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Industrial action affects Tranz Metro services

MEDIA RELEASE
03 July 2006

For immediate release

Industrial action affects Tranz Metro services

Tranz Metro is continuing with measures put in place to minimise the effect on passengers of continuing industrial action by ONTRACK track maintenance workers.

National Passenger Manager Ross Hayward said ONTRACK maintenance staff would only respond to call outs between 7:30am and 4:00pm weekdays and not at all during weekends.

“This means that any infrastructure failure will have a significant impact on Wellington rail commuters and given it is not unusual to have at least one a week, we will continue to run our enhanced Saturday service to minimise the risk and impact of such failure” said Mr Hayward.

“Given call outs are specifically not available during peak periods it would be irresponsible of us not to make services as resilient as possible” said Mr Hayward.

Responding to claims by Scott Wilson of the RMTU that “Toll was in cahoots with ONTRACK to put pressure on the RMTU” Mr Hayward said that was absolutely ludicrous.

“The only reason we are running the Saturday based timetable for Tranz Metro Wellington is to minimise the impact of the dispute on the thousands of people who use our services every day. We normally run over 2000 services per week and carry 11 million passengers a year, so any failure is potentially significant to customers.

Mr Hayward adds that the dispute is between ONTRACK and the RMTU not Tranz Metro. “We are not a party to this dispute but it is our customers and our business that are affected.”

“If the RMTU want to assist Tranz Metro Wellington passengers, they should assure us that their members are available to rectify any faults in the network. If they can give us that assurance normal Tranz Metro services will be immediately reinstated”

Ends

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