Rail union RMT has warned against £1.7 billion of cuts to Milton Keynes-based Network Rail budgets from 2014, announced by the Office of Rail Regulation this morning and dressed up as “efficiency savings”
The union says it will spark off further cuts to jobs and maintenance - compromising safety and reliability and making a nonsense of ORR’s core objectives.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Demanding £1.7 billion of cuts from Network Rail threatens jobs, maintenance and safety in the same week that the storm shutdown showed that the railways are already short of staff and paying the price for a backlog of maintenance that leaves services at constant threat of total breakdown.
“If the profits and subsidies sucked out of the railways by the private companies were instead retained within the central pot under one publicly owned rail body there would be more than enough money to employ extra staff, tackle the shelved repairs and modernisation works, phase out the lethal level crossings and increase capacity and reliability.
“The government are flying in the face of all logic by retaining the shambolic and fragmented privatised rail model that was set up twenty years ago next week.”