Make maintenance public

28 February 2008

ASLEF has today denounced the Office of the Rail Regulator’s (ORR) report into Network Rail’s Christmas engineering overruns and called on the government to bring maintenance of the rail network back into public hands. The union also criticised the record £14 million fine imposed on the publicly owned company as a disaster for rail users and taxpayers.


The ORR’s report was largely in response to major engineering work at Rugby which overran by four days severing the West Coast main line and causing massive disruption for hundreds of thousands of passengers.


ASLEF General Secretary Keith Norman said, ‘Network Rail’s failure to deliver engineering work on time is a direct result of a fragmented and unaccountable system of maintenance on the rail network. Maintenance should be brought back under public control in the same way that infrastructure has.’


Keith Norman added: ‘the fine means that Network Rail will have £14m less of public money to spend on investment in the rail network. The travelling public is being penalised, yet again, for the company’s failures as further lines are scheduled to be closed in the months ahead to complete work caused by the backlog.’

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