Monday briefing: Operators accused of inadequate cleaning

Cleanliness condemnation
The RMT is accusing train operators of failing to maintain proper cleaning standards, because of ‘alarming deficiences’ among cleaning contractors. The union said it has surveyed 800 cleaners, and that 75 per cent say their workload has ‘surged’ since they started their jobs, 80 per cent feel compelled to cut corners because of ‘overwhelming pressure’, and that 85 per cent often come under pressure to take on additional tasks.

Safety strategy
The Rail Safety and Standards Board has published an updated Rail Health and Safety Strategy, pointing out that although railways in Britain are among the safest in the world, they are not risk-free. The RSSB said the industry is facing ‘significant challenges’ in cost, performance and reliability. The new strategy aims to help the railway cope with these, with the aim of having the world's healthiest and safest railway.

Levenmouth opening
The return of passenger trains to Leven and Methil on the east coast of Scotland will be celebrated with an official opening led by First Minister John Swinney on 29 May. He confirmed the arrangements during a preview visit to the line’s intermediate station at Cameron Bridge on Friday, where he also met some of the project delivery staff and young graduates employed on the project.

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