Latest Rail News

27.03.13

Unions say TOCs are ‘intent on resurrecting Beeching’

Campaigners are holding protests today at 35 stations against planned cuts to services and staff.

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Beeching report, unions are protesting against the 20,000 jobs they say are at risk, the closure of 675 ticket offices and a 50% increase in the number of unstaffed stations.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Rail firms seem intent on resurrecting the ghost of Dr Beeching, by embarking upon a new era of swingeing railway cuts.

“At a time when passengers are being forced to pay the most expensive train fares in Europe, they also face the prospect of unstaffed stations and guardless trains.

“Instead of chomping at the bit to save money, train operating companies should be looking to improve vital services at stations and on trains. There is no fairness in asking commuters to pay more for less.”

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Beeching’s vandalism was the worse example of the malaise of short-term thinking that has beleaguered our industry throughout its history.

“A successful rail network is planned carefully for decades ahead. It isn’t subjected to short-term, utterly-unimaginative sticking-plaster solutions like letting franchises, reducing services, poking up fares and cutting staff.” 

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Beeching got it badly wrong half a century ago on the future of rail as a popular mode of travel. His butchery of rail services has been matched by more recent generations of politicians in the fragmentation and exploitation of privatisation.

“Now is the time to right the wrongs of the past and put an expanded, integrated and publicly-owned railway at the heart of future transport policy.”

TSSA general secretary Manual Cortes said: “Our railways are a success story despite the repeated attacks by the government, Beeching 50 years ago, privatisation twenty years ago and now McNulty which will see the closure of hundreds of booking offices and thousands of job losses.

“Further cuts are not the answer, as Beeching proved so comprehensively five decades ago. We need an affordable, socially-owned railway like the rest of Europe where passengers always come first.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

John   05/04/2013 at 16:24

Two wrongs do not make one right! A Heavily unionised Railway led to the downfall of many lines and services by playing into the hands of a Parliamentary Ownership that was, and still largely is, driven by a powerful Road Transport Lobby. Indeed that are being so successful at it that the Unions look as if they are in cahoots with this bnch and neither of them actually gives a stuff about the fare paying passenger or raol freight user as witnessed by us all being held to ransom all the time!!

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >