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Railway cuts 'put public in danger'

Railway engineering cutbacks could lead to more accidents such as those at Hatfield and Potters Bar, a union has warned.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said Network Rail had written to four contractors detailing the deferral of 28 per cent of its planned upgrade work because of a financial squeeze imposed by the Office of Rail Regulation. The RMT called for the re-instatement of the full programme.

"Efficiency savings are being translated into a massive assault on planned renewals, inspections and maintenance that raises the spectre of another Hatfield or Potters Bar," said the RMT general secretary Bob Crow. "We do not make that assertion lightly."