Monday, 7 November 2016

TfL Board papers for 8th November 2016 meeting

The board papers for the 8th November TFL board meeting are out so below I will show you some parts from those board papers.

First a quick look at the Commissioners report.

London Underground (LU) - Night Tube
The third of London’s Night Tube lines, the Jubilee line, began operating on the evening of Friday 7 October. This service supports the growing night time economy in the West End, as well as Stratford – one of the busiest stations on the Central line Night Tube service – and key venues such as Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena and The O2 at North Greenwich station.

Night Tube services on the Central and Victoria lines, which launched on 19 August, continue to exceed expectations with passenger journeys higher than forecast. Since adding the Jubilee line service, the Night Tube is now carrying around 130,000 customers each weekend. We have now confirmed the launch of Night Tube services on the Northern line on Friday 18 November.

The modernisation of the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
We have introduced 179 new walkthrough, air-conditioned S stock trains on these lines and are upgrading our signalling equipment to provide more reliable and frequent services.

Depot, station and siding modifications allow us to accommodate the new trains. There are 58 new trains on the Metropolitan line and 121 on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City. On the District line, 68 (from a total of 80) new trains have entered service and the remainder will be introduced by the end of December 2016. As part of this, we are removing old District line trains from service but will keep a small number until late spring 2017 while new signalling equipment is fitted to the S stock trains.

Elizabeth line: preparations for new trains
The first Class 345 test train was delivered to the Old Dalby test centre in August for high-speed testing and integration with trackside systems. Work continued throughout September and October in preparation for further tests on Network Rail track in the London area from November to February 2017. Results will be used to support Stage 1 service introduction in May 2017.

We will shortly start driver training on the new Class 345 simulator, which was installed at Ilford during August and September. With realistic driving cabs replicating the functions of the actual train, the simulator uses virtual reality computer-generated views of the Elizabeth line routes.

London Rail
New concession on London Overground (LO)

Arriva's mobilisation to take over the operation of the LO concession from 13 November is proceeding to plan and we expect a seamless transition from the current operator London Overground Rail Operations Limited (LOROL).

As LOROL enters the final weeks of its tenure, its focus on operational performance remains strong, which will provide a solid foundation for Arriva to build upon. Arriva will be looking to make further improvements, and is progressing its plans in collaboration with key partners, including Network Rail and Bombardier.

New trains
Work continues on the development of the new LO Class 710 trains with the interior mock-up completed in Bombardier’s workshops in Derby.

The new trains are due to enter service from 2018 and will transform the service experienced by customers as they will include walk-through carriages, air conditioning and improved accessibility.

Bus route 3
On bus route 3, where we have introduced a significant proportion of the planned bus priority schemes, monitoring indicates journey time improvements of approximately two and a half minutes in the morning peak, which is more than double the expected benefit. There are further schemes planned on route 3 later this financial year, and bus journey times will continue to be monitored.

It’s also worth mentioning that route 3 uses the three-door two-staircase hybrid buses which are known as New Routemasters. The three-door boarding is one of the things that has reduced waiting times at bus stops.

Recovering lost patronage
We have launched a campaign to encourage customers back on the bus network. It raises awareness of the positive improvements, such as greater reliability, increased frequency, new routes and bus station upgrades. The campaign, communicates news stories on a location- and route-specific level where possible, including a detailed local message.

I think this is due to passengers not touching in when they board the bus by the middle and rear doors; hopefully though, the 1 hour hopper fare scheme will reduce the lost patronage for London Transport Buses.

Here’s another board paper on East London Crossings which is worth checking out.

During his election campaign, the Mayor committed to undertake a strategic review of the options for new river crossings east of Tower Bridge.

On 4 October 2016, the Mayor announced a package of new river crossings which reflect his priorities. These are:
  • a series of enhancements to be made to the proposals for the Silvertown Tunnel;
  • plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to be accelerated;
  • a DLR crossing at Gallions Reach, helping support the development of around 17,000 new homes across Newham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich;
  • further assessment of a Barking Riverside – Abbey Wood London Overground crossing; and
  • further assessment of a North Greenwich-Isle of Dogs ferry.

The case for the potential road crossings at Gallions Reach and Belvedere promoted by the previous Mayor will be considered as part of the emerging Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

Now let’s look at the summary of the ‘Bus Driver Training’ board paper.

TfL’s bus services are provided by private sector operators, contracted by TfL, and are the most used form of public transport in London. The private bus companies employ 25,000 drivers to deliver 700 bus route services across London. Quarterly customer satisfaction levels are high and customer complaints low.

