Opinion Former Article

Unite: Tory failure to back Cross Rail puts thousands of jobs and London's future at risk

A future Conservative government would spell the end for Cross Rail and the vital regeneration of the capital's infrastructure, Unite the biggest union in London and the south east warned today.

The claim comes following remarks made by Tory transport spokesman, Justine Greening, on LBC radio earlier today in which she said she could not "guarantee that Cross Rail will continue".

Steve Hart, Regional secretary of Unite, said: "It is extremely worrying for London that the Tories are refusing to commit to support Cross Rail. This project is vital for London's future prosperity. It will enable poorer communities to access work and provide the necessary infrastructure to sustain London as a great world city. It has overwhelming support from trade unions and across the political parties in London. And the business community sees Cross Rail as central to improving London's transport system.

"In the construction phase, which coincides with this period of recession, it will provide 14,000 jobs for construction workers who would otherwise face unemployment. To scrap a project this large would have a major recessionary impact.

"It is astonishing that Justine Greening, Shadow Transport secretary should say she will not guarantee that a project of such strategic and economic importance to the capital like Cross Rail will continue. Does she not know that work is already well advanced, for example at Tottenham Court Road?

"Not only does this show a worrying lack of knowledge about the needs of London, the Tories are also showing their true face as job slashers."

ENDS

For further information, please contact Steve Hart on 07970 081 509.

More Articles by Unite - the union (T&G section) ...

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