Grayling's Rail Strategy

28 November 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned Chris Grayling and the Conservatiive government ahead of an announcement to be made tomorrow [Wednesday] about his plans for the railway network in Britain.


The plans, leaked by the DfT tonight, will claim that 'The government is expanding the rail network to unlock jobs and growth; restoring capacity lost under British Rail could boost growth around key towns and cities; and plans include government commitment to accelerate the restoration of the rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.'


Mick said: ‘Chris Grayling has the temerity to describe them as “bold plans to expand the rail network” which will “boost jobs and housing”. They will do nothing of the sort. There is nothing bold about them, and they will do nothing to improve our transport infrastructure, nothing to increase the number of jobs in this country, and nothing to help build the homes young people so desperately need.


‘It’s a typically vacuous set of proposals from a man who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. All Chris Grayling is doing is reheating a few old proposals. Where is the bold strategic vision for rail – and integrated transport links – in this country? And what has happened to the Tory promises on electrification which he promptly reneged on?


‘We would be pleased to see the lines cut by Beeching restored. But we need something more – and someone better – to deliver the railway that people in this country deserve. Any model, whether refining or extending the failed franchising system – for example, by encouraging more open access operators – will only make an already overly-complicated system worse, not better.’



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