ASLEF lobby of Parliament 13 July

01 July 2005

Members of ASLEF will be lobbying MPs on 13 July from 1300 in Committee Room 14. We will be seeking support for our ‘Who Cares?’ campaign which aims to maximise the amount of freight moved on rail.

The main reasons we have raised are in the documents are available on our website, click here (or on the ‘Who Cares?’ sticker button on the home page). 

ASLEF’s Acting General Secretary Keith Norman says, ‘We feel it is especially timely to push the campaign now because of public, and government, concerns over the environment and traffic congestion.

Our interests would seem to coincide because a successful outcome would:

 

1

Reduce CO2 emissions and other pollutants in line with the government’s commitments to the Kyoto protocols

   

2

Radically reduce heavy traffic on our major roads, thus cutting down on congestion with a solution largely favoured by major haulage companies

   

3

Achieve these goals without affecting public life-styles.

 

The objective of the Parliamentary lobby is to involve as many MPs as we can in support of the principle of the campaign. 

Over the coming months we want to build up a list of demands and extend the campaign by demonstrating the breadth of support for Freight on Rail. 

We aim to develop – jointly - information/media and schools packs for the campaign over the summer. This would be a folder (which would have the logos of all supporting organisations) which would contain an A5 colour insert from each organisation picking up each one’s three main points of concern, and demands, on the issue. 

Keith Norman says, ‘The point of this would be to put the issue as a major point of debate. It could prove a useful campaigning and publicity tool with national media, politicians, trade unions, government and freight customers - as well as a useful and welcome educational resource if we aim one of the packs at schools.’

Secondly, we are consulting other organisations about the form of a ‘Who Cares?’ website to which supporting organisations will have links. We have so far contacted EWS (English Welsh & Scottish Railway), Freightliner Group Ltd, Network Rail, Rail Freight Group, TSSA, Transport 2000, Friends of the Earth, The Green Party, Greenpeace, Countryside Alliance, PD Ports plc, GB Railfreight and the Transport and General Workers Union. 

We hope to mount a wide and popular campaign which will make a real difference to public attitudes that will result in increased freight traffic on UK railways.

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