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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Economics of the Madhouse

So there we have it. The government's 30 year 'rail strategy': no renationalisation, no double decker trains, no new high-speed lines- and even higher fares.

How can any sane individual disagree with the verdict of Gerry Doherty, the general secretary of the TSSA white-collar rail union:
“Ministers claim they want to encourage rail travel and then kick passengers in the teeth with huge regular hikes in fares. They are pricing people off rail and on to the roads. This is the economics of the madhouse. They claim they want cheaper public transport and then do everything in their power to discourage it.”


David Lindsay said...

When the railways were privatised, a move which even Margaret Thatcher had specifically ruled out, it was on the understanding that gigantic public subsidies would permanently guarantee the profits of the privatised rail companies.

Thanks to this ongoing outrage, the owners of those compnaies have, uniquely, been more than "compensated" enough for the unique renationalisation of the railways without further "compensation", leading to a national network of public transport free at the point of use, including the systematic reversal of bus route and (where possible) rail line closures going back to the 1950s.

If we can afford the Iraq War, or the "renewal" of Trident, or to bankroll the corrupt and anti-democratic institutions of the EU, then we could certainly afford this. And imagine what a selling point it would be to potential tourists.

Matt said...

Neil, I note that you link to David Lindsay's blog and often publish comments by him. Are you involved in his European Parliament project? You really should be.