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  1. Published on: 16/03/2017 08:09 PMReported by: roving-eye
    Merseyrail profits would pay for keeping guards almost three times over new research shows.



    Merseyrail and Merseytravel claims that they cannot afford to keep guards have been exposed as entirely wrong and misleading by new research showing that dividends paid out by Merseryrail are up to £14million a year, almost three times the cost of keeping guards.

    The research also shows that in 2014 the revenue income of Merseyrail was £51 million, and Merseyrail paid out a dividend not far short of £14 million meaning a quarter of passenger fares ending up in the pockets of Merseyrails owners, Serco and Dutch state owned Abellio.RMT believes that instead of getting rid of Guards Merseyrail should forsake some of its dividends to pay keep the guards and if it does not do so voluntarily then Merseytravel should renegotiate its contract with Merseyrail. If Merseyrail won’t cooperate then, when their contract expires in 2028, any new contract should ensure that revenues are retained to keep the guards - this is easily achievable as the new trains are to be brought through a 30 year long financing deal.

    Mick Cash RMT General Secretary said;“These figures show that up to a quarter of fare revenue is being sucked out of Merseyrail to pay for dividends of around £14m a year.”“That is frankly obscene under any circumstances but the fact that around £14m a year is being allowed to leak out of Meresyrail while at the same time senior Liverpool politicians are pleading poverty as an excuse to get rid of guards will be utterly unacceptable for passengers and council tax payers.”“And as Merseyrail is part owned by the Dutch state railway it is a case of ‎Merseyside 0 Holland £14m.”“Merseyrail can easily afford to cough up and pay to keep our guards and if they don’t then Liverpool’s politicians should renegotiate Merseyrail’s contract.“If Merseyrail don’t agree to new terms now, then the 30 year financing of the new trains easily allows enough scope for a new Merseyrail contract to ensure that revenues are retained to keep our guards.

    At the very least as we approach the elections in May Liverpool politicians should be calling for a review of the financing options.”Ends

    Notes to editorsMerseyrail profits and dividends (Source RMT research on Company Accounts)
    Year (Jan) Turnover Operating Profit Profit Dividends (millions)2016 153,670 16,232 12,898 12,267
    2015 150,817 15,580 11,797 11,687
    2014 144,853 14,661 11,649 13,965
    2013 135,224 13,824 10,770 13,037
    2012 131,649 12,246 8,917 8,769
    2011 126,264 10,585 7,613 7,252
    2010 124,453 10,540 7,264 6,859Merseytravel have said the cost of keeping the guard is about £5m a year.
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  3. tonyhey says:16/03/2017 09:09 PM
    The RMT and ASLEF are full of dinosaurs, we're not still living in the eighties, time to move on and join the real world..

  4. paulollie says:16/03/2017 09:59 PM
    Most unions are dinosaurs nature of the beast i'm afraid all this fuss over no guards and we are ploughing on to "Driverless " cars!!!

  5. libraryguy says:17/03/2017 06:56 AM
    How many of you making comments actually use the trains on a regular basis?

    Yes it is a fuss over guards and the dispute is not about jobs it's about safety! All guards have been offered redeployment within Merseyrail on the same terms and conditions they currently have, so where are the savings? There are many scenarios were it will be unsafe to run a train without a guard. You have DOO (driver only operated) trains and the driver becomes ill in the underground, what are the passengers supposed to do?

    Passenger becomes ill, is the driver expected to cope with that? I was on a service into Southport when my train was delayed while the train ahead was waiting for an ambulance due to a person having a heart attack.

    Are passengers expected to cope with unruly people causing trouble?

    Look at the recent wall collapse at Lime Street. The guard had to co-ordinate the evacuation of the train in a tunnel, and that's with the relative safety of 25KVac overhead. Our system runs on 750dc third rail, right around your feet if you had to walk on the track in an emergency, just as deadly. Could you get the current turned off if the driver was incapacitated? Do you know where you should be walking in the event of an emergency?

    Driverless cars - fine. But if you're in one you will be able to take control should anything happen.

    I don't care who opens and closes the doors, the driver can do the majority of the work and the 2nd Merseyrail employee can sit back and enjoy the ride, but I still maintain you need a second person on any train to help when problems arise - and they will!

    And no, I am not a guard, driver, or an employee of Merseyrail, I just use their services.
    Last edited by libraryguy; 17/03/2017 at 07:12 AM.

  6. limekiln says:17/03/2017 09:41 AM
    agree with libraryguy -sounds sensible

  7. FormbyHightown says:17/03/2017 10:09 AM
    I, too, agree with LibraryGuy.

    I use the trains most weeks and the guards are a reassuring presence.

    I even enjoy some of the more light-hearted announcements.

    Station access should be looked into as it is too easy to travel without a ticket.

  8. Ralphy Rylance says:17/03/2017 11:02 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by FormbyHightown View Post

    Station access should be looked into as it is too easy to travel without a ticket.
    It used to be the case that staff at every station would check everyone's ticket when they got off the train. Those staff were axed and it's now just occasional random checks onboard trains now and again. Unless you're getting on or off at Southport or one of the central Liverpool stations you could probably travel without a ticket most days and not get caught.
    I travel twice a day 5 days a week and my ticket is checked onboard about once a fortnight.

  9. silver fox says:17/03/2017 09:44 PM
    Not a rail user at all, but we already see too many instances of anti social behaviour on trains, remove guards that will surely increase, love the way some are so keen to lump on the unions, yet their objections are on safety grounds, the safety of passengers, of course as we all know the only thing of importance to the rail operators is their profits, service, security, safety, don't enter the equation.

    The main problem is government and the rail operators, staff and passengers are only a necessary evil in their eyes.

  10. dav says:18/03/2017 10:55 AM
    Ridiculous anti-profit nonesense from roving-eye as usual. Merseyrail is consistently voted one of the best run and best liked of the rail franchises by its customers and its fares are among the cheapest. Presumably roving-eye would prefer it to be dividend free and hopeless.

  11. silver fox says:18/03/2017 08:43 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dav View Post
    Ridiculous anti-profit nonesense from roving-eye as usual. Merseyrail is consistently voted one of the best run and best liked of the rail franchises by its customers and its fares are among the cheapest. Presumably roving-eye would prefer it to be dividend free and hopeless.

    Considering that the network is built and maintained by public money, all major investment is with public money, dividends should go back to the public, this cry that privatisation has brought efficiency is a load of rubbish, the rail operators are still subsidised with taxpayer's money, that money should not be siphoned off into private pockets.

    We have already seen what happens when private operators took over the rail network, the company was guilty of neglect and bankrupt both financially and technically and had to be taken back into the public sector.


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