Boris Johnson says railways ‘must change to survive’

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Speaking to reporters travelling with him in Rwanda, he said: “We’ve got to make the railways run economically for the very benefit of the railway workers themselves and their families.

“There’s no point having a railway system that’s so uneconomic that you keep having to put ticket prices up and you have to drive more and more people off the railways.

“You need to modernise.”

Mr Johnson pointed out that daily passenger numbers on trains in recent months were “down about 25 per cent” compared to numbers before the pandemic.

He added: “We spent £16billion supporting the railways during the pandemic, that cost each household £600.”

Mr Johnson rejected accusations the Government wanted to “crush” the unions.

“I wouldn’t endorse such language,” he said.

“Look, I think we’ve got to work with the public sector workers.

“Five million of them are getting a pay rise. We’re going to continue to support the public services.”

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