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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I caught Mick Lynch, the leader of the RMT, on TV at his press conference after he walked out of the talks, saying that there is no need for any reductions or changes because, on the basis of last week’s figures, 90% of the passengers had come back. That is completely wrong. Those numbers are not accurate; a fifth of the passengers are still missing. However, there are the occasional lines and the occasional times when 90%-plus have come back, and they tend to be at the weekends. It tends to be on the Saturday and Sunday services, and is all the more reason why we need a seven-day railway, like any other business. We need to be able to run it on a Sunday, because compared with 1919, when these rules were put in place, the world has changed.