Picking the pocket of the tax payer

10 August 2015

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has reacted to the news, announced today, that the ORR is imposing a £2 million fine on Network Rail for its performance delivery to Southern, Govia Thameslink, and in Scotland.

He said: ‘Fining Network Rail is tantamount to picking the pocket of the taxpayer. Yes, we believe in the need for reform in Network Rail,but many of its problems stem from unrealistic and ill-judged targets from the regulator, the Office of Road and Rail, in the first place.

‘The real problem, at the heart of this, is the fragmentation of Britain’s railways since privatisation. That’s why we find ourselves in the ridiculous position of one arm of government fining another part of the government £2 million. Which will leave Network Rail £2 million poorer to put things right. Passengers,taxpayers, and those of us who work in the rail industry are all worse of fbecause it means there will be even less money available to put right the things that are wrong!

‘There could hardly be a better time for a government, looking to build a British railway fit for the 21st century, to recognise that privatisation hasn’t worked;that it is a flawed, and failed, model, and to bring the railways back into public ownership where every penny and every pound can be spent on investing in our infrastructure rather than disappearing into private pockets.’

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