Yesterday (15 June), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative slammed the rail strikes due to take place next week during a debate on the issue in the House of Commons.
On the Southeastern network alone, most stations and routes will be closed, with services severely restricted and approximately 20% of services operating. Sir David highlighted estimates that around 250,000 people will be unable to work on the first day of the strikes alone, when the mass walkout is set to have the greatest impact. It is also predicted that the cost to the economy could be almost £100 million pounds, with London suffering almost 60% of the economic hit. Additionally, there be a loss of earnings for the workers and rail companies involved with the walkout, much reduced spend by those who travel by rail to shops, a knock-on effect for tourism spending, and the potential to significantly intensify existing supply chain disruptions.
Sir David called on the Labour Party to be pro-active in getting the strikes called off, as they have so far refused to condemn the reckless strike action. He concluded his speech by urging “the unions to sit down with the industry, take on board the misery that their actions will cause, and act responsibly”.