News

NEWS PAGE

Welcome to the News Page.

Please visit here from time to time, you may also choose a link from the “News” drop-down link on the main menu bar above for a list of current news items.
The latest STAFF TRAVEL postings from the Rail Delivery Group, etc., are on the Staff Travel News page.
The latest railway-related news can be found via the Industry News page


Don Magson (R.I.P.)

It is with great sadness that we received the news that Don Magson passed away early on the morning of 9th July 2020, aged 82.

Don started his railway career at Tyseley Depot and remained there until 1971. He then moved to Saltley, but always remained a GWR man and indeed became Secretary of our BTPF Tyseley Branch. He was a great supporter of our West Midlands Council and indeed the BTPF itself. He attended almost all of our National Meetings, and events that we have held over the years at our Railway Industry Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Don was a very well liked and respected man, was a pleasure to be with and always did his best for others.

Our thoughts and condolences at this very sad time, go out to his wife, daughter and family.


The NPC has issued a paper on the removal of the free TV Licence for over 75’s from 1st August 2020.

Click the image or HERE to read or download


THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION FROM RAIL STAFF TRAVEL

This news bulletin is to you to keep you updated during this challenging time.

Using your Rail Staff Travel facilities during the Covid-19 outbreak period

While government advice on the easing of lockdown continues to evolve, at the moment the message is still to avoid using public transport where possible to keep seats free for those who need them most.

Clearly, however, more people may be considering making journeys by whatever means as the leisure and hospitality sectors re-open. If you are making a journey consider travelling by alternative means, such as walking or cycling.

If you do need to take the train, we ask that you follow this advice and any specific guidance issued by your Train Operating Company.

Additionally this advice is subject to local variation, for example in areas experiencing a local lockdown.

Specifically:

  • Travel at quieter times so that operators can ensure there is capacity for essential workers and other commuters.
  • Wash your hands before and after your journey and carry hand sanitiser with you if you can.
  • Wear a face covering unless you are exempt, this includes inside rail stations and on trains.
  • Buy your ticket before travel if possible using contactless payment

Use of all Rail Staff Travel facilities is subject to supplementary Rail Staff Travel restrictions this year. Some operators will only allow you to travel if you have made a reservation before boarding. The information on how do to this and the restrictions are published here and updated frequently as the travel situation changes.

Some operators may introduce queueing for services at busy times, including weekends, to restrict passenger numbers on specific services.

FIP coupons –This only applies if you are eligible for these

We are trialling a temporary solution to issue FIP coupons. The postal service is experiencing delays in some areas. Once available, applications must be made a minimum of three weeks before your intended outward date of travel.

Whilst we hope we will be able to fulfil all applications, this temporary solution has a limited production capacity. If the number of applications exceeds the capacity, we may have to suspend the service. Please only apply for FIP coupons if you are certain that you will be travelling and bear in mind that there is a risk we will not be able to deliver coupons in time for your trip.

We will update the news page of our website when we are able to accept applications again.

If we post coupons to you, we will no longer accept unused ones back (including images of them cut up), even if they do not arrive in time for your travel date.

Please remember you can use your FIP cards for discounts of between 50 and 75%. More information in our Travel Tips for Europe guide is available at www.raildeliverygroup.com/rst/where-can-i-go.html

Staff Travel Card

You should have received your Staff Travel card for 2020/21, If you have not, please reply to this email confirming your address and which cards you have yet to receive. If you do not do this by the end of July, then you will need to pay for any replacements.

Please note that the 2019/20 Staff Travel Card expired on 30 June 2020 and is no longer valid for use.

Payment for lost cards and passes

As we currently cannot accept calls, we have changed our processes for paying the replacement fee.

When you submit a Replacements form (XX10) please provide a phone number. We will then e-mail you to confirm we will be calling, and one of the RST team will take the payment over the phone.

Heritage and Leisure Railways

Heritage and Leisure railways are a big part of Britain’s tourist industry. Although mostly run by volunteers they all have fixed costs and have suffered from the disruption to the tourist industry this year. Many are starting to reopen and will want to welcome as many visitors as possible. Please consider supporting them later in the year.

