RMT Press Office:
Rail union, RMT has met with the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), declaring Network Rail’s Modernising Maintenance programme as “a catastrophe waiting to happen.”
During the meeting, representatives of the ORR indicated they shared some of the union’s concerns.
RMT has repeatedly warned that Network Rail’s plans to meet £400m DFT mandated cost savings, are a serious threat to the safe running of the railways and has urged the publicly owned company and government ministers to change course.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The plans unveiled by Network Rail to cut frontline jobs, slash scheduled maintenance and inspections tasks by half and to impose wholesale changes to working arrangements without agreement is a recipe for disaster.
“These plans are untrialled while Network Rail has no credible alternative contingency plan when things inevitably go wrong, save for flooding the railway with subcontractor usage, a major contributing factor to previous rail disasters such as Potters Bar.
“Our members fear these plans will lead to a crisis in the safety for our railways and an increased risk of derailments. Broken rails are already being picked up by chance where inspections have been slashed.
“Critically, Network Rail is hellbent on ramming through these changes at pace despite the significant safety risks that have been raised by RMT.”
RMT members on Network Rail are currently being consulted on the latest offer from the employer.