20 March 2017
Responding to The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announcement that 6,400 more train services are to come on track by 2021, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said:
"There is little new in the RDG's announcement of new train services coming on line over the next 4 years - they are already known to be in the pipeline with services like Crossrail, or the Elizabeth line as it's to be known, opening next year so whilst I welcome the RDG's aspiration to bring 6.400 new trains services a week on to our tracks by 2021, I'm weary of their spin.
"And I'm sure many passengers, particularly those who commute to work on a daily basis, will be asking themselves why rather than always promising jam tomorrow, they simply just don't get on with running quality train services today. Our UK passengers pay the highest fares in Europe for substandard services and I expect they too will respond to this latest "jam tomorrow" announcement with derision.
"As just about every passenger knows, our rail network is already running at over capacity and passengers are being squeezed into carriages like sardines into a tin which is why so many trains are now delayed. Our system is creaking under the weight of passengers it already has. To get 6,400 new train services on the track over the next five years will be a Herculean task. What we need is serious sustained, long-term, strategic planning and public investment in our rail network, not press release promises which are unlikely to be kept and an end to privateers making profits from our railways".