Publication Date: November 25 2010
RAIL UNION RMT today accused the government of deliberately distorting the announcement on rail investment to cover up the fact that they have halved the promised number of additional railway carriages over the next four years from 1300 to 650.
RMT has also accused the government of kicking in to the long grass the Inter City fleet replacement programme and key electrification and High Speed projects.
In Jan 2008 the government announced a new rolling stock plan to deliver extra capacity on the railway. This included 1300 extra carriages to be bought onto the network between 2010 – 2014. The Hammond statement today says “an additional 650 carriages will have been delivered to the network between 6 May 2010 and March 2014 – halving at a stroke the numbers promised to the travelling public.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Today’s announcement on the railways is classic political smoke and mirrors. Key infra structure developments like the Inter City Fleet and High Speed projects have been kicked deep into the long grass and even the carriage procurement numbers have been dressed up to look better than they are with long term projects mangled up with the urgent replacements required to keep pace with current demand. When you strip away all the lies and distortions the truth is that the carriage replacement programme over the next four years has been slashed by 50%.
The reality is that the inflation busting fare increases kick in within weeks while the infrastructure and upgrade works we need to drag the UK’s railways out of the slow lane are light years away. The profits of the train companies are ring fenced while the services to passengers are left to rot. The travelling public will be rightly angry once the spin and hype around this announcement is exposed and the reality sinks in – they will be robbed blind in the new year to pay for the political promise of jam tomorrow.”