On Tuesday (4th July) a House of Commons debate was called to discuss the Gibb report outlining changes to be made to improve the Southern Rail network. Following Rachael Maskell’s recent appointment as a Shadow Minister for Transport, the Labour MP for York Central made a strong speech standing up for all Southern Rail users, making specific reference to those most vulnerable in society. Citing the “ageing infrastructure” and “profit-driven privatisation”, Rachael called for greater investment in the line to ensure the safety and protection of workers and users.
Rachael also referred to the Conservative Party’s distracting “ideological aversion to trade unions”, evident throughout the debate, and called upon the Government to focus on the real issues at hand with the Southern Rail line. With increasing pressure on the railway industry due to rising demand, Rachael argues for greater driver support, with trains managed by more than one staff member to uphold Gibb’s “passenger centred service” target.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Who will be the passenger champion on the train?... Who will provide the second set of eyes to support safe departure and keep the public safe? Those are the real questions the workers are asking and the Government is refusing to hear, and these are the issues that must be addressed for the sake of the public.”
Click to read Rachael's full contribution as recorded by Hansard
Or view Rachael's speech in full on Parliament Live