[2021] Motion 14 Government rail cuts betray promises on meeting climate change challenge

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress notes with growing alarm that climate change is increasingly out of control, while ahead of the UN’s decisive COP26 conference in Glasgow, the UK government claims to be showing climate leadership to the world.

Congress further notes the never-ending inconsistencies of the Johnson government, and in particular that despite recognising that at 1 per cent, rail is the lowest contributor to transport carbon emissions and will play a significant part in meeting the climate change challenge, the government intends to cut £2bn from rail industry support.

Instead of recognising the long-term national interest, the Tory government is concerned with the short-term expediency of clawing back its coronavirus pandemic support to rail, which will possibly see the loss of at least 10,000 railway jobs and cuts to many services, just at a time when it should be encouraging people back onto rail.

These cuts may only be the start with further change to come following the announcement in May of wholesale restructuring of the industry by 2023.

The loss of jobs and services to cut support are not matched by the government’s continuing desire for private sector involvement in rail that will add to costs and fragmentation.

Instead, the burden will continue to increasingly fall on passengers through above-inflation fare hikes that build on the 48 per cent real terms increase since 1997.

Mindful of these facts, Congress instructs the General Council to establish a concerted campaign to draw attention to the government’s inconsistencies on rail and climate change.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association