During 2014, bus customer complaints were analysed to generate a number of key customer ‘gain points’ (listed in Appendix 1). In 2015, we developed a customer training programme “Hello London”, specifically for bus drivers and performance scheduling staff, focusing on the ‘gain points’ and other research, and also encompassing safety, driving technique and common TfL policies and service standards.

The Hello London approach has been to harness innovative situation drama with reflective facilitation to explore the emotional and behavioural response of drivers and customers in a safe learning environment.

So far all 1,700-support staff and more than 5,000 drivers have attended the two-day course, which has a 92 per cent rating by attendees as ‘excellent / very good’. A positive shift in customer service attitudes addressing the pain points has also been observed. To date there have been more than 500 suggestions for improvement from drivers relating to improvements for customers and improvements for their role as a bus driver, where many feel unsupported and undervalued.

Activities are underway to support delivery of improved customer service. These include a driver incentive scheme for particularly good service, a trial of drivers wearing name badges, a new driver City & Guilds qualification with a focus on customer experience/service importance, a campaign to encourage TfL staff to thank and commend drivers for good service and addressing the need for improved driver toilet facilities. We have also launched campaigns to educate customers and to make drivers feel valued. We are also working with all the private bus operators to embed Hello London training into their business as usual operations.

We will continue to monitor our existing metrics to check on the positive impact of the Hello London programme. We expect to see higher quarterly customer satisfaction survey scores, reduced complaints and positive shifts in driver attitude.

The course will run until spring 2018 and feedback from attendees will be incorporated in our bus service development plans. Development of a Hello London course for TfL bus operational staff (at bus stations and in response vehicles) is currently underway and is to be rolled out in 2016/17.

Someone has submitted a Freedom of Information request to TFL asking about the costs of the ‘Hello London’ programme.

The TFL Freedom of Information department said:

Thank you for your email received on 11 July 2016 asking for information about the "Hello London" training for Bus Drivers.

This important training is being given to all 25,000 bus drivers over two years and is designed to:
·         Improve customer service
·         Help drivers offer the best support to elderly customers and customers with disabilities, and how to approach any conflict over the use of the space on buses prioritised for wheelchair users.

The two-day course includes working through live reconstructions of the difficult situations they have to handle leading a service that delivers 2.25 billion passenger journeys every year.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold some of the information you require.

1) The amount paid to "Steps Drama", the facilitators of the classes

£1,792,200 across the two years of the contract.

2) The estimated cost of the wage bill for the 24,000 drivers who will each be spending two days at this event.

We do not hold this information as bus operators directly employ bus drivers. However, this cost is not borne by the course as the training contributes towards Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) hours, which operators budget for in their staff costs. Professional drivers of buses, coaches and lorries must complete 35 hours of CPC training every five years to keep driving for a living.

3) Any additional costs associated with this event.

£3,350,000 which includes premises, travel costs, course materials and other costs.

As the two-day Hello London training course is provided to just under 25,000 drivers in the fleet, the overall cost equates to about £100 a day per driver.

Lastly, a new update from LOTS:

1) London General WHVs are now appearing daily on the 14/22/74/430 from Putney Garage.  A batch of 39 x EH (AD E40H / E400MMC) buses will  start to follow soon, this order replacing the original plan for EHVs. The StreetLites (batch WS 66-74) have started to arrive at Plough Lane Garage for route 39.  At London United the dedicated Kingston University buses (VH 45209-213) should start to enter service there in the next week or so, allowing most of the temporary allocation (VH 45162-66) to move elsewhere. At Arriva, with more LTs now in service on the 253, HVs have started to be stood down at Stamford Hill prior to moving to south London. In a complex set of subsequent moves it will allow enough buses to cover with T-class E400s the assumption of route 157 from Abellio on 2nd December.

2) The Euro Bus Expo at the NEC on 1/2/3 November featured among the many exhibits six buses for London, all being full or partly electric.  Metroline BYD1474 and Go-Ahead SEe35, a Wright StreetAir-EV prototype,  an Optare MetroCity-EV demonstrator and a MetroDecker-EV, whilst there was a Volvo B5LHC with SRM bodywork and a roofmounted pantograph.  Additionally one of Metrobus’ Fastway liveried StreetLites and for our near neighbour Reading a StreetDeck and a gas powered E400MMC.

As always, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

Image Attribution
Regent Street by Gerard Stolk

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