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RMT condemns Transport Secretary as ‘specialist in failure’

Chris Grayling will be questioned over the decision not to proceed with three rail electrification projects.

The biggest rail workers union has launched an angry attack against the Transport Secretary ahead of his appearance before a committee of MPs, branding him a “specialist in failure.”

Chris Grayling will be questioned on Monday by the Transport Select Committee over the controversial decision not to go ahead with three rail electrification schemes.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said the full “charge sheet” against the minister should be taken into account.

The union claimed this included:

– Failure to take action in advance of the collapse of construction giant Carillion despite repeated warnings that the company was in trouble.
– Failure to engage in serious talks with the trade unions in the ongoing rail guards’ disputes in England despite politicians in Wales and Scotland taking a leading role in brokering solutions on the same issue of staffing and the role of guards.
– Failure to take action to tackle problems at the Southern Rail franchise.
– Failure to be in the country on the day of the latest rail fare increases earlier this month, when he went to Qatar.
– Deciding to axe three electrification projects.
– Agreeing to a £2 billion “bail out” on the East Coast Main Line.
– Failure to take action to stop the “decimation” of bus services.

‎RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Many, including plenty from Chris Grayling’s own side, are asking just how long this can go on?

“RMT welcomes the fact that Mr Grayling is being called in to account for his actions over cancelled rail electrification projects but that is only one issue where he should be under forensic investigation.

“RMT has tried repeatedly to engage with the Transport Secretary. He has failed repeatedly to listen to the genuine concerns of front-line transport workers.

“That is a major reason why he continues to blunder on from one crisis to the next.

“The continuing failures on Britain’s transport services shame the nation and the buck stops with the Transport Secretary.”

The select committee wants Mr Grayling to outline the reasoning that underpins his decision to replace three rail electrification schemes with bi-mode trains.

Plans to modernise the line from Cardiff to Swansea, the Midland mainline and tracks in the Lake District were dropped last summer.

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