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UK: Network Rail Jeopardizes Safety in Cost Cutting Drive

RMT Press Office:

Rail union, RMT will hold a day of action against cuts to railway maintenance, infrastructure and renewals work on Thursday.

Network Rail is planning £1.2bn of cuts over the next 5 years to track and infrastructure renewals work, following the government decision to axe the public company’s budget.

If the cuts go ahead, there will be an increased risk to public safety, railway workers and overall efficiency of the service.

Rail infrastructure includes signalling, drainage, earthworks, level crossings and track – all of which are critical to the safe and reliable running of trains on the network.

Union activists are leafleting over 20 stations across the country on Thursday as part of RMT’s ‘Rail Cuts Cost Lives’ campaign, informing the public of the dangers posed by Network Rail’s plans. 

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail’s plans to cut over a billion pounds on railway renewals work jeopardizes safety for rail workers and passengers.

“Our railway infrastructure needs to be maintained and improved which can only happen by increasing investment, not cuts.

“We’ve already had reports of cracked rails, problems with drainage and recent extreme weather events which in 2020 led to the Carmont rail disaster.

“We cannot afford to allow the railway to be less safe which is why we will be campaigning to reverse these cuts throughout the country on Thursday and in the coming weeks and months ahead.”

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