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Cost-cutting plans by Network Rail will affect safety

31 March 2017

Responding to news that Network Rail are shelving scheduled track maintenance and upgrading, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes said:

"It is hugely disappointing for everyone engaged in efforts to build a better-connected Britain, that once again the short-sighted Tories are breaking spending promises and slashing and burning vital infrastructure projects and attacking a great workforce.

"But it is terrifying that that they are doing this with rail safety. Their privateering cavalier attitude towards rail safety in the 1990s was implicated in the Hatfield Rail crash which is why the Labour Government took the privatised RailTrack back into public ownership.

"Network Rail was created so rail safety standards could be rigorously maintained. Network Rail is a safety success story, Britain has the safest railways in Europe - which is no mean feat considering they are also amongst the most overcrowded.

"These cuts must be resisted. We are one of the richest country's on the planet. there is simply no need to play austerity politics with rail safety - it will endanger passengers lives. If they go through, it is hard to conceive how another rail disaster cannot happen.

"But these cuts mean the Tories are now arresting and revising economic development in areas of the country that most need them and the supply chains that feed into infrastructure investment will be hit hard.

"Britain can't afford not to invest in its future infrastructure. The Tories must be held to account for this. They cannot be allowed to let the hullaballoo around the triggering of Article 50 to be used as a good time to bury this bad news."

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