MEP challenges ministers to take responsibility for railway chaos

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has slammed ministers over their failure to take responsibility for the rail chaos caused by overrunning engineering work and signalling problems during the Christmas holiday period. In particular she criticises Rail Minster and Devizes MP, Claire Perry, for her silence while signalling problems prevented trains running between London Paddington and Reading. She said:

“It is time the Railways Minister and Secretary of State for Transport took responsibility for our railways. We desperately need accountability rather than the feeble ‘asking for answers’ approach when things go wrong.

Dr Scott Cato blames the privatised industry for the lack of responsibility and accountability being shown by the government. She said:

Molly at Dawlish during closure of the line due to storm damagelosed due to storms
Molly at Dawlish during closure of the line due to storm damage in 2014

“Its clear that our incoherent and fragmented railway structure, which seeks to serve the shareholder rather than the passenger, means no one is taking proper responsibility. Accountability will only occur when we get serious about taking back our railways into public ownership.”

Dr Scott Cato concluded: “We now have one of the most expensive rail systems in Europe. A publicly owned railway will not only improve accountability; it will also lead to more efficient services and lower fares and we know the idea is supported by a vast majority of the public.”