29 January 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT says House of Commons Transport Committee evidence session today on rail infrastructure must tackle underfunding of maintenance, renewals and upgrades.
Rail union RMT says that the House of Commons Transport Committee evidence session later today on rail infrastructure must tackle underfunding of maintenance, renewals and upgrades as well as addressing the issue of outsourcing and casualisation in the wake of the Carillion collapse.
General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"The backlog of maintenance works on Britain's railways means that passengers are paying a heavy price for years of under-investment as our creaking rail infrastructure is stretched to the limit. On top of that safety critical renewals budgets are under attack leaving crucial works, and the workforce that delivers them, on a constant knife edge.
"That stop start approach at a time of surging rail demand has to end and we need long term planning and stability free from the kind of risks we have seen from the Carillion collapse.
"That kind of short-termism is amplified by Chris Grayling's decision to shelve essential electrification works. That scandalous move has already thrown long-planned initiatives, and our members who had been hired to make them happen, into total chaos. Those works should be reinstated.
"Carillion has shown that the whole model of outsourcing to high-risk, get rich quick merchants is both dangerous and unnecessary. We need a publicly owned railway free from the profit motive where planning and investment come first."