15 December 2016
It seems the government’s determination to blame RMT and ASLEF for strikes they say are “politically motivated” has not worked with rail users, who around half of whom blame Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and company Southern Rail for the recent disruption.
This is according to a new survey of 1,000 people conducted by the Association for British Commuters (ABC) and reported by the Press Association, which found just over half of passengers blamed either the Department of Transport or Southern Rail, only 5% found the unions to be at fault, and 44% felt all three parties were responsible.
Nearly three-quarters of those polled want to see Transport Secretary Chris Grayling resign, and most thought Govia-Thameslink – Southern’s parent company – should be stripped of the franchise.
“Our thousands-strong network of commuters has been at the centre of this catastrophe throughout; and with the complete lack of Government action on the matter, many have put all their efforts into investigating the true story behind the crisis,” a spokesperson for the ABC said.
“What is rotten in Southern Rail started long before the current industrial action; which now takes place on top of a broken infrastructure, chronic understaffing and a company whose relations with the public have irretrievably broken.
“Its relationship with the Department for Transport is that of a subcontractor, not a typical franchise; therefore, it is firmly within their remit to step in, and their urgent responsibility.”