Click here to listen to the latest rail news on Friday, 9th December 2022
InTheNews: The latest rail news on Friday, 9th December 2022
Hitachi’s proposed purchase of Thales’s rail infrastructure business could lead to higher fares for passengers, the competition watchdog has found.
An article in the Evening Standard says the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the 1.7 billion euro (£1.5 billion) deal announced in August 2021 “could eliminate a credible competitor” from Network Rail’s new tendering process for mainline signalling.
It added: “The resulting loss of competition across both mainline and urban signalling markets could increase costs for Network Rail and TfL (Transport for London) and have an adverse knock-on effect on taxpayers and passengers.”
Ministers ‘sabotaged’ a deal to end the rail strike as they want it to continue, a union chief claims.
“They want this image going on over Christmas that somehow organised working people are the enemy of this country,” claimed RMT boss Mick Lynch in an article in The Metro.
Rail operators were to drop demands for driver-only operations – with no guards on trains – but were told to withdraw the deal at the last minute, said Mr Lynch. His union has been opposed to driver-only trains for 40 years and will “never accept it”, he added.
Ministers accuse rail workers of holding the country to ransom by threatening to strike over the festive period. But Mr Lynch told Sky News: “They’ve been making noises they’re facilitators, but they sabotaged negotiations as they were reaching a conclusion.”
Meanwhile sticking with strikes and an article on the Rail Advent website says the RMT Union has announced that London Underground workers have renewed their strike mandate, which means that more strike action could happen on the Tube network.
91.1 per cent of staff voted yes in the ballot with a 53.1 per cent turnout. RMT says that Transport for London plans to cut 600 jobs in the future.
No strike dates have yet been announced.
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) is encouraging innovators from across the UK to submit proposals to a major new rail innovation competition before applications close next week.
The Innovation in Railway Construction Competition is offering teams up to £7.44 million of funding for innovation ideas that can be tested at the GCRE facility in South Wales. Entries for the first phase of funding close at noon on 14th December.
The competition is being run by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), alongside GCRE and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK Government.
Photo credit: GCRE