Rail Modernisation

Part of Transport – in the House of Commons on 2nd March 2023.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Secretary of State for Transport

First, in an earlier answer, I said that the service was currently unacceptable. One of the points I made is that, at the moment, ASLEF is refusing to do rest-day working, which is a significant problem. I did what I was asked to do and made sure that a more generous offer for rest-day working could be made. ASLEF is refusing to do so. It requires the co-operation of all involved in rail services to deliver a good service. On the specific contract, it expires on 28 May. We will make decisions and announce them to the House in due course, but I say to the hon. Lady that, if we take services into the operator of last resort, we take over all the things and take them with us. If we do not resolve the issues with the trade unions, then just taking in those services will not actually improve the services to passengers at all. Her obsession with nationalising things is ideological. We want to improve the services for passengers.