Mick condemns more privatisation

29 March 2018

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, has condemned the dangers of further privatisation of Britain’s railway after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling invited bids to run a new West Coast partnership.

Mr Grayling unveiled a ‘new vision that could see HS2 become a fully integrated railway, with a single organisation running all aspects of the service – the tickets, trains, maintaining the track and other infrastructure like signalling – ensuring a single joined-up team will deliver the best possible passenger service.’

Mick said: ‘We would welcome that – but only if it is in the public sector, which is what the vast majority of passengers now want. We have always argued that the fragmentation of our railways after privatisation has been bad for our industry, and bad for Britain. We want to see the wheels and steel put back together.

‘But not in the private sector. And, at the moment, and I know the government doesn’t like it, but Network Rail is wholly publicly owned. This plan will see part of our vital infrastructure hived off into the private sector, where profit, not safety, is the name of the game.

‘Those of us in the rail industry remember the disaster of Railtrack which shows what happens when a private company runs a safety-critical industry.

‘We cannot jeopardise our safety record by returning to the bad old days when private companies cut corners and put passengers at risk.’

 

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