Your Staff Travel Card gets you a discount on many of these. You can find a list of them in our Where Can I Go guides which you can find here.

If you do intend to visit one of them, please do so in accordance with the travel guidance as outlined above.

Moving house?

If you change your home address, you must let Rail Staff Travel know as well as RPMI. This ensures that you continue to get your facilities delivered to the correct address.

Help all retired employees receive news from Rail Staff Travel

E-mail is the quickest way for us to keep everyone informed of Rail Staff Travel issues. If you have friends also in receipt of Rail Staff Travel facilities who have not received this newsletter, please encourage them to provide their e-mail to Rail Staff Travel.

We are trialling a new tool for sending these emails, so it’s possible some will go into recipient’s junk/spam or promotions folders. If you have friends who have not received it, please ask them to check all folders.


RBF Newsletter – Issue 1 2020



RBF Calender 2021

For the Love of UK Railways

  • RBF has provided extra resource to ensure those who need help can be supported during the Covid-19 crisis
  • RBF is here to help the Railway Family during tough times, something we are committed to do and have been doing since 1858 –  this is certainly one of the toughest time we have seen and we are here for you
  • Our website has a dedicated page to Covid-19 with links to how we can help and sources of important advice – https://www.railwaybenefitfund.org.uk/how-we-can-help/covid-19-support/
  • Get in touch via our dedicated email –  covidsupport@railwaybenefitfund.org.uk

Click on the graphic below for more information


Frank Read R.I.P.

A Tribute

by Roderick Fowkes

How pleasing it was to see Frank Read enjoying himself earlier this year as a special guest at Meadow lane watching Notts County and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd in recognition of his long-time support.

Frank was a relief stationmaster when we first met fifty-five years ago, his tenure at Trent  station where I was a Telegraph Clerk was relatively short but his wit and authority held him in high esteem. I still have the memo he drafted in late summer of 1965 of my impending marriage in October.

David Winckle was also a relief stationmaster from the Derby contingent at the same time and waxed lyrical in later years regarding Frank’s secretive visit to London, not for a haircut, but for something more substantial.

I had further dealings with Frank during my five years as DMU controller at Nottingham when he was relieving at the station and holding sidings.

Some will have more definitive recollections of Frank Read, I’m certainly glad to have met him.

A true gentleman!


CHILD DEPENDENT EARNINGS LIMIT SUSPENDED

Please see information from RDG HERE about Child Dependent Earning Limit temporary arrangements.
(A copy is also on our Staff Travel News page)


YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE RAIL DELIVERY GROUP

See how HERE.
(A copy is also on our Staff Travel News page)


View the latest from Fred. Olsen’s M.D.
Click on the image for the full document

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact


Coronavirus Related Fraud Reports Increase In March

Recently the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported a new trend in fraud related to Coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Updated figures show there have been 105 reports to Action Fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.
The first report relating to Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was received on 9 February. There were 20 more reports that month. Since then, there have been 46 reports between the 1 March and 13 March, and 38 reports in just four days (14 March – 18 March).

What scams are we seeing?
The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.
Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.
Phishing emails – We have also received over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed phishing emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:
• Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area but to access this information the victim needs to either: click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page; or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account.

• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates.

• Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn.

• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing.

Protect yourself

1) Watch out for scam messages
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

2) Shopping online:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely

3) Protect your devices from the latest threats:
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices
For the latest health information and advice about COVID-19 please visit the NHS website.

Message Sent By
Lydia Hooley (Police, Officer, Staffordshire)



CORONAVIRUS ADVICE CONCERNS

The NPC has received lots of calls and messages from members concerned about the latest guidelines from the Government on the Coronavirus public health emergency, especially in relation to social distancing and self-isolation. We hope our statement and the Public Health England information (below) is of assistance. The NPC will endeavour to keep members up to date with any changes in the situation as they happen. The best sources of information for the latest updates as they happen are BBC television and radio (including local radio) news, as well as the NHS and Public Health England websites.

