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Union raises ‘grave’ safety concerns over Network Rail's planned £4bn cuts

THE £4 billion in cuts planned for Britain’s rail infrastructure raises grave concerns over safety, transport union TSSA warned today.

Publicly owned Network Rail, which owns and maintains the infrastructure, plans to shed 905 jobs on top of 1,000 voluntary redundancies, the union said.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes has written to rail regulator the Office of Road & Rail (ORR) warning that the loss of highly skilled and specialist employees could threaten safety.

“We have grave concerns about the impact that thousands of Network Rail job cuts in a short space of time will have on the safe running of our railways and are asking the ORR to execute their duty in holding Network Rail to account,” he said.

“It is vital that such huge changes on our railways do not put passengers or staff at risk — the safety of our railways must come first.”

A spokesperson for Network Rail said the railway has been hit hard by the pandemic and it “cannot keep relying on government handouts.”

They said Network Rail will work with trade unions and others to save money and deliver a more efficient railway, and that it would never put forward unsafe plans.

An ORR spokesperson said: “We are aware of the letter from TSSA and will respond in due course.”

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