Saturday 18 February 2012

More Metro Woes

THE firm responsible for keeping the Tyneside Metro stations clean has been fined over litter on the platforms, union leaders claim.
Churchill Services, which won the contract to clean the Metro, had to hand over £8,000 after too much litter was found at stations during a four-week inspection period in December. The RMT union claims the problem was down to 20 night-shift cleaners having their shifts cut from 40 hours to 37.5.

One of the night cleaners, who did not wish to be named, said on some occasions cleaners spend part of their shift hunting for the right materials to do the job.
He added: “Sometimes I have to go from station to station to find cleaning clothes. On one occasion someone was told off because there was a tiny piece of chocolate on a platform.”
Under the cleaning agreement inspectors are looking for more than 10 pieces of litter on a station, which are bigger than the size of a credit card.
 The floors of the Metro trains are grubby and show no evidence
of a proper cleaning routine.
Focus comment
I used the Metro very recently, the first time for around 9 months or so and came away with the impression that cleaning standards had deteriorated somewhat. The floors of the trains were grubby with evidence of grime building up in corners of the floor. Some seats were stained, worn and threadbare. Graffiti was evident in many places along the track and the whole system now has a run down feel to it. Standards have certainly been allowed to slip.
It was pleasant contrast to leave the Metro at Jarrow and board a Go North East bus to travel on the service through the Tyne Tunnel. The interior of the bus was extremely clean and brightly lit and the impression was that this vehicle belonged to an organisation that was in control and had high standards.
Remember, the Metro is owned and managed by Nexus, the organisation that wants to take over the running of the buses in Tyne & Wear who are now spending large sums of public money organising meetings to try and convince people what a good idea it is to grab back control of the buses.
Unlike bus companies who continually invest in a rolling fleet renewal programme, Nexus have run the Metro system down and now are using tax payers money to try and rescue the system from its worn out state.
Good value for money? Good Management?

David Gambles