Government must act to support rail freight

21 October 2016

Train drivers’ union ASLEF today called on the government to act urgently to support the rail freight industry. The union has written to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP following the announcement earlier this week by the UK’s largest rail freight company DB Cargo that it is making a quarter of its staff redundant.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘DB Cargo’s decision to cut almost 900 jobs is deeply regrettable. What’s particularly disappointing is that the plight of the rail freight sector should have been foreseen. I wrote to the previous Transport Secretary in January of this year warning him that his government’s neglect of coal and steel was going to hit rail freight hard. This week’s announcement demonstrates that the decline is starting to bite.’

Mick added ‘Chris Grayling says he supports rail freight. I call on him to act urgently to assist the industry and ensure it retains its capacity for the future. Britain needs a strong rail freight sector in order to cut congestion on motorways and do the renewal work which keeps the rail network safe.

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