We know that this business is important for the North of England and Scotland. We know that we have to do a good job and we care about when we let people down. There have been a number of canceled services outside of industrial action, with cancellation rates in Britain hitting a new record. Transpennine has blamed its cancellations on high sickness rates and a backlog of driver training caused by the Covid epidemic, as well as drivers not working overtime.
Transpennine and Union Aslef had an agreement for train drivers to work on rest days but that ended in 2021 and a new one has not yet been agreed. The Union representatives claimed that the new offer was lower than the previous deal.
Golton said that having no overtime agreement made it harder for people to get through the rate of training they want to and that's been a key issue for us. A company that should no longer have its franchise, that is inept and wants people to dig them out of the hole they've created for themselves, and that's why he said.
They have more than enough capacity to do whatever training they are required to do, and should not be relying on people working on their quality time off. Golton denied that the company had failed to recruit enough drivers and said Transpennine had 200 more drivers than it had five years ago. He said we had not got a shortage of drivers.