The RMT has hit back at the rail industry’s ‘single plan’ for the railway, calling it “just the same old fantasy railway plans and promises of jam tomorrow that the public are sick and tired of.”
The plan, unveiled today, is backed by businesses and passenger groups. Called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, it makes four commitments for change to build on the progress of the past 20 years.
It includes independent research showing how a ‘changing partnership railway’ will secure almost £85 billion of additional economic benefits for the country, by connecting people with jobs, housing and business opportunities. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) says this is on top of an existing £31bn of economic benefits delivered by the railway now.
However, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This is just the same old fantasy railway plans and promises of jam tomorrow that the public are sick and tired of. The whole package has been cobbled together to try and divert attention from the fact that the RDG's core business is to prop up the Tory government and protect the financial interests of the overseas private companies that have been granted a licence to plunder Britain's railways for over two decades.
“This so-called plan for the future has been put together by the very same people who have wrecked Britain's railways since privatisation, condemning passengers to pay the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains in the name of profit.
“Despite the claims from the Tory cheerleaders of the Rail Delivery Group, any new investment in infrastructure is taxpayer and fare payer money while the train companies keep their bulging wallets jammed shut and carry on hacking back on staff and safety to boost their private profits.
“The only national plan that would enable us to build for our future transport needs would be to kick out the private racketeers who are robbing us blind and bring the entire rail network under public ownership and public control."
“RMT will continue to fight for a publicly owned railway as part of a fully integrated transport policy that puts the needs of the people, our communities and our economy before those of the profiteers.”
- Full details of the plan are in RAIL 839, published on November 8, and available on Android/iPad from November 4.