[Re: Time for some leadership not just rhetoric amid industrial unrest, yesterday]
Whilst I agree with the general tone of the piece on the rail dispute, It should be noted of course that much of the £16bn that was pumped into the railways was in order to keep a significant level of service running which were not being fully utilised to any extent.
One only needs to recall that the Open Access companies who received no direct public funding cancelled all their services for the majority of the lockdown periods.
The government is also culpable as they are in effect controlling the transport operating companies via the Department for Transport with fare revenue going to the government and many bills being paid directly/indirectly by the government.
It is true that there has been a lack of leadership on all fronts that have allowed these strikes to go ahead. But anyone who was paying attention, even for a second, during the pandemic would have been able to see there would be trouble facing our railways. Why has this come as such a surprise to the government? Grant Shapps is refusing to intervene, but he also refused to plan ahead.