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Anger over delays in key rail overhaul

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Union chiefs today attacked Government delays over a multi-billion pound overhaul of the UK’s rail network.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin told MPs the £38bn five year plan to improve Britain’s railways is being “reset” because it is “costing more and taking longer”.  Among the schemes effected will be the electrification work on the Transpennine route between Leeds and Manchester which will be “paused”.  Mr McLoughlin blamed Network Rail for the problems and told MPs none of the executive directors would get a bonus for the past year.

But National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) condemned the move.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Clearly there are major problems on the rail infrastructure which are down to resourcing, fragmentation, short staffing and the fact that vast sums of money that could finance these essential upgrade works are being bled away in private rail company profits.

“To argue that delays to electrification in the North and on the Midland Main Line is consistent with George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ rhetoric is ridiculous.

“Britain’s railways will be jammed in the slow lane all the time they are nothing more than a money making racket for the private sector.”

Source:  lep.co.uk  Full Story Here