the Dept of Transport will run out cash at some point as covid support was 2.1B for the year vice the 8B expended last FY although im sure Shapps is leaning on the Treasury for a top up saying its not down to DofT that revenue is still down.
 

Bletchleyite

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All these endless timetable changes are going to do is put people off returning to the railways post-pandemic. Surely the DfT, train companies and Network Rail are aware of this risk?

They don't have any reasonable other choice. With the "pingdemic" going on they are massively short of staff. They can do this so people can plan, or they can cancel randomly based on who doesn't show up. What is better?

Is it just me who thinks there should be information underneath the bullet points detailing which services have been cancelled at a glance?

Yes, agreed. Planners are fine for long journeys, but most people don't use them for local journeys so a summary makes sense.
 

mrd269697

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Out of curiosity, me and the mrs are going to Manchester from lime street on the 14th. I have free travel on northern so it’s not an issue but she got an advance ticket booked on one of the airport services. What will we be able to do?
 

Watershed

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Out of curiosity, me and the mrs are going to Manchester from lime street on the 14th. I have free travel on northern so it’s not an issue but she got an advance ticket booked on one of the airport services. What will we be able to do?
Take alternative Northern services. You could either take the direct stopper via Newton-le-Willows, or take the stopper to Oxford Road via Warrington Central and then catch any connecting Northern service to Manchester Airport.

If sufficiently delayed you will be able to claim delay compensation.
 

HSP 2

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It's good to see that they have ticket acceptance with Avanti between three station, but it may have been as well to do the same with TPE to Manchester Airport as well.
 

berneyarms

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All these endless timetable changes are going to do is put people off returning to the railways post-pandemic. Surely the DfT, train companies and Network Rail are aware of this risk?
Not much anyone can do if there are not enough drivers/guards available. It is going to take time for the railway to recover.
Short term the effects of the pingdemic will hopefully recede quickly and the current May-December timetable restored, but the medium term issue into next year is to clear the training backlog and to get new drivers driving. That does mean some TOCs will continue to have shortages.
 
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Nicholas Lewis

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Not much anyone can do if there are not enough drivers/guards available. It is going to take time for the railway to recover.
Short term the effects of the pingdemic will hopefully recede quickly and the current May-December timetable restored, but the medium term issue into next year is to clear the training backlog and to get new drivers driving. That does mean some TOCs will continue to have shortages.
These cuts have a habit of being left on well after the cause of the shortage has gone away thus further delaying revenue recovery and causing more pressure on Dept of Transport budget. I hope im wrong but experience in the South tells me otherwise.
 

js1000

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Not much anyone can do if there are not enough drivers/guards available. It is going to take time for the railway to recover.
Short term the effects of the pingdemic will hopefully recede quickly and the current May-December timetable restored, but the medium term issue into next year is to clear the training backlog and to get new drivers driving. That does mean some TOCs will continue to have shortages.
They don't have any reasonable other choice. With the "pingdemic" going on they are massively short of staff. They can do this so people can plan, or they can cancel randomly based on who doesn't show up. What is better?
I'm not convinced at all the Manchester Airport to Liverpool express service will be reinstated come the 16th August when isolation requirements are dropped. Just seems like a convenient excuse to save money in operating costs rather than the "pingdemic".
 

Watershed

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I'm not convinced at all the Manchester Airport to Liverpool express service will be reinstated come the 16th August when isolation requirements are dropped. Just seems like a convenient excuse to save money in operating costs rather than the "pingdemic".
The "pingdemic" will still be an "excuse" for the railways after 16 August.

The fundamental issue is that there is little incentive for staff to agree to daily testing, let alone sharing their medical (vaccination) status, when the alternative is sitting at home on full pay.
 

Bletchleyite

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The "pingdemic" will still be an "excuse" for the railways after 16 August.

The fundamental issue is that there is little incentive for staff to agree to daily testing, let alone sharing their medical (vaccination) status, when the alternative is sitting at home on full pay.

Then that needs to be fixed so they have to do so. It isn't OK to stay off work if you are not ill and the law and Government advice doesn't require you to do so. That is tantamount to pulling a sickie.

OK, shoving a swab up your nose is no fun (hint to make it easier: push on the nostril while doing it and it doesn't tickle as much) but really in the context using this as an excuse for a day off is not OK.
 

Watershed

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Then that needs to be fixed so they have to do so. It isn't OK to stay off work if you are not ill and the law and Government advice doesn't require you to do so. That is tantamount to pulling a sickie.

