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Shaw Report: Back to the Future?

2 March 2016

Our union is fighting against efforts to break up, privatise and asset-strip sections of Network Rail. We urgently need comprehensive rail reform but new research proves that the Government is pushing hard in the wrong direction.

Download our newsletter:   Shaw Report: Back to the Future?

Staying on the Right Track!

A new report sets out how a fragmented rail industry is failing passengers and taxpayers. TSSA and rail unions commissioned Dr John Stittle, to produce evidence-based research to explore the chilling implications of Nicola Shaw’s scoping report into the future structure and financing of NR. Shaw’s range of options includes full privatisation but fails to consider the obvious benefits of a publically owned railway that the public now overwhelmingly support. Our findings have now been presented to the Shaw Review. See the facts for yourself here:

The looming spectre of disaster!

The report highlights some of Network Rail’s significant improvements following Railtrack’s disastrous management of safety on the railway but for those who worry that the Government may be bringing us closer to another rail tragedy, Dr. Stittle sees no reassurances from Shaw:

Shaw’s options will do little to reduce or mitigate the fears that will arise from the possibility of the railway industry returning to the disastrous performance of its privatised predecessor Railtrack (RT) with years of poor management, neglect of safety standards, weak cost control and industry neglect which left the country’s infrastructure in a substantially worse state than it was at the time of RT’s flotation.”

The research sets out the benefits of a publically owned railway, lacking from Shaw’s work so far.

“A more radical restructuring of the current railway industry is required. In particular, Shaw should consider evaluating the operational and financial benefits of reintegrating NR within the ownership and control of a single organisation responsible for rail operations and infrastructure located within the public sector with public accountability”

What can you do?

Our members working for Network Rail today can’t wait for a new Government with the vision to create a brighter future for rail. We need you to help support your colleagues now by becoming TSSA Representatives.

Dr. Stittle refers to Network Rail’s “endemic culture of long hours” with safety “secondary to meeting targets and budgetary demands” while “staff are having to take on multiple roles, affecting their ability to deliver a safe and efficient service”.

Our Reps challenge these problems every day but every unfilled Reps’ vacancy means a missed opportunity to improve conditions for our members.

Next steps


We expect an announcement on Shaw’s findings around the time of the 16 March Budget. Whether Nicola Shaw becomes the next Dr. Beeching remains to be seen but our members will be at the forefront of any fight to prevent another rail rip off and prevent another Hatfield disaster!

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