All this, and more, appears threatened by the worsening dispute between Railtrack and the RMT union over the pay and conditions of signalmen and women. A resolution must be quickly implemented if permanent damage to the railway industry and all those dependent on it is to be avoided.
With 40 years' experience in railways, I know the signalmen and women to be among the most responsible and dedicated groups of people in Britain, and yet they and their representatives have a longstanding and deep-seated grievance that has burst upon a 'new' and perhaps inexperienced employer.
Direct contact between the parties to the dispute has failed to make progress towards a resolution. Arbitration is what is required. Acas was established to deal with situations like this. This dispute should be either settled or frozen until the arbitrator has reported.
K. D. SHINGLETON
The writer is a former divisional manager, British Railways.Reuse content