A new report from the government’s official auditors has left transport secretary Chris Grayling exposed over fibs to parliament.
Scrapping promised rail electrification plans — in a statement sneaked out on the last day before summer recess — Grayling told parliament last year that new tech meant the vital upgrades were no longer necessary:
“New bi-mode train technology offers seamless transfer from diesel power to electric that is undetectable to passengers … This means that we no longer need to electrify every line to achieve the same significant improvements to journeys”
But the National Audit Office begs to differ — revealing the real reason for the cancellation in a report released today:
“The Department decided to cancel projects in 2017 because Network Rail’s 2014–2019 investment portfolio was no longer affordable.”
The report witheringly sets up Grayling’s statement before knocking it down in the next paragraph.