Rail Budget Cut - Short-sighted and Reckless

Wide view of Houses of Parliament London

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has criticised as "short-sighted and reckless" a £1bn Government cut to the rail infrastructure budget. 

The boss of the transport union is calling on Ministers to “come clean” and tell the public which projects would be ditched and how safety would be maintained. 

Network Rail’s ‘enhancement’ budget for the period from 2019-24 had been set at £10.4bn. However, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has now said that figure will fall to £9.4bn. 

Commenting, Cortes said: “Without doubt cutting investment in our railways is both short-sighted and reckless, particularly when borrowing costs are at a historic low. 

“Rail infrastructure is no small thing; it’s the lifeblood of a safe network and the Government must come clean and explain exactly which projects it wants to see ditched, and how they propose that will work in practice. 

“Frankly this is the wrong decision and one which, worryingly, casts doubt over some long-planned improvements to our rail infrastructure. 

“This cut was not mentioned by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in his Spending Review last week. At that point we heard a great deal about the so called ‘levelling-up’ agenda and investment. 

“Yet as ever with the Conservatives, once you look at the small print, what they say and do are two very different things. You can't trust Boris Johnson and this lot as far as you can throw them.” 

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