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Milton Keynes: Compromise Reached on Travel Time

29 November 2011

Three further meetings have taken place with Network Rail to consider the position on limits on commuting time to Milton Keynes.

 Your reps have made it absolutely clear that they believe a threshold on travel time in unreasonable and could lead to individuals being made redundant. See our previous update here for the position: http://www.tssa.org.uk/en/Your-union/Your-company/company-pages/network-rail/index.cfm/NR111111

Network Rail have continued to maintain the principle of a threshold despite your reps detailed arguments. In these curcumstances the best way to tackle the situation was to engage the company on the creation of guidelines. These would enable a proper discussion of individual circumstances instead of a blanket restriction. 

The new guidelines from NR resulting from these discussions are:

Travel to work time
We will allow travel time up to 90 or 75 minutes.

Where an individual is appointed to a position and can meet the prevailing travel to work criteria travel assistance will be provided.

The principle of a threshold will remain in place (90/75 minutes) but this does not override the business's obligation to consult with individual employees and consider their personal circumstances before making a final determination on a suitable alternative - this would include exploring alternative arrangements to travel such as partial relocation, transition arrangements which could influence their ability to relocate.

An illustration of some of the factors to be considered can include:

  • The nature and length of the current journey
  • The nature and length of the new journey
  • The impact of those with contractually agreed flexible working arrangements and those working part time
  • The number of modes of transport, the number of connections and complexity of journey

In the specific circumstances where an employee is required to regularly perform their duties on average 2 days or more per week away from Milton Keynes and that this is confirmed by the Functional Director the company will consider allowing travel times of up to 105 minutes.

The Company will seek to act reasonably and will put in place central review mechanisms to support and advise line managers and ensure fairness of application and consistency.

Should you wish to travel in excess of 75 mins (for bands 5-8) and 90 mins (for bands 1-4) for a role in Milton Keynes you should consider the above points to put together a case to your line manager. The list is not exhaustive. Seek advice from your local rep or the Members' Helpdesk.

Remember, you still have the right to appeal any final decision made on travel, whether in line with the new guidelines or simply on the right for you to have alternative work.

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