RMT responds to King's speech on the railways

RMT responds to King's speech on the railways

8 November 2023

RMT Press Office:

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary said: "This government has failed on rail reform and at the same time put into train the most draconian attack on trade union rights in a generation.

"Ministers have neglected their responsibilities by failing to integrate our railways under a public ownership model in the best interests of passengers and railway workers.
"Instead, they continue to prioritise and fixate on bankrolling our profiteering model which sees vast wealth in the railways leave the sector, going into dividends and shareholders pockets.
"Five years have passed since the Williams Review and in each one of those years, money continues to leak out of a fragmented and incoherent privatised railway network.
"Following our success alongside other groups in preventing the mass closure of ticket offices, RMT will continue to campaign for a properly funded and publicly run railway network alongside winning a negotiated settlement for our members in the national dispute."  
  • The government commissioned the Williams Review in September 2018 following the May 2018 timetable debacle. The Williams Review ran between 2019 and 2020 and produced the White Paper, the ‘Williams Shapps Plan for Rail’ in May 2021. The government consulted on this White Paper between June and August 2021. 
  • In the Willliams-Shapps Plan, Grant Shapps wrote “Today’s railways are a maze of agreements between hundreds of different parties, drawn up and policed by battalions of lawyers and consultants, including an entire staff dedicated to arguing about who is at fault for each delayed train.” He claimed that “A simpler, more integrated structure will cut duplication, increase Great British Railways’ purchasing power and economies of scale, and make it easier and cheaper to plan maintenance, renewals and upgrades.” 
  • Although the government used the King’s Speech to announce that it intends to bring forward a draft Bill, no actual Bill was announced and any draft will be subject to ‘pre-legislative scrutiny’ meaning there may be no Bill before a General Election.

Want to receive updates from us? Subscribe to a mailing list

Tagged with: RMT, Mick Lynch, King's speech, Rail,