£75 Million Wasted On Rail Franchising Since 2003

RAIL UNION RMT today slammed the government for “presiding over a culture of private waste” on the railways after new figures obtained by RMT parliamentary convenor John McDonnell revealed that the cost of designing and tendering rail franchises since 2003 is a staggering £75 million.

In a series of parliamentary questions John McDonnell had attempted to find out the full costs of franchising since privatisation in 1996. Incredibly, the government have been unable to provide financial information between 1996 and 2003 but in a parliamentary answer transport minister Chris Mole has confirmed that the price of private rail franchising to the public purse between 2003-2005 was £42.4 million and between 2005-2009 was £33.8 million.

RMT have released the new financial information exactly two months after the East Coast Mainline franchise was seized back from National Express and taken in to public ownership. The union have renewed their call for an end to the “expense, waste, disruption and fragmentation of rail privatisation.”

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“Tens of millions of pounds that could have been invested in the rail network has been squandered on drawing up and tendering train operating franchises. When you add in the hundreds of millions soaked up in public subsidies by the train operating companies, and the huge amounts extracted from the system in profits, dividends and bonuses, we can see the epic scale of the publicly-funded rip off which is rail privatisation.

“While precious resources are being wasted on propping up the failed policy of rail privatisation nearly 1500 safety-critical rail maintenance jobs are being threatened with the axe. That’s the distorted priorities of the current UK rail system – unlimited funds to keep privatisation afloat while safety is compromised out on the tracks in a dash for cuts.”

> RMT National News

Tuesday, 19th November
RAIL UNION RMT will be demonstrating outside City Hall tomorrow over plans to decimate ticket offices and their opening hours across the Arriva Rail London operation with dire consequences for safety, service and accessibility.
Tuesday, 19th November
On world toilet day transport union RMT has released results of a survey of staff that exposes the shocking reality of the lack of facilities and specifically how they discriminate against women and disabled people.
Tuesday, 19th November
Despite over 98% of RMT ABM tube cleaner members voting for strike action in a ballot announced today they are to be denied the right to fight for basic workplace justice as they failed by less than 2% to meet the arbitrary thresholds of the Tory anti-union laws.
Tuesday, 19th November
OFFSHORE Energy trade union RMT responded to the latest mechanical failure of a helicopter transporting offshore oil and gas workers back home from the North Sea.
Monday, 18th November
RMT calls for SWR to be stripped of franchise as drive to DOO delays new fleet