Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hit out at striking rail unions as he announced a £1 billion investment in digital signalling.
He said that giving the go-ahead for the replacement of Victorian signalling infrastructure on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) proves the Government is modernising the railways “despite the best efforts of unions”.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “Grant Shapps is creating a straw man to knock down by falsely drawing equivalence between our strike action and this latest introduction of digital signalling.
“RMT is fully committed to the development of a digital railway and genuine modernisation, as long as our members have a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, something Network Rail has offered us for over a decade.
“The digital railway is a 15-year project undertaken by Network Rail that RMT is negotiating on how to best implement so it is bizarre of the Transport Secretary to attempt to weaponise it to score cheap political points.
“What holds back the development of the railway is private companies and contractors making a mint from the taxpayer and charging exorbitant fares to customers while overseeing a decaying Victorian railway line.”
But it was a video of him ‘driving’ a train that is a must-watch.
Sharing the video to Twitter, Shapps wrote: “As union bosses waste time touring television studios, I’m getting on with the job at hand and modernising our railway.
“This £1bn investment will replace outdated Victorian infrastructure with cutting edge digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line.”
It went down as well as his other promotional videos: