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Concerns reach Westminster

So, MPs have apparently woken up to the safety implications of making more than 10% of the network's maintenance staff redundant and have called on Network Rail to reconsider its plans. A series of Early Day Motions (EDMs) has been established, with a general one supplemented by five versions looking at specific routes/regions.

A few MPs have woken up to the potential implications of Network Rail's proposed redundancies.
Photo: Visualist Images

EDMs are rarely debated in the House of Commons. In a typical Parliamentary session, only half-a-dozen of them will collect more than 200 signatures; they generally need around 100 in order to effectively make their point.

A few notable signatories feature including Glenda Jackson, George Galloway and the former transport minister Peter Bottomley who claims that MPs are "extremely concerned" about the cuts. David Lepper, a Labour MP in Brighton, actually believes that the government-subsidised company should be expanding its workforce to improve safety. Not much chance of that given the ORR's determination to slash the railway's running costs.

MPs are "extremely concerned" about the cuts...

The Scottish EDM states that signatories are "appalled that skilled green jobs are being lost when they will be needed to expand and improve the nation's railway; is also alarmed at the safety implications of reducing a workforce who are responsible for ensuring the safe inspection and repair of track, signals and other rail infrastructure; and calls on Network Rail to review immediately its decision."

No doubt, Network Rail's top brass will be quaking in their Gucci shoes!

Story from The Safety Valve, added 16th December 2009, updated 29th December 2009.

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To monitor the number of signatories, click here for the 'general' EDM or Scotland, Sussex, Western Region, Midland Main Line or West Coast Main Line.

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