Railway congestion makes union case

14 March 2012

The chief executive of Network Rail has told the Commons transport committee that some of the UK railways are as congested as the M25. Sir David Higgins said that with 12 different rail operators using the West Coast Main line, congestion was inevitable.

He told the committee that to hit 92% punctuality on long-distance routes, it would be necessary to regulate other services, a move that could come ‘at the expense of commuters’.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan says that in view of this admission, the government should agree with the union’s view that high speed rail track should be extended to run from London to Scotland.

‘It also confirms our view that the McNulty report into rail is essentially superficial. It pokes around in the detail of existing systems, rather than seeking to provide genuine solutions to real problems like track congestion.’

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