Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Don't blame the train drivers!

First Capital Connect spin doctor Roger Perkins has offered an apology for the ongoing disruption faced by commuters using the Bedford to Brighton Thameslink route.

Of course rail users will be delighted to hear that he's sorry for the misery cancelled trains cause, but it's completely unfair - a a little cowardly - to lay the blame on the train drivers for refusing to work overtime, as he does.

Surely train drivers - like the rest of us - have the right to choose whether or not they work outside their contracted hours?

The fact is that responsibility for the reduced service lies squarely with First Capital Connect’s management, who have forced drivers into a position of industrial action with their unfair and unnecessary demands.

Imposing a pay freeze and requiring drivers to voluntarily work their rest days is symptomatic of a private company that puts profits first at the expense of passengers and staff.

The Green Party has long called for a renationalisation of the rail network and a commitment to an affordable, reliable and comfortable service. Let’s end the failed experiment of privatisation and get public transport back where it belongs, in public hands.

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