December 24, 2006 at 13:27 #4365
Sack the useless profiteering bastages that currently run our overpriced, half arsed network, and return it to govt control. Before the whole bloody thing falls to pieces.<br>The rail network is currently just another excuse to smash into the wallets of the already overtaxed British public.December 24, 2006 at 18:31 #104132davidjohnsonMember
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Because strikes have never been an issue under Govt controlled industries have they?December 24, 2006 at 18:34 #104133lollys mateMember
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Ever thought about driving a car?
You will still be taxed beyond belief, but you can come and go as you please.:biggrin:December 25, 2006 at 08:11 #104134insomniacParticipant
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Aaaah – I remember with warm fondness the days of British Rail. The friendly staff, the punctual trains, the luxurious carriages, the first-class catering, the immaculate stations with their variety of shops and cafes. We never had strikes or go slows in those days either. <br>December 25, 2006 at 12:26 #104135
BR was no class act, but at least it wasn’t run exclusively for the benefit of the shareholders. Prices have gone thru the roof, and services have fallen thru the floor. The unions are holding the customer to ransom. Network Rail (previously Railtrack) is s**t
e.<br>I say let Richard Branson take the whole thing over, if it has to be privatised. Branson gets stuff done, albeit with the Virgin logo stuck on it.December 25, 2006 at 14:14 #104136MeshaheerMember
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The railways are a joke. To go to London/East Anglia from Cornwall it’s far quicker and cheaper to fly, and for any other trips, I take my car, which is only small and very fuel efficient, so once again – cheaper all round.
Before any government tries lumping "green taxes" on us, they could try sorting out the rail system first and its plethora of different tickets with over-the-top prices.December 26, 2006 at 12:14 #104137
Bringing the railways and the buses under one authority and running routes on the basis of what is needed, rather than what is profitable seems to me the most logical approach. A top class 21st century public transport system requires far-sighted and effective administration and huge investment. With BR, there was neither but at least with the central control, there was the possibility of bringing it about. What we have now is chaos. <br>December 26, 2006 at 12:35 #104138Sailing ShoesMember
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I am involved in the Rail Network and as such feel obliged to comment.
The current gov’t is investing huge amounts of money to bring the infrastructure upto 21st century standards after years and years of under investment under the previous administration.
As for re-nationalising the railways – I’m all for that – i’m afraid it seems a long long way off.December 26, 2006 at 13:31 #104139insomniacParticipant
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Let’s be under no illussion here – when nationalised, British Rail was KR@P; a disgrace that shamed Britain. True, it suffered from under-funding by governments both Tory and Labour – and wasn’t helped in any attempt to improve customer service by the stroppy, confrontational, luddite attitude of the various Railway unions; unions who were quite happy to call a strike at the drop of a hat.<br>The Tories at least tried to do something about it but, unfortunately, made a complete cats ar$e of privatisation.<br>I’m inclined to agree with Racing Daily that it needs someone like Branson to get it up to scratch. Re-nationalising the railways would take the brains and entrepeneurial skills that the likes of Branson have to offer out of the equation and leave it to the likes of politicians and Trade Union officials, 99% of whom are gobs**t
es, inadequate and incapable of getting anything meaningful and constructive done.December 26, 2006 at 22:47 #104140
One thing, to me, is certain. The fare paying public will not be thrown head first from their cars into an overpriced, tatty public transport service.<br>PT is abominable where I live. No bus service on Sundays, and a 30min wait between scheduled buses (hourly on Saturdays). Are we to believe that no-one goes out on Sundays? And who wants to wait at a cold bus stop for 20mins for the next service along? Trains? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£17 for a 40min rtn trip to London for me. That’s bollox, no other word for it. I can do it in the car for Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£7, not counting the extortionate parking fees in town. It costs Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£3.50 to wait for a dingy little shuttle bus to make the 5mile rtn trip for the shopping. I can buy a gallon of fuel for a little more, that gets me 40miles! <br>The brutal fact of the matter is that rail travel is becoming a luxury that the ordinary guy simply can’t afford. Make cars unaffordable, and you have a country that is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Bus services are a friggin’ joke, unusable IMO.<br>If we are to go green, we need an affordable and user friendly PT system. Any less and no-one in their right mind will forfeit the family auto mobile.<br>It will take a little forward thinking, and less of the money grabbing charade that it is now, to transform the PT system from the farce it is now into an attractive proposition.December 27, 2006 at 12:22 #104141
The fundamental question is whether a rail network is primarily a business or a public service. I am more inclined to think it should be run as a public service, which means central control and routes/timetables decided on the basis of public need rather than likely profitability. Maybe the solution is, as Insomniac has suggested, to let someone like Richard Branson run it, but run it as a nationalised public service, not a profit-making exercise. If that means paying him Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£5 million a year, then so be it.
Though of course they have their faults, I still have an affection for the large institutions such as the NHS, the Royal Mail, the libraries, museums and art galleries. They represent the concept of public service and civic duty which I felt the Thatcher, Major and Blair governments have been far too keen to throw away. There is precious little to bind us together as a society anymore and I think these institutions and what they represent are worth preserving and reinvigorating.December 27, 2006 at 16:09 #104142
When you have the resources that Branson has, the world is your oyster.<br>Imagine a package that provides first class rail travel with on board buffet cars. Catering courtesy of Virgin, of course ;)<br>Jump off of the train, onto a Virgin shuttle bus to the Airport, and hop onto your Virgin flight to Frankfurt (or wherever). All in one convenient, affordable package.<br>Branson has the vision to do something like that. He has so many subsidiaries within Virgin that he could pull off the user friendly service that people have been screaming for since the eighties.<br>Like you say, so what if it runs at a loss for a while. Govt top up funding should be available for a necessity like public transport. Especially when we need to be getting out of our cars and into green mass transit.<br>The govt just doesn’t get it. We have to get something sorted out, as PT is as appealing as a rotten avocado in it’s present form.January 2, 2007 at 14:30 #104143
The email I sent to the PM’s office today
Why does this Labour administration continue to do nothing to halt the extortionate rise in rail fares for the common people of this country?<br>I thought it was govt policy to cut greenhouse emissions? How are you going to achieve this goal if you refuse to cap increases in price for the greenest mode of transport? It smells of hypocrasy to me. I understand you are putting money into the rail network. Obviously not enough. Me? I’ll stay in my car until you give me an affordable public transport system. I care about the environment, but only to the point that I can afford to. You seem to want people to leave their cars for PT, but give them no incentive to do so. In fact, you make it cost prohibitive to do so. That is unacceptable.
Tell him what you think.January 2, 2007 at 20:11 #104144dave jayMember
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We arent allowed to re-nationise unless we pull out of the EU<br>.. if you read through all of that twaddle, well done !!<br>:cheesy: <br>January 2, 2007 at 20:22 #104145
Isn’t re-nationising what the SNP are into?
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