Also below is a Viral Kindness Postcard to put through the letterboxes of isolated people*. The postcard will give them your phone number, so they have someone to check they are ok, perhaps get any groceries or medication they need, and of course, offer a friendly chat on the phone! (*Please note, only do this if the older person knows you!).

In addition to the above and below we would like to inform you that our staff will be reducing the amount of time spent in the office during this health emergency, in accordance with the current guidelines. However, staff will be working remotely where possible and you can continue to contact us by email at info@npcuk.org or bevmorrison@npcuk.org or jjsafir@npcuk.org and we will get back to you. Staff will go into the office to ensure that postal correspondence is still managed and dealt with, although this will be on a reduced basis. We do have access to the answerphone facilities, so if you do leave a message we will endeavour to get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Staff will continue to update affiliates as the situation changes.

The NPC remain keen to hear our members feedback on what issues people are having in their own regions, so please email Bev or Jonathan to let us know. The NPC will continue to work on your behalf to make Government and local authorities aware of your concerns.

Please note, the Public Health England document is still saying to call your GP if you need help with pre-existing conditions and medications. If people can’t get through to your surgery because a voicemail is directing you to book appointments online, or phone 111 if you have Covid-19 symptoms, please let your local NPC representative know as they may be able to offer advice on alternative contacts.

Regards
All at the NPC

Click images to link to downloadable documents


CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ OR DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT

There is a response from the government on the DCMS site which contains their answers on everything to do with the role of DCMS.
This statement reflects the government response to the BBC and TV licences for over 75s.


Railtrail Tours

** Special Offer to BTPF members **

10% Discount on UK and Continental Tours

Why noy let someone else do the driving and explore superb scenery, experience excellent food, stay in quality hotels and visit stunning destinations. If that’s appealing to you, well you’re on the right track booking with Railtrail Tours

Members may use the code below(once per member) to receive 10% OFF their first ever booking with Railtrail Tours.  Codes can be used either when booking over the phone or when booking online via the website. 

NOTE:
If the member books multiple tours at the same time the code will be applied to the highest value tour

Book online at www.railtrail.co.uk
or
Telephone +44(0)1538 382323

Remember, booking online or by phone the code should be quoted as BTPF10 


B.T.P.F. / Railway Benefit Fund

A message from John Harrison, our National Chairman.

I am pleased to announce that the BTPF has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Railway Benefit Fund.  This statement outlines an agreement reached on Thursday 10th October 2019, between our two respective organisations to work collaboratively and in partnership with each other.  This is for the benefit of both BTPF and RBF members, supporters, beneficiaries and for the wider rail rail community.  The full statement can be seen HERE.

Members will be fully aware of the affinity we have with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.  This again has resulted in benefits for our members and for our federation’s finances.  Two other agreements I have recently reached for the benefit of members, is with Railtrail Tours and Rhino Car Hire.  Railtrail Tours provide Quality Escorted Holidays mainly by Rail and Rhino is both a national and international Car Hire organisation.
There is a link to both of these organisations on our website.  As with Fred Olsen, members can enjoy a 10% discount with both of these organisations by quoting BTPF10 when finalising your booking.

Best Regards to all.

The NPC has drafted their Housing Policy document

Click below to read or download the document


The NHS Long Term Plan and Older People briefing paper May 2019

Click below to read or download the document

 


Good news about Bus Passes in England

Free bus passes for older and disabled people protected for the future.

Government changes legislation to protect free bus travel scheme

Disabled and older people in England will continue to benefit from free off-peak bus travel for the foreseeable future, keeping them connected with their local towns and cities.
Bus passengers aged over 65 or with a disability have been entitled to travel free of charge on any off-peak local service in England since 2007, thanks to the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme.
The government has now amended legislation to protect the scheme in its current format, so that it can to continue for years to come.

Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
Being able to get out and about is hugely important for older and disabled people to keep their independence and play a role in their local community.
Buses help connect people, homes and businesses and nearly 10 million people in this country are already benefitting from free off-peak bus travel.
The legislation underpinning our important bus pass scheme is now set for the future, meaning this group will be able to access their local services and amenities.

For the whole Government announcement see HERE.

From H.M. Government – 10th April 2018