ASLEF backs Jim's call for Shapps to come clean

23 July 2020

We have backed a call from Jim McMahon, the Shadow Transport Secretary, for the government to come clean and 'be clear whether the existing emergency management agreements [on Britain's railways] will continue.'


Mick Whelan, general secretary, said: 'It's time for the Secretary of State for Transport to explain what the government is up to. While it was right to put these emergency measures in place, they were only necessary because privatisation has proved to be a disaster and the franchise system has failed, and it is wrong to hand over £500 million of taxpayers' money to the train operating companies to cover and compensate them for "lost profit".


'The railways are – or should be – a public service, not an opportunity for a private company to turn a quick profit in an industry where all the investment comes from the public purse, anyway.


'Mr Shapps should come clean and make a statement in the House of Commons where he can be questioned by MPs. He needs to tell passengers, and those of us who work in the rail industry, what he has in mind – rather than come to a cosy little deal, behind closed doors, and without proper public scrutiny, with the privatised rail firms who have failed to deliver.


'It  is also wrong that the government – for party political advantage, the settling of old scores, and ideological malice, are trying to hang Transport for London, and the Mayor of London, out to dry.'


You can read Jim McMahon's letter to the Transport Secretary here:



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