House of Commons
RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE SAFETY, STANDARDS AND SKILLS
EDM #494
Tabled 02 November 2017
2017-19 Session
That this House believes there can be no compromise to safety in the maintenance and renewal of the railways; recognises concerns raised by the Rail Industry Association and RMT union over the current threat to Network Rail's supply chain and skills base caused by the deferral of £3.7 billion of renewals which was due for completion by 2019 but has now been put back by up to five years; is concerned that the feast or famine approach to work allocation, short-term funding periods of five years and the increasing commercialisation of Network Rail is contributing to casualisation of the workforce resulting in the loss of jobs, skills and standards; notes the announced £47.9 billion funding to Network Rail for 2019 to 2024 of which £34.7 billion is from the taxpayer and the vast majority of the remainder from fares; further notes that this will be linked to more cuts, commercialisation and fragmentation; further believes it should instead be linked to stamping out casualisation and gig economy style employment practices which the safety regulator has described as not conducive to a safe railway; is deeply concerned that recent reviews into Network Rail have contained no proper analysis of the benefits of ending outsourcing and casualisation despite evidence that when rail infrastructure work has been brought in-house on a unified basis it has made hundreds of millions in savings; and calls for a Government review and an end to the casualisation of the safety-critical rail infrastructure workforce.