Network Rail: Staff Levels, Working Arrangements and Employment Conditions

Transport – in the House of Commons on 29th April 2021.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

What recent discussions he has had with representatives of Network Rail on (a) future staff levels, (b) working arrangements and (c) employment conditions.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

As sole shareholder, the Secretary of State has regular discussions with the chair and chief executive officer of Network Rail, as do I. Obviously those discussions sometimes cover matters such as the structure and operation of that organisation.

Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

I thank Network Rail for contacting me yesterday, but may I point out that the trade unions are alarmed to hear of its recent proposals, which could involve the loss of thousands of rail jobs and a halving of the frequency of safety-critical planned maintenance work? We certainly do not want any return to the cost-cutting and safety failures under Railtrack. Can the Minister assure the House that safety will not be compromised and that any changes will be agreed with the trade unions and the regulator, which play such a vital role in protecting safety on our railways?