Labour and RMT hit out at RDG’s ‘fan­tasy rail plans’

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

Both Labour and the Rail Mar­itime & Trans­port (RMT) union have re­peated their calls for pub­lic own­er­ship and con­trol of Bri­tain’s rail­ways, in re­sponse to the RDG’s in­dus­try plan.

Shadow Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Andy McDon­ald sug­gested that it was an ad­mis­sion of fail­ure from the RDG that pri­vately-owned train op­er­a­tors had dam­aged the in­dus­try since Bri­tish Rail was bro­ken up two decades ago.

He added: “The rail­way needs strate­gic di­rec­tion and in­te­gra­tion un­der pub­lic con­trol, not more tin­ker­ing around the edges of a failed sys­tem that is let­ting pas­sen­gers down.

“Labour will bring our rail­ways back into pub­lic hands, run in the in­ter­ests of pas­sen­gers, rather than pri­vate profit.”

Mean­while, RMT Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Mick Cash branded the RDG’s in­dus­try pro­pos­als as ‘fan­tasy rail plans’ and ‘bo­gus pro­pa­ganda’ that have been put to­gether to: “di­vert at­ten­tion from the fact that the RDG’s core busi­ness is to prop up the Tory Govern­ment and pro­tect the fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests of over­seas pri­vate com­pa­nies that have been granted a li­cense to plun­der Bri­tain’s rail­ways for over two decades.”

He de­scribed the RDG as be­ing ‘Tory cheer­lead­ers’ and said the only na­tional plan that would prop­erly cater for the UK’s fu­ture trans­port needs was ‘to kick out the pri­vate rack­e­teers rob­bing us blind’.

Cash also ac­cused the RDG of both ‘dou­ble ac­count­ing on an epic scale’ and ‘fraud’ by in­clud­ing £50 bil­lion of pre­vi­ously-an­nounced rail in­vest­ment in the in­dus­try plan.

He said: “There is not a penny piece of new money in any of this and the cash that is be­ing talked up is Bri­tish tax­payer and fare­payer money that has al­ready been an­nounced and spun on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions in the past.”

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