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Rail Industry Succeeding In Spite Of Privatisation - Cortes

14 June 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed latest figures from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) showing increased usage of Britain's railways while describing as "fundamentally misguided" the Government's approach to the industry.

 ORR figures show passenger journeys in Great Britain in 2018-19 reached a record high of 1.759 billion. Total passenger revenue reached £10.3 billion in 2018-19, with annual revenue growth at its highest (6.1%) since 2014-15.

Manuel Cortes said: “I welcome the continuing success of our rail industry which is the backbone of the British economy.

“Our railways are crucial in the daily lives of millions of people and businesses large and small. However, they are succeeding in spite, not because, of privatisation and cuts to investments by Chris Failing Grayling.

“This is largely down to the hard work of our members and others who put so much effort into the running and safety of our railways every single day.

“This Government has a fundamentally misguided approach to the potential of rail in our country. We remain bogged down in a franchising model which is long passed its sell-by-date.

“What’s really needed is a huge injection of investment in order to meet the rising demand seen in these figures. This current Government simply isn’t up to the task as it has already cancelled a large programme of rail electrification. Nor do we see the full-throated commitment to HS2 and so called HS3 in the North nor the green light for Crossrail 2.

“All these schemes are badly needed to provide increased rail capacity and a green future for rail.

“Failing Grayling and the Department for Transport (DfT) may wish to pretend all in the garden is rosy, but our country needs and deserves so much more than the privatisation and hotchpotch fragmentation we currently endure.”

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