15 June 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands immediate publication of "Gibb Report" into Southern Rail franchise.
Rail union RMT today demanded that the Government immediately publish a detailed report into the basket-case Southern Rail franchise which has been kept under wraps by the Transport Department since the back end of last year.
The report, commissioned in September 2016, was written by Chris Gibb, a non-executive director at Network Rail with 35 years of experience in the industry. It is thought to have been sent back to the Government late last year and has been kept under wraps ever since.
It was widely reported that the report was being supressed by the DfT until after the election due to the damaging nature of its contents. The thinking was that with the Tories expecting a landslide victory they could sneak the report out while they basked in the glow of a stonking Commons majority.
Not only did that not happen but it is generally accepted that the Southern Rail fiasco was a contributing factor in three of their losses, in Eastbourne, Brighton and Croydon, and led them right to the wire in Amber Rudd’s Hastings seat.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“It is scandalous that the Gibb Report remains under lock and key in a vault at the Department for Transport. RMT is demanding its immediate publication as the stench of the Southern Rail fiasco hangs like a cloud over this rotten Government and reminds passengers that the alternative option of public ownership is now right up the agenda.
“We were told that the report would be published “after the election.” Well, the election has been and gone and the Tories took a hammering along the length of the Southern routes as the electorate sent out the clearest possible message about their failing transport services.
“Not only does RMT want to see the Gibb Report but the union is also stepping up the campaign to reverse the attack on the guards and to end the privatised rip-off that blights Britain’s railways.”