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On behalf of which people?

‘I don’t think the passengers will notice any difference’ said Transport Minister Grant Shapps as he announced that South Eastern Railways would be taken back into state ownership. This must have prompted a simple question in the minds of those passengers. What have we been up to for the last 30 years? Privatising railway companies. Separating responsibility for track and train services. Creating Railtrack as a listed company. The Hatfield train crash tragedy. Abolishing Railtrack. Replacing it with Network Rail -  a regulated public sector company. Countless staff and pointless effort spent in track and train operators to allocate o blame for each delay. (Virgin Trains told a recent consultation that it dealt with 10,000 of these a year, 35% of which were disputed). The absurdity that train operators may actually make a profit out of delays because the compensation they can claim from the track provider exceeds the compensation that they have to pay out Meanwhile the two largest parties continue the nationalisation-privatisation-renationalisation dance. Read the rest here.


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