OK, shoving a swab up your nose is no fun (hint to make it easier: push on the nostril while doing it and it doesn't tickle as much) but really in the context using this as an excuse for a day off is not OK.
They could simply say "I've not been vaccinated, guv" or "I ain't putting no swab up my nose, guv" and that's that. Full sick pay for several weeks or months in any given calendar/financial year is a contractual term for a significant percentage of all railway employees (including, I'd imagine, almost all traincrew). So it's going to be very difficult to do anything about this unless you can get the unions on side.
 

Bletchleyite

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They could simply say "I've not been vaccinated, guv" or "I ain't putting no swab up my nose, guv" and that's that. Full sick pay for several weeks or months in any given calendar/financial year is a contractual term for a significant percentage of all railway employees (including, I'd imagine, almost all traincrew). So it's going to be very difficult to do anything about this unless you can get the unions on side.

If they fully isolate for the 10 days, yes. This is easy to police compared with general sickness, because being seen anywhere not in your home would be clearly breaking isolation, and thus potentially gross misconduct as they would in effect be pulling a sickie.

Staying in without exception for 10 days is grim, I can't see that many people choosing that option.
 

Watershed

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If they fully isolate for the 10 days, yes. This is easy to police compared with general sickness, because being seen anywhere not in your home would be clearly breaking isolation, and thus potentially gross misconduct as they would in effect be pulling a sickie.

Staying in without exception for 10 days is grim, I can't see that many people choosing that option.
I'm sure the unions would be 'not best pleased', to say the least, if they heard of the company snooping on people whilst self-isolating.

You're absolutely right, it's not an insoluble problem generally speaking. But in the context of the rail industry it's not going to be easy to solve.
 

js1000

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My friend is back in the office in Manchester tomorrow. Before the pandemic she got the 07:48 from Wilmslow to Liverpool but won't be doing now as it has been removed.

She has decided to drive in as she doesn't want to be on a busier peak time commuter service which stops at all stations. Perfect example of why removing/culling services is going to deter passengers returning to the railway.

As I say, I'm not convinced this is entirely to do with the "pingdemic" but more penny pinching. I doubt many railway staff have the app as it would probably be pinging every month.
 

berneyarms

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They could simply say "I've not been vaccinated, guv" or "I ain't putting no swab up my nose, guv" and that's that. Full sick pay for several weeks or months in any given calendar/financial year is a contractual term for a significant percentage of all railway employees (including, I'd imagine, almost all traincrew). So it's going to be very difficult to do anything about this unless you can get the unions on side.
You are kinda tarnishing railway staff very broadly as prepared to pull sickies here rather than being good employees who do want to work.
Do you honestly think that many people are in that category?
 

Watershed

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You are kinda tarnishing railway staff very broadly as prepared to pull sickies here rather than being good employees who do want to work.
Do you honestly think that many people are in that category?
It's not a question of pulling a sickie - if you are notified by T&T you are under a legal obligation to self isolate, and if you receive an alert from the NHS app you will be under a company instruction not to attend work.

However, with the isolation exemptions which the rail industry has been given given, the vast majority of absences should be avoidable. Yet the "pingdemic" continue virtually unabated.

And certainly from everything I've seen, a disappointing percentage of frontline staff (or rather, their union reps) appear quite happy for the current chaos to reign indefinitely.
 
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Bayum

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It's not a question of pulling a sickie - if you are notified by T&T you are under a legal obligation to self isolate, and if you receive an alert from the NHS app you will be under a company instruction not to attend work.

However, with the isolation exemptions which the rail industry has been given given, the vast majority of absences should be avoidable. Yet the "pingdemic" continue virtually unabated.

And certainly from everything I've seen, a disappointing percentage of frontline staff (or rather, their union reps) appear quite happy for the current chaos to reign indefinitely.
Aside from the small detail that the app isn’t a demand but rather an advisory.
 

Bletchleyite

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It's not a question of pulling a sickie - if you are notified by T&T you are under a legal obligation to self isolate, and if you receive an alert from the NHS app you will be under a company instruction not to attend work.

After 16th August this is not the case if you are double jabbed. That was my point. It then would be pulling a sickie.
 

Watershed

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Aside from the small detail that the app isn’t a demand but rather an advisory.
Of course. Which makes even more of a mockery of the resultant decimation of train services.

But I would have thought the last 18 months would be a salutory lesson in the lengths people are prepared to go to, ostensibly in an effort to keep others safe.

After 16th August this is not the case if you are double jabbed. That was my point. It then would be pulling a sickie.
You won't be under a legal obligation to isolate, but I would be surprised if the guidance is that you can act as if you weren't pinged.

