Mick lets rip as NR spends a fortune on cars

04 March 2016

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, today criticised Network Rail after it was revealed that NR spends a fortune on hiring cars for staff rather than travelling by train. ‘The reason given for this extraordinary spend on hiring cars, rather than travelling by train, is that fares are too high,' said Mick. 'Which is something we have been saying for years. The truth is that in Britain we now have the highest fares in Western Europe, because of privatisation. Because the privatised train operating companies want to take a fat profit from their private monopolies. Bringing the railways back into public ownership would mean we could cut fares for every passenger – and then Network Rail would be able to take the train, as they would obviously like to do.’

Mick spoke out after new figures showed that Network rail has spent more than £23 million on car hire in the last four years.In 2014/15 the organisation responsible for managing Britain’s railway tracks, and many key stations, spent £8 million on hiring cars. So far in 2015/16 another £8.3 million has already been spent.

Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood said the figures show that rail commuters are 'getting a raw deal'. She said; 'Rail fares have increased by 25% since the Conservatives were elected in 2010 and passengers aren’t seeing the improvements that they were promised.'

A Network Rail spokesman said: 'Our staff travel by rail wherever possible, but we constantly strive to reduce our spend.'

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