26/12/2011 02:54 GMT | Updated 26/12/2011 03:18 GMT

Boxing Day Rail Service Failure 'Hypocrisy'

Labour accused the coalition Government today of "hypocrisy" for failing to ensure a rail service on Boxing Day.

Transport spokesman John Woodcock said that in opposition the Conservatives routinely attacked Labour for forcing families and sports fans on to the roads by failing to provide trains the day after Christmas.

But he said that ministers had done "nothing" in office to encourage operators to run a Boxing Day service.

Mr Woodcock's comments come as travellers in London face disruption from a planned strike by Tube drivers today.

He highlighted Boxing Day comments from then Conservative transport spokesman Stephen Hammond in both 2008 and 2009 lambasting Labour for "condemning sports fans and families... to misery on our clogged-up motorways".

Mr Woodcock said: "This is total hypocrisy from the Tories. Year after year in opposition, the Tories attacked the Boxing Day rail shutdown.

"But in government they have done nothing to encourage rail operators to run a Boxing Day service, and this Boxing Day most trains are not running.

"This is typical of the Conservative Party's opportunism - making promises they never had any intention of keeping.

"Transport Secretary Justine Greening should tell us what she plans to do to ensure that Boxing Day services do run in future, or else admit that her party was simply chasing headlines in opposition by raising this issue, and had no real intention of doing anything about it."

Last week a High Court judge concluded that a planned strike by Tube drivers embroiled in a pay dispute was lawful and could go ahead.

Drivers belonging to the union Aslef are to stage a 24-hour strike over the union's demand for extra pay for its members working on the public holiday.

London Underground said Tube services were likely to be "significantly disrupted", but vowed to run as many as possible.