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Author Topic: "off the rails?" ITV tonight 19.30  (Read 6276 times)
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« on: October 25, 2012, 05:20:11 pm »

Just seen this in the listings. It goes on....
"Chris Choi investigates the state of Britain's railways....."

 Don't know what slant it's going to take but by the title they've given the programme, I would suggest that you won't hear many good things, probably a slag fest...
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 06:32:04 pm »

Will no doubt focus entirely on commuters and peak time fares.

Nowhere will it convey the fast, comfortable Exeter - Paddington ^40-50 First Class single with trolley service, or the  pleasant Looe valley line etc...
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EBrown
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 07:33:38 pm »

Nowhere will it convey the fast, comfortable Exeter - Paddington ^40-50 First Class single with trolley service
Frankly that's the stupidest thing I've heard (today).

If they listed the Advance prices for every train across the country, no one would watch it and it'd be considerably longer than its scheduled time.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 07:39:48 pm by EBrown » Logged

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stebbo
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 08:15:19 pm »

Presumably it's ^100 or more to get back to Exeter which makes a difference. And I'm assuming you don't get to travel at peak times.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 02:09:34 am »

Mostly much more even than perhaps a cynic might have expected - although I think I've seen those particular fares from around Europe quoted before, looked at them, and decided they were cherry-picked to make a case.

The car driver's view ("I rarely use the train, so why should I subsidise it as a taxpayer") is a fair question. But then does income from road tax, petrol tax, road and bridge tolls, etc, fully cover all road costs such as expenditure, interest on loans / asset value, road accident costs including health service, policing.  So the train passenger's view might be "I rarely drive, so why should I subsidise it as a taxpayer", and the program didn't pose that question.

In researching if there was a question to answer on road subsidy here, I came across http://www.igreens.org.uk/great_road_transport_subsidy.htm and that convinced me that the question should be raised. The figures used in the calculations on this page are point of use only, and I wouls argue that a farer comparison would also include annual income payments i.e. road tax - to make a financial model that's as level in compasion as practical.   However, I appreciate the up-front nature of road tax which makes individual journey decisions exclude it once people have taken the plunge and licensed a car
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John R
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 09:53:10 am »

Also many car drivers would suddenly find their journeys get a whole lot worse if the abolition of the subsidy to the rail industry was removed, resulting in a mass modal shift onto the roads. 
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eightf48544
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 10:28:45 am »

The biggest failing I thought was that although they showed that the current franchising system is comprehensively broken, other than DOR they didn't offer any other alternatives.

They also only showed DBs ICE which is still state run. They didn't show the numerous (semi) private operators who work RE and RB in many parts of country. During my recent visit as well as the Harz we used Lander tickets to visit Onasbruck, Hanover, Bremen and Braunsweig using REs. As an observation these RE/RBs still seemed to run like clockwock whereas several ICE and IC were up to 110 minutes late. In one case they had to run a train that normally runs combined from Hanover in two parts as the second portion came in as an ICET rather than an ICE2 so couldn't couple.

It looks as if the wheel saga is still ongoing.

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Andrew1939 from West Oxon
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 05:13:53 pm »

This broadcast was very unbalanced and certainly did not show the various aspects of subsidy systems.
As Grahame and John R comment, if all rail subsidies were abolished there would be no funding for many of today's services and the consequent increase in road congestion from people having to use a car instead would result in an enormous increase in the number of complaints from people like those who complained about rail subsidy.
I remember how when bus deregulation came in with the Transport Act 1985 so that most bus companies were privatised and cross-subsidisation of bus routes by National Bus company operators ceased, the newly privatised bus companies in Oxon asked the county council for subsidies to run peak hour bus services, bus services operated by buses that lay unused outside of peak hours and were therefore high cost to run. The county council said no and the bus companies chopped the peak hour bus services. Here in Hanborough we went from 3 or 4 double deck buses to Oxford between 08.00 and 09.00 to zero. We had instead a small single decker departing at around 07.55 and the next bus was not until after 09.30. Loads of people just had to go and buy an old banger of a car just to get to work and the week after the bus cuts came in, the A40 peak hour congestion and doubled lengthened travel times for thousands of people. We are still in that situation with no road improvements to cope with the ever increasing traffic and ever lengthen peak hour congestion. At least some people have been able to see the the light and change to using the Cotswold Line train service that has been improved dramatically since 1985 with a nearly 20 fold increase in the use of Hanborough station as an example. Cut the subsidies and these people would have to use their car on the congested roads to Oxford and London. Multiply that across the country and it is not difficult to see what the roads would be like.
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Oxman
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 11:58:25 pm »

I thought the programme was dreadfull - nothing new and the same old misconceptions regurgitated.

And the best the Virgin driver could come with (as a reason for renationalisation) was rodent control at Euston!

Utter rubbish.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 08:32:24 pm »

Nowhere will it convey the fast, comfortable Exeter - Paddington ^40-50 First Class single with trolley service
Frankly that's the stupidest thing I've heard (today).

If they listed the Advance prices for every train across the country, no one would watch it and it'd be considerably longer than its scheduled time.

Where did I suggest that they should list the Advance ticket price for every train across the country?

My point was, and indeed still is, that every documentary on Britain's railways today invariably focus on commuters and walk-on fares.

It would be refreshing to hear from people who use - and enjoy - the railways off-peak, when tickets are much cheaper, in order to present a balanced view for a change, okay?
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 08:43:05 pm »

Presumably it's ^100 or more to get back to Exeter which makes a difference. And I'm assuming you don't get to travel at peak times.

You assume wrong.

I have paid ^160-odd for a First Class SINGLE from Paddington to Exeter in the past, and quite often buy Open First Class tickets for the same (return) journey.

I have also made many journeys off-peak in First Class for under ^100 return, sometimes for less than ^80. This is what you won't hear in this documentary, instead it will be the bloke who writes the letters to the Chairman of FGW whenever his train is late (yawn) and other commuter woes.

All I'm asking for is some balance, and not just a London-centric, commuter-biased, was-never-like-this-in-BR's-day (as if) moan about the railways.
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