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Beware the Spin on Spending Plans

31 October 2018

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes has poured scorn on the Office of Rail and Road's efforts to spin their £35billion (£31bn in England and Wales and £4bn in Scotland) 2019-2024 spending plans on Britain's railways as a solution to delays caused by infrastructure failure.

 Commenting, Manuel Cortes said: "Just cos they say it, don't make it true. The figures might sound big but beware the spin.

“Most of the money being invested is to keep the rail infrastructure maintained not expanded. And it comes following the folly of anti-Transport Minister Chris Grayling's cancellation last year of the long-expected electrification in the Midlands, South Wales and on Trans Pennine routes.

“There is no provision in this announcement that will see those lines electrified in the next investment period. Neither is there a provision to restore to the railways the staff that it has haemorrhaged through imposed job losses and not filling vacancies.

“Nor is there a plan in this announcement to recruit or develop the skills within our industry to do away with the make-do-and-mend mentality which the government has imposed on our railways as they continue to creak under the sheer volume of passengers now crowded onto the system.

"Top Minister of Transport Mismanagement Grayling will however continue to ram fare increases down the throats of passengers in January. The fare payer has long been forced to pay by the Tories for an upgrading that hasn't happened.

"For spinning the figures this way and for attempting to give the impression that Network Rail is somehow responsible for the underfunding of our railways, I accuse the ORR of being an apologist for Failing Grayling and his disaster management of our rail system.

"Any passenger focussed watchdog would tell it as it is - outsourcing services and carriages to be managed for profit has brought systemic failure to Britain's railways. On its own terms privatisation has failed and we need a return to an integrated public owned model if Britain is ever to get a railway fit for a modern economy.

“Right now it remains on the road to nowhere."


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