Pay talks between Network Rail and the RMT have broken down, and the union said it will now ballot 16,000 staff over industrial action. The failure of the negotiations will cause widespread concern across the railway industry, and the dispute also threatens to become an election issue. Network Rail said it was experiencing 'financial pressures' and that its offer is fair, but the RMT has condemned the proposed deal as 'wholly inadequate'.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto has promised that the 'overwhelming majority' of the rail network will be electrified and more stations and lines opened under their plans for transport, while the Ukip manifesto opposes road charging but gives no indication of any plans for rail transport, apart from saying that 'HS2 is an unaffordable white elephant' which 'must face the axe'.
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