31 March 2017
RMT Press Office
RMT warns of massive impact on services and safety as Network Rail plans to axe 1000 safety-critical rail renewal jobs
RAIL UNION RMT warned today that Britain’s railways risk sinking into further chaos as Network Rail – at the behest of Government-controlled Office of Road and Rail – threatened to axe 1000 safety-critical track renewal jobs.
If the cuts go ahead crucial track replacement work will be cancelled at a time when Britain’s rail infra-structure is already operating on a knife edge, at the very limits of safety tolerances.
RMT has today written to Network Rail demanding that the cuts be halted with General Secretary Mick Cash pointing out:
“…..the deferral or cancellation of critical renewals work will have an adverse impact on safety, the quality of services, employment levels, staff moral and the rail skills base.
“Astonishingly, the union understands that the renewals work will not be delivered due to the fact that the devolved routes are claiming insufficient funds have been made available to deliver this essential safety work.
“This raises many questions and not least vindicates our concerns about the impact of Network Rail fragmentation and devolution on the safe and efficient running of the railway.”
Mick Cash said:
“These planned cuts are a scandal and would impact on services and safety at a time when our railways are already running right at the limit of safety tolerances. Track that is past its safe operational sell-buy date would not be replaced within safe time limits running the risk of repeated failures and possible derailments. That is the Government, through the ORR, playing fast and loose with rail safety.
“RMT wants an urgent meeting with Network Rail on this issue and the union will use our political, industrial and campaigning tools to halt these cuts.”