December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 28, 2013
A union leader has blamed today’s travel chaos in London following storm St Jude on rail firms cutting staff and failing to invest in infrastructure.
The RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Since the last big storm in 1987 the rail network has axed over 2,000 engineering staff and has hacked back investment in drainage, embankments and tree clearance.
“That policy is coming back to haunt them and will leave hundreds of thousands of passengers who pay a fortune in fares unable to get to work in the morning.
“That is a shocking reflection on the state of our railways.”
The huge storm battered Britain overnight and brought down more than 100 trees onto the railway network, causing many train services in London to be cancelled and severe delays on virtually every route in and out of the capital.
Mr Crow said: “The past 24 hours have shown that there are not enough staff to clear tracks and keep trains running as numbers have been hacked to the bone.
“We barely have enough crew to cope with routine engineering works let alone emergencies as the shutdown of services across the south and up into the Midlands has confirmed.”
The union boss is demanding plans to lay off hundreds more track staff are scrapped, and is calling for an increase in both crew numbers and investment in infrastructure.