Re: Re: Sydney light rail staff put performance ahead of passenger safety
  Mark Skinner

I think by our age Tony that anyone putting too much trust in what's in the
media is past helping.

Mark Skinner.

On Mon, 22 Nov 2021, 9:51 am TP, historyworks@...> wrote:

> When you read the actual Transdev memo which is linked in that article, it

> comes across in a completely different light from how the SMH portrays it.

> The memo indicates that Transdev is in fact highly concerned about safety

> and is reminding staff that it's everybody's responsibility to report any

> safety issues.





> But never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.


> Tony P


> On Monday, 22 November 2021 at 09:35:05 UTC+11a...@... wrote:






>> Operator admits staff put light rail performance before safety of

>> passengers

>> James Lemon http:///by/james-lemon-h0wmh9November 22, 2021 — 5.00am


>> The private operator of Sydney’s light rail system told staff they had

>> put service performance ahead of safety when introducing the trams that

>> shut the line down this month.


>> The revelation comes as the government tries to work out how cracks

>> formed on all 12 trams servicing the Central to Dulwich Hill line before

>> being noticed, while it is under growing pressure over Treasury’s attempt

>> to shift its train network’s costs onto a corporation


>> despite multiple warnings about safety and budgetary risks.

>> [image: Sydney’s inner west light rail line far exceeded patronage

>> expectations early in its history and was regularly packed during peak

>> times before the pandemic.]

>> Sydney’s inner west light rail line far exceeded patronage expectations

>> early in its history and was regularly packed during peak times before the

>> pandemic. Louise Kennerley


>> An internal Transdev Sydney note


>> said there was a rise in the number and severity of safety incidents in the

>> three months before it brought the now-cracked trams into service in July

>> 2014.


>> “Our investigations into what and why these incidents have occurred show

>> that, on many occasions, we’ve put network demand ahead of the safety of

>> our staff and passengers,” the note, obtained by the *Herald*, said.


>> These concessions were made the same year Transdev Sydney was selected by

>> Transport for NSW to operate and maintain the new CBD and South East light

>> rail. Two years later, it was awarded the contract to supply, operate and

>> maintain stage one of the Parramatta Light Rail due in 2023.

>> [image: Arlington Light Rail Station on the now-closed L1 light rail

>> line, which is being serviced by replacement buses for 18 months.]

>> Arlington Light Rail Station on the now-closed L1 light rail line, which

>> is being serviced by replacement buses for 18 months.Brook Mitchell


>> Transport Minister Rob Stokes said the idea of putting network demand

>> ahead of safety was “unacceptable and outrageous”.


>> “It would have been unacceptable in 2014 and it remains so today,” he

>> said.


>> Tram expert and former government light rail adviser Greg Sutherland said

>> the priority of private operators was to make money for their shareholders,

>> so the government must make sure the services it was paying for remained

>> safe.


>> “You can outsource how you do something, but you can’t outsource the

>> ultimate responsibility,” he said. “That monthly payment is millions of

>> dollars but what checks are being done before the money is handed over?


>> “Transport NSW says safety is the highest priority, but is it actually

>> being treated as such? What are they actually doing to make sure it is

>> managed as the highest priority?”


>> A Transdev Sydney spokesperson said it was misleading and wrong to

>> conflate an employee newsletter with commentary on the overall performance

>> and state of the network.


>> “Safety has always been our number one priority and Transdev Sydney

>> continues to maintain a strong safety record,” they said.


>> “The internal employee newsletter was aimed to highlight the importance

>> of a safety culture within the light rail network.


>> “The examples given related to isolated practices and not directions or

>> decisions taken by the company due to any network or other pressures.”


>> Labor transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen said the document showed the latest

>> shutdown was a symptom of long-term mismanagement of the public asset which

>> had now had to shut down entirely.


>> “This network has been run into the ground,” Ms Haylen said.


>> “The government’s asset management plan

>> http:///link/follow-20170101-p59a53 already revealed that the inner

>> west’s trams are inspected just once a year; now we know that passenger

>> safety and the integrity of the network have come second since 2014.”


>> Another staff memo described a “noticeable increase” in trams running

>> through stop signals. The note


>> said such events “can be as serious as a matter of life or death” and were

>> happening almost monthly six months after the opening of the line’s

>> extension to Dulwich Hill in March 2014.


>> Meanwhile, Transdev Sydney encouraged drivers to “look ahead. Is it red?”

>> .


>> A Transport for NSW spokesperson said safety was not negotiable at the

>> government agency and the tender process would have adopted this absolute

>> requirement then assessed other criteria as set out in the assessment

>> matrix.


>> They said there were a number of checks and balances for Transdev’s

>> performance, including monthly contract reports and meetings where safety

>> performance was on the agenda, and mandatory reporting of safety incidents

>> to the Office of the National Rail Safety regulator.



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