We met with LU on the 3rd December, at the same time they put on the intranet the proposed new uniform design. In doing so they implied that they had listened to our concerns and the new design is a result of that listening.
Please be under no illusion, we’ve been at a number of meetings where the uniform has been discussed, we are far from supporting the proposed uniform as is!
While the breathability of the uniform is appreciated, as is confirmation the ‘here to help’ logo proposed for the roundel has been dropped we have outstanding issues such as;
The lack of breast pocket and additional buttons for the polo shirts, when making the argument we were advised the material is not able to support the pocket as it will sag. Yet this is wanted by operational staff to assist in our jobs, the pocket and lack of additional collar button was also dismissed, as it’s now too late for the design to be changed, maybe next time!
Red as a colour when undertaking PTI duties, such as detrainments will continue to cause conflict, we’ve previously advised that passengers wear red too and could be mistaken as operational staff. We were provided a Q&A sheet dismissing our concerns yet the impact on the operational railway we argued required a risk assessment, LU disagreed.
The new shoes are still subject to ‘embargo’ so samples are not yet able to be shared as part of our updates. However, it was reported the contract for provision was expected to be awarded within the next 4 weeks, when delivered they will be issued when new footwear is requested not on mass. It was reported that the new footwear was already found to have had a bonding issue on the upper, this has reportedly been resolved! The lack of sharing the wearer trial feedback was on the basis of ‘commercial sensitivity’ so how are we expected to be able to say these will be fit for purpose? The sole of the shoe was quite soft, we would say not really comfortable to walk on or about the track. The sole tread seemed very soft, in reply to our question, ‘the shoe will last as long as per contract’, when asked how long, ‘that’s commercially sensitive’ was the reply again.
While the above are just a few points, a referral to Director Level was made (on the principle red isn't an appropriate colour for use on the PTI, and requiring management of the use of the Hi-Vi will fail) there will be a trail of the uniform at;
Oxford Circus, Leicester Square and Seven Sisters. We asked that the trial be at a location where there is more detrainment activity and in the open to ensure all weather and lighting conditions are considered, it was accepted Queens Park will be the location.