1 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT calls for urgent Government intervention to protect open access operators Hull Trains and Grand Central during Covid-19.
RAIL UNION RMT is today calling for urgent Government intervention to support open access rail operators Hull Trains and Grand Central during the Covid-19 crisis.
Unlike the franchised Train Operating Companies, neither company has received any emergency funding during Covid-19 and as such, have suspended their operations in full and furloughed their employees.
The franchised rail companies are continuing to receive Government support as they implement a phased increase in services with social distancing measures in place. Without equivalent support, Hull Trains and Grand Central are unlikely to be able to recommence operations for some time.
To ensure social distancing, and protect passengers and workers, our railway network is running at a significantly reduced capacity. RMT is calling for Government funding for Hull Trains and Grand Central to enable these companies to restart operations and provide transport for key workers and essential travellers.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“Unlike the franchised rail operators, open access operators Hull Trains and Grand Central have not been in receipt of any Government support during Covid-19.
“Without Government funding, in line with what has been agreed with the franchised operators, Hull Trains and Grand Central are unlikely to be able to restart operations for the foreseeable future. However, with appropriate support, they are well placed to provide additional services for those who need to travel.
“These companies employ hundreds of workers, and it is vital that the Government intervene and provide emergency funding to enable them to restart operations in a safe manner, and protect their long-term viability and all jobs.
“I have today written to the Secretary of State for Transport, calling on him to take immediate action to ensure emergency funding for both operators.”