And I would be even more surprised if any of it makes a blind bit of difference on the railways.
 

Bletchleyite

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You won't be under a legal obligation to isolate, but I would be surprised if the guidance is that you can act as if you weren't pinged.

No, you do daily lateral flow tests instead. Some info here:


On 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated[footnote 2], and for under 18s. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are contacts, and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive, to protect themselves and others.

And I would be even more surprised if any of it makes a blind bit of difference on the railways.

People "pulling a sickie" by telling falsehoods (e.g. claiming they haven't been double jabbed when they have) should not be tolerated. I think some are implying that this (a) will happen and (b) should happen, and it is gross misconduct and should result in dismissal.

I trust that the Unions will not be encouraging such practice; if it turns out they are, time for legislation to prevent their so doing.
 

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Aside from the small detail that the app isn’t a demand but rather an advisory.
But does that make any difference? It's company policy that people advised to isolate don't attend work.
 

Bletchleyite

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But does that make any difference? It's company policy that people advised to isolate don't attend work.

And from 16th August, people who have been double jabbed will not be advised to isolate due to a contact (rather than an infection of themselves), rather they will be advised to take lateral flow tests.
 

Watershed

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And from 16th August, people who have been double jabbed will not be advised to isolate due to a contact (rather than an infection of themselves), rather they will be advised to take lateral flow tests.
And if they say, as is their right, "I'm not willing to take daily tests"?
 

Bletchleyite

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And if they say, as is their right, "I'm not willing to take daily tests"?

I can't imagine many people choosing full self-isolation (remember, you are not allowed to leave your property at all for 10 full days - not even to go shopping for essentials, let alone to go to the pub) over taking a daily test and being able to resume life as normal. It is not just about staying off work, it is that you cannot go out - you are effectively under house arrest - the only exception is if the NHS or police instruct you to do so, or you would be in physical danger e.g. a house fire or domestic abuse.

Anyone who tells their employer that they are isolating but simply takes the time off work and carries on their social life as usual will be (a) breaking the law*, and (b) committing gross misconduct which would, quite rightly, render them liable for dismissal or at least strong disciplinary action - i.e. "pulling a sickie". And I hope anyone who does do that is sacked, because by doing so they would be bringing the railway and its majority of honest staff into disrepute, and if the Unions support them bang goes their credibility.

Clearly someone could self-isolate for the 10 days, but I really can't see many people choosing that option - being unable to go out at all for 10 days is pretty grim.

* Except if "pinged" on the phone app, which isn't legally mandatory, but carries advice based on the law for if T&T call you, so most employers will consider it the same.
 

Watershed

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I can't imagine many people choosing full self-isolation (remember, you are not allowed to leave your property at all for 10 full days - not even to go shopping for essentials, let alone to go to the pub) over taking a daily test and being able to resume life as normal. It is not just about staying off work, it is that you cannot go out - you are effectively under house arrest - the only exception is if the NHS or police instruct you to do so, or you would be in physical danger e.g. a house fire or domestic abuse.

Anyone who tells their employer that they are isolating but simply takes the time off work and carries on their social life as usual will be (a) breaking the law*, and (b) committing gross misconduct which would, quite rightly, render them liable for dismissal or at least strong disciplinary action - i.e. "pulling a sickie". And I hope anyone who does do that is sacked, because by doing so they would be bringing the railway and its majority of honest staff into disrepute, and if the Unions support them bang goes their credibility.

Clearly someone could self-isolate for the 10 days, but I really can't see many people choosing that option - being unable to go out at all for 10 days is pretty grim.

* Except if "pinged" on the phone app, which isn't legally mandatory, but carries advice based on the law for if T&T call you, so most employers will consider it the same.
I admire your confidence. But it's quite legal to be fully vaccinated (meaning, legally speaking, contact tracing self-isolation won't apply to you) and also to refuse to comply with the advice to take a test each day (meaning, practically speaking, you won't be allowed to come to work).
 

Bletchleyite

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I admire your confidence. But it's quite legal to be fully vaccinated (meaning, legally speaking, contact tracing self-isolation won't apply to you) and also to refuse to comply with the advice to take a test each day (meaning, practically speaking, you won't be allowed to come to work).

That might well be a loophole, but if it proves that many staff do choose to act in this wholly unreasonable manner then it will be time to legislate to prevent them from doing this, i.e. to consider that failure to comply with your employer's reasonable COVID safe policy would constitute gross misconduct in and of itself.
 

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