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.
- 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.