16 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
Ministers confirm £3.5 billion rail bail out but RMT says Government has serious questions to answer about the future of our railways
RAIL UNION RMT said that despite parliamentary answers confirming today that Train Operating Companies are to be bailed out by the Government to the tune of £3.5 Billion it is still totally unclear whether new contracts will be agreed by September.
In March as the country went into lockdown and passenger numbers collapsed almost overnight, all UK rail franchises were converted to ‘Emergency Measures Agreements’ (EMAs) meaning the taxpayer is now funding the entire cost of the railway, while train operating companies continue to make a profit without any of the risk.
The Government now has to make an imminent decision on whether to continue to bail out the train operating companies and extend the Emergency Measures Agreements indefinitely or, as RMT has been demanding, renationalise our railways and ensure public money is entirely reinvested in our railways rather than the pockets of profiteering train operating companies.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The Government must come clean about it’s plans for the future of our railways as these backroom deals to prop up and bail out Train Operating Companies simply cannot continue for the long term.
"Rail privatisation is a failed ownership system and it’s clear that these fat cat train operators can only survive a major crisis with the Government bailing them out with billions of pounds of taxpayers money.
"It’s time the Government used that money to invest in our railways and bring them under public control rather than keeping the failed system of privatisation on life support”