9 November 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT responds to Great Western “modernisation” fiasco highlighted in NAO report today.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“This National Audit Office report is a shocking indictment of the mismanagement of our railways. Huge sums that are desperately needed to upgrade and modernise the rail infrastructure down to Wales and the South West have been squandered, and progress in vital works delayed, because the interests of the privatised train company’s come first. These electrification works could have been completed years ago if our railways weren’t run in such a chaotic and disjointed fashion.
“Following on from the daily franchising fiasco on Southern, this NAO report once again underlines that a succession of ministers and senior officials at the Department for Transport have completely lost control of our railways and questions now have to be asked as to whether the Department is currently fit for purpose. RMT firmly believes that it is not.
“But this NAO report also ignores the fact that the fundamental problem facing our railways is fragmentation and privatisation. Having one organisation responsible for building trains, another for buying them, another for running them and then yet another having responsibility for the track on which they run was always going to be a recipe for chaos and cost overruns. We need to end this scandalous culture of profiteering and mismanagement and recreate one unified, publicly-owned railway to deliver better value for money the taxpayer.”