6 October 2015
RMT Press Office
Impact of cuts to maintenance and inspections exposed by reduced speeds on Arrive Trains Wales.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that the impact of cuts to maintenance and inspections on our railways, and the dangers of running services on untested tracks, was exposed at the weekend after Arriva Trains Wales enforced blanked speed restrictions on sections of the network that had not been tested within agreed safety schedules.
Up until rush hour yesterday a 30 mph speed restriction was imposed on the line between Craven Arms and Pantyffynnon causing serious disruption to services.
An internal ATW notice confirmed that the speed restriction was due to:
“….the length of time since the last visit of a Network Rail test train…”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The real impact of cuts to maintenance budgets, staffing and inspection schedules, imposed on Network Rail by the Government’s agents the ORR, is exposed today as Arriva Trains Wales are forced to impose slow running on tracks that have not been tested within safety-critical time limits. Both passengers and staff alike are being put at risk.
“With surging demand for rail care this is no time to be cutting corners, trimming budgets and axing safety-critical staff while the private train companies are raking in a fortune. It is a shocking indictment of the state of our railways.”