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Grayling's Rail Reform speech

6 December 2016

Responding to details of Chris Grayling's Rail Reform Speech, TSSA Manuel Cortes said:

"Rail unions and campaigners for better transport have long prescribed the reintegration of track and train to bring the wheel and the steel under public ownership.

"The press-released toplines previewing Grayling's speech suggest he's persuaded by our vertical integration diagnosis. However, his ideological blindness means he can't see beyond privatisation. Creating an East-West link between Cambridge and Oxford is indeed a welcome commitment to investment in our green rail futures but handing the keys to a privateer is simply market-madness and hardly the stuff of which "new golden era of rail" dream are made.

"Lets face it, this piece of spin is not going to be bought by hard-pressed, cross-country rail passengers in the North or across the Midlands, Wales or Scotland or the South West of England for whom there are still no scheduled track capacity improvements and where electrification upgrading programmes have just been cancelled.

"The role of the privateers in the East-West is a cause for great concern - they aren't in it to make rail great again, they are in it for a quick buck. Vertical integration - but under public ownership - is now the only effective way of delivering for all of Britain the affordable, green railway future our economy and passengers so desperately need."

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