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 will recount, but I think it was 20 areas, and no, I have not done that, but it is the kind of modernisation we would expect. For example, I was just looking at the list, and one working practice means that paysheets have to be done on paper, whereas it would clearly make sense to do them electronically. It would save a lot of time and a lot of money, and I cannot really see why anyone would be against it, but it is a working practice that is not allowed. I mentioned being able to move between different very similar roles but only where somebody is fully qualified, and those kinds of flexibilities in rostering do not exist.

It is pretty much like trying to run an orchestra for Network Rail, but it does not know who is going to turn up or which instruments they will bring, and it has no ability to tell them where to sit—and then it is supposed to make the railway run. We have to modernise our railways.