To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help increase the public's confidence in domestic and international travel for business in the context of recent disruption in the railway and aviation sectors.
4 July 2022
The Department and the rail industry worked together ahead of planned industrial action to ensure plans were in place to minimise disruption. This allowed freight and passenger services to remain operational where possible and included working with other Government Departments on mitigations for impacts on critical supply chains.
A Statutory Instrument has now been laid, under the terms of which businesses will be able supply workers to replace striking workers. This will also allow trained staff with transferrable skills to move around the industry to cover for striking staff to keep the railways running. We are working at pace to see how any potential legislative change could be delivered, including looking at the introduction of Minimum Service Level legislation, which would provide a mechanism for a minimum level of train service during those times periods of strike action.
On 30 June, the Secretary of State set out 22 measures the Government is taking to support the aviation industry, including to help recruit and train staff, ensure the delivery of a realistic summer schedule, minimise disruption, and support passengers when delays and cancellations are unavoidable.
We have eased the burden on background checks carried out by the industry through changing the law to allow certain training to be undertaken while background checks are completed. We have helped speed up recruitment times by allowing HMRC employment history letters to be used as a suitable form of reference check. We are working with industry to ensure they give passengers the best support and will be launching a new Aviation Passenger Charter, a one-stop guide to help passengers understand their rights, responsibilities and what they can reasonably expect of the aviation industry when flying.