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Author Topic: Axed Rail Lines Reopening Proposals 2018  (Read 1926 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2019, 11:11:50 am »

I think it is generally accepted that Transport Secretary is not exactly the most sought-after cabinet position. Did any of the names on grahame's list (with the possible exception of Andrew Adonis) actually want the role?

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Lee
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« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2019, 11:54:40 am »

Chris Grayling is on record as saying that he is the Transport Secretary who wanted to be Transport Secretary, and I know from my own experience that he often takes a personal interest in quite detailed aspects of particular transport cases and issues.
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« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2019, 12:12:02 pm »

Chris Grayling is on record as saying that he is the Transport Secretary who wanted to be Transport Secretary, and I know from my own experience that he often takes a personal interest in quite detailed aspects of particular transport cases and issues.

He's done nowt for the Portishead line to assist that project to get up and running, a Politician can always talk plenty but a good Politician is judged by their actions, what is the saying, "ACTIONS SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS"
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Lee
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« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2019, 01:02:29 pm »

I dont deny that for a moment, but RS question wasnt related to how effective or otherwise Grayling is - The question was did any of the names on the list want the role, and Grayling certainly did, and I suspect despite everything thats happened since, undoubtedly much self-inflicted, probably still does.

Back when he was Shadow Transport Secretary in the mid-2000s, he was a huge help in highlighting both the TransWilts and Pilning issues. Sure, he would have got the publicity benefits that went with that, but it doesnt make me any less grateful that he was there when we needed him.
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« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2019, 01:17:28 pm »

It's Graylings way of addressing the Portishead Line that has me somewhat bemused.
He's declared it would go ahead but rather than identify the source of funding he has simply recommended applying to the various existing funding grants/sources without telling anyone which one would be favourably looked on.
It's all becoming a bit like a railway version of Python's "Cheeseshop" (This fund? No Sir, just sold out). These applications for funding take time and cost a lot of money, hardly an efficient, cost effective way of going about things.
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Lee
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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2019, 01:23:51 pm »

On Portishead, as I said, I dont deny what you and martyjon have said. It is a confused mess, and if Grayling wants it to go ahead, then he should be clear as to how that should be achieved.
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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2019, 01:27:58 pm »


The list of ex-ministers should include Sir David Mitchell (1983 - 88, in two roles) at DfT.
He with SoS Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) put through much of the 1980's electrification.

He should have his statue at KX IMHO, Tory or not.

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« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2019, 04:25:47 pm »

On Portishead, as I said, .... It is a confused mess, ....

There is NO confusion at all, the cost is just too much for the LA's involved to bear. if it was Crossrail needing an extra billion to complete the project sooner than currently envisaged then there would be no problem. If it was HS2 wanting an extra billion to up offers to landowners/homeowners for their assets standing in the way of progress so avoiding the lengthy CPO process the cash would be there tomorrow but Portishead ?, thats only a backwater West of England project put forward by one or two individuals out to make a name for themselves to enable the yokels of Portishead to get to work in Bristol quicker mornings and to get to their homes and loved ones earlier in the evenings.

I wouldn't be wrong to say that there have been occasions when commuters to London from Brighton can complete their commute quicker than commuters to Bristol from Portishead.

I see the Burgermasters of the area have come up with yet another excuse for doing nothing to sort out Bristols traffic congestion, they have set up a "Transport For Bristol Board" to which will meet behind closed doors, hmmm.
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Lee
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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2019, 04:54:09 pm »


The list of ex-ministers should include Sir David Mitchell (1983 - 88, in two roles) at DfT.
He with SoS Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) put through much of the 1980's electrification.

He should have his statue at KX IMHO, Tory or not.

OTC

Growing up as I did in Portsmouth on the South Coast in the 1980s, Ridley is probably the one that sticks in my mind too.

On the minus side:

Bus deregulation and the privatisation/selling off into many pieces of the National Bus Company was steered through on Ridley's watch. Apart from the obvious overnight change and upheaval I remember at the time, I am always mindful of two longer-term effects this policy has had.

1) Before bus deregulation, it was not made obvious to passengers exactly which bus services or journeys on a particular route were loss-making. Once bus deregulation took place though, timetables suddenly began to show the note "Operated under contract to X County Council", thus making the difference between commercial and subsidised journeys very clear.

This system worked ok in the early days when local authorities had the resources and bus subsidies based on social need were higher up the priority list, and actually worked in a largely positive way when successive Labour governments had ring-fenced transport grants to give out to fund such bus services with.

However, one of the first things that the incoming Conservative-led government did in 2010 was to remove the transport grants, and what funding remained available was no longer ring-fenced and often got diverted to other things that councils saw as a higher priority. This led immediately to a bonfire of evening and Sunday bus services, and as time has gone on has to led to a situation where central government has lit the fuse in the form of ever-reducing council funding, and then thrown the bomb over to passengers, bus companies and local authorities to play bus cuts pass the parcel with. This manifests itself in the kind of battles over disappearing bus services that we often document on this forum, and which central government has contrived to stand as far away as possible from despite creating the conditions for such disputes in the first place.

2) We often discuss on the forum how we can best integrate bus and rail ticketing. However, what people have forgotten over time is that prior to bus deregulation, it was the norm to have integrated bus and rail travelcards, certainly in the towns and cities on the south coast where I grew up. Overnight though, all the new bus companies seemingly brought out their standalone products, with hardly any negotiating the continuation of arrangements with rail. Ironically, a key reason not as much progress has been made as one would have liked in the interim is due to fear of the very competition laws that were allegedly there to improve things for passengers in the first place.

Also, I remember very clearly the closures of Radipole, and that of Eridge-Tunbridge Wells, and it was those examples that first encouraged me to look into the circumstances and reasoning behind rail closures. Both were signed off by Ridley.

On the plus side:

Many see the mid-1980s as the beginning of a period of rail renaissance, and there was definite progress beginning to be made. The Eridge-Tunbridge Wells closure was directly linked to the Tonbridge-Hastings electrification scheme, which was announced just after Ridley became Transport Secretary, completed just before he left, and was (as OTC said earlier) the forerunner of a number of electrification schemes both in the South East and elsewhere.

Network SouthEast was launched towards the end of the Ridley era, and had a huge positive effect, both practically and visually on the rail network in my part of the world, providing the perfect vehicle for a renaissance vision both in terms of refresh/rebrand, and the practical modernisation steps such as the Solent and Weymouth electrification that was to come.

Let's not forget also that Melksham station reopened in 1985 in the Ridley era and sparked what is very likely to be my lifelong interest in the TransWilts, and that it was a forerunner of the slew of such station openings/reopenings through to the early 1990s.

Leaving aside Ridley and looking in overall terms, given my priority in terms of public transport has always been geared more towards the expansion of the rail and bus networks, rail-wise I would probably look more favourably towards the Conservative Transport Secretaries on the list for their role in 80s/early 90s rail network expansion and latterly in the 2010s onwards for finally sorting the TransWilts and overseeing the New Stations Fund, and less favourably on Labour Transport Secretaries for utter inertia on network expansion, their botched creation and handling of the Strategic Rail Authority, and their complete disinterest in the TransWilts. On bus, it would be the other way round, with Conservative Transport Secretaries failing on bus deregulation and enabling latter-day devastating bus network cuts and contraction, while Labour made genuine attempts to provide funding that stabilