Regulator calls for ‘resilient’ rail
20 Feb 2013
The ORR has noticed that the railway needs to be more resilient ‘in weather conditions such as snow and heavy rain’. ASLEF’s Mick Whelan said, ‘I am sure the travelling public will be highly impressed with this dramatic insight.’
Removing his tongue from his cheek, Mick added, ‘That’s why I call on the rail regulator to campaign with the unions to ensure there is investment in the infrastructure. The ORR should get active, rather than simply sulking on the platform. It should be demanding rail financing that plans for the long-term, and it should be lending vocal support to opposing cuts in Network Rail’s budget.’
The ORR's latest analysis of rail performance highlights that Scotland faced up the recent harsh weather much better than the railways elsewhere in the UK. Its report says punctuality on long distance services was 88.3% and for London and South East services was 91.4%.
The regulator says that it will be ‘reviewing whether Network Rail can work and plan better’. ASLEF argues that this is a classic case of plastering over a problem. ‘‘Improvements cost money’ isn’t a very complex formula,’ Mick says. ‘We are all frustrated with Network Rail at times, but it is wrong to blame them for everything that goes wrong.’