Key advisor to McNulty defends structural change.

The RMT union has misunderstood the likely impacts of UK rail industry restructuring proposed by Sir Roy McNulty, in particular the options to re-integrate train and track, according to one of the key advisors to the value for money study.

John Nelson, chairman of rail industry consultancy First Class Partnerships and a member of the advisory board to the McNulty study, offers his personal opinions in one of his regular articles for Passenger Transport.

Merseytravel’s decision to drop its long term bid for vertical integration on the Merseyrail network has been linked to union opposition in the wake of the McNulty report (PT010). RMT general secretary Bob Crow has said vertical integration will create “a whole series of mini Railtracks”.

However, Nelson argues that the various ways in which train and track may be re-integrated will make better use of scarce resources and will not impact on front line jobs or wages. “If anything this should create opportunities for the unions to negotiate better deals for their members than would otherwise be possible,” he writes.

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