Transport Union RMT warned today that the new Government is planning to take an axe to transport budgets as the department is lined up as a soft touch for cuts, putting thousands of jobs on rail and the buses at risk.
The warning comes as the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) predicted 33% fare increases over this parliament, fewer buses and a shortage of train capacity - all of which will push more people back into their cars and make a mockery of Government claims to support a green transport policy. CBT have also warned that “buses will become extinct outside the centres of cities and towns” under this Government.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond - who will be visiting the Crossrail project this afternoon - has also made it clear that he will pursue a review of rail costs that will lock in and protect the inefficiency and fragmentation of privatisation, and which will ring fence the profits and fare increases to the private train operators with even longer franchises, while safety-critical jobs are sacrificed.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said today:
“The Government have sent out the clearest possible signal that transport is going to be right in the front line as the cuts assault on our services is unleashed.
“During the election there were predictions that the transport budget could be slashed by 27% - that now looks like an underestimate. Thousands of jobs on the trains, buses, rail infrastructure and operations and the Tube are at risk while the waste, profits and subsidies of privatisation and the private train operators are ring fenced with even longer, gold-plated franchises.
“Today Philip Hammond visits Crossrail, an infrastructure project which, like High Speed, electrification and the Tube upgrades, is on the critical list as the ConDems look to dump manifesto commitments to vital transport modernisation projects.
“RMT is committed to mobilising to fight the attacks on jobs and services in the sectors we organise and will co-ordinate resistance with other trade unions facing similar threats.”
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