Industrial Action on the Railway

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 20th June 2022.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport 4:29 pm, 20th June 2022

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her question and, indeed, for her vote as well. When this House voted last week with a 278 majority condemning the strikes, I believe that she and her party were in the Lobby putting their position clearly on the record, unlike the Official Opposition.

On those discussions with the NHS, with teachers and the rest, I am engaged with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, which is the part of Government that co-ordinates with me and fellow Secretaries of State across Government to try, as far as possible, to ease some of the strains and stresses that will come. For example, in the case of exams where people may turn up late, we have been working with the exam authorities. However, there is no magic solution. There are 2,500 stations in this country and more than 20,000 miles of track. The fact is that, if they are closed down as the unions are doing, many people will suffer.