Government rail policy is bankrupt

05 December 2016

ASLEF has condemned new proposals from Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, to allow private train operating companies and other firms to run sections of Britain’s infrastructure.

General secretary Mick Whelan said: ‘These proposals demonstrate what we have known for a long time: government rail policy is bankrupt. It has done privatisation, it has done nationalisation and now it doesn’t know what to do with Network Rail. The failures and tragedies of the Railtrack era remind us that infrastructure should never be run for profit. I’m concerned that in 2016 the Secretary of State for Transport is seriously considering a return to one of the darkest times in the history of Britain’s railways.’

Mick added: ‘Chris Grayling’s idea is not a new one. There have been numerous alliances on the railway in recent years and none has been a success. What he is proposing is a desperate, half-baked reform which will only add another layer of unnecessary complexity to the rail industry. Passengers and taxpayers need simplicity, clarity and value for money. These proposals will deliver none of those things.’

Mick was responding to a speech, leaked over the weekend by the DfT, to be given by the Transport Secretary at the Policy Exchange think tank on Tuesday.

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