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Transport for Greater Manchester: proposal to take control of stations in Greater Manchester

4 July 2017

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) announced in March 2017 that it had submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) a proposal for it to take over station ownership and management of over ninety stations in its area, including the associated staff.

These are mostly managed by Arriva Rail North (Northern) but include those managed by Transpennine Express and Virgin Trains West Coast, as well as Manchester Piccadilly which is managed directly by Network Rail. TfGM expects the DfT to make a decision on this during the course of this year, and if the DfT approves this move, TfGM envisages the transfer taking place over the next 2-3 years.

TfGM has proposed this for a number of reasons:

·         to secure greater investment in stations and surrounding areas, and act as a catalyst for local regeneration and social enterprises

·         to improve access to jobs and local facilities

·         to better integrate rail stations with other public transport modes

TSSA met TfGM recently to discuss the proposals, and a constructive discussion was had. The union welcomes the potential for such a transfer of staff to upskill jobs, and to better safeguard station jobs in the longer term. And the staff transferred would be employed in the public sector.

TSSA’s principal concerns related to the potential impact on travel facilities and pensions. Whilst station staff employed by TfGM would potentially have free travel throughout the region on trains, buses and trams, they are likely to lose their national rail travel facilities (unless they had safeguarded travel facilities). And whilst staff would probably remain in the Railways Pension Scheme, there may be an impact on contribution rates.

This proposal is at an early stage, and further discussions will take place in due course. For further information, please see the TfGM website: http://www.tfgm.com/Corporate/media_centre/Pages/News.aspx?articleId=1184

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