Rail minister Claire Perry steps down

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Friday, July 15, 2016

British Rail minister Claire Penny has resigned today after a week of failures at Southern rail.

Southern trains suffered from a week of delays and cancellations after an ongoing dispute with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) came to a head. The dispute was about having driver only services, without conductors or guards to cut costs. The unions disagreed due to fears about job losses and driver safety.

Even London mayor Sadiq Khan got involved saying that “This utter mess is now an embarrassment to our city” and that he was “calling on the government to strip Southern of its franchise and take over the temporary responsibility of running these services.” However transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin blames the unions saying that “Most industrial disputes are about threats to employment or conditions so the RMT’s attitude is absurd. There is no threat to safety, no threat to jobs, no threat to pay and yet they continue disrupting passengers’ lives on a daily basis.”

In an attempt to reduce cancellations and delays the company cut 341 trains a day, what they see as much more reasonable due to the current staff shortages. Since this change in timetable the trains have become 20% more reliable, from 60-80%.


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