THE general secretary of the RMT Mick Lynch said: ‘This is a missed opportunity by the Government to make a clean break from the failures of the past that have left Britain's railways in the slow lane.’
‘The Government talk about ending a generation of fragmentation but then leave the same private companies in place under this arrangement to extract management fees that could be invested in to building a truly integrated national rail network. The taxpayer carries all the risk while the train companies carry out bags of cash.
‘If the Government were serious about recognising the impact of failed rail policy down nearly three decades they would cut out the middleman, strip away the dead weight of the private companies and work with their staff on building a transport system fit for the future where investment in the workforce and infrastructure comes first.
‘It's important ministers and members of this new Great British Railways’ board understand that you don't build for a bright future by threatening staff with job cuts and attacks on pay and pensions.
‘Our chief priority is to defend our members and if the industry chooses the road to confrontation they will meet the stiffest industrial resistance from this trade union.’
(This is one of a series of reports about the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.)