26 August 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT calls on government to stop the cuts and rebuild London’s public transport around people.
TRANSPORT UNION RMT today called on the government and TfL to turn the page on a failed experiment and build a world-class public transport system around the needs of people by investing in more staff.
In a submission to the review of TfL’s finances being conducted by the government and by TfL itself, the union said that the Covid-19 crisis had finally killed off the fantasy that public transport could be funded by passenger fares and run on the cheap by cutting staff jobs.
RMT’s submission points to the fact that even before the pandemic struck, London’s transport network was desperately understaffed, creating a growing safety crisis. The union argues that the challenges of meeting our decarbonisation and air quality goals and rebuilding safe public transport for the future demands greater investment in more jobs staffing stations, assisting passengers, staffing trains and cleaning and maintaining transport infrastructure.
RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch said;
“These reviews are an opportunity to confront the truth that’s staring everyone in the face, that London needs public transport more than ever and that means proper public funding and investment to create more and better jobs.
“Safe public transport needs more people working in stations, more people helping passengers and monitoring safety on trains, more people working in cleaning and maintenance, and definitely not some toxic reversion to the austerity cuts and profiteering that got us here in the first place”.
Notes for editors
• RMT’s submission can be read in full here: https://bit.ly/2Qq6adk
• The government announced a review of TfL’s financial sustainability as a condition of its decision to provide £1.6 billion in funding and loans to TfL to plug the gap in its finances caused by the collapse in fare revenue. This review would conclude by the end of August and would explore the potential for both short and medium term ‘efficiencies’ in relation to operating costs, as well as the potential for ‘alternative operating models’ to generate further long-term efficiencies, a formulation that RMT warned leaves the door open for privatisation. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-review-of-transport-for-london-terms-of-reference/terms-of-reference-for-the-government-led-financial-review-of-transport-for-london
• On 22 July, Transport for London announced its own parallel ‘Independent Review’ of its long-term future, also expected to report in September: