22 April 2022
RMT Press Office:
Rail union RMT, has uncovered new evidence where Transport Scotland has directly requested for track operator Network Rail to cut the funding for vital railway operations, maintenance, and renewals across Scotland.
An FOI request passed to RMT shows Transport Scotland requested that Network Rail reduce its baseline budget by £65 million in both 2022/23 and 2023/24.
This new evidence is in direct contradiction to official responses from the Scottish Government when asked previously about cuts to renewals and maintenance funding.
Responding to the new evidence, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This new evidence is absolutely shocking and shows the Scottish Government playing fast and loose with passenger and railway worker safety.
"It was only a few weeks ago that the full report into the tragic and avoidable rail disaster at Carmont was published which highlighted the systemic and structural failures in safety caused by fragmentation of maintenance and renewals.
"These cuts have the potential to make things worse and I am today renewing our calls on the Scottish and UK Government’s to put an immediate halt to these planned cuts and wider plans by Network Rail to cut thousands of safety critical maintenance jobs and instead guarantee that the necessary investment in the rail infrastructure and modern communication systems to keep the railways safe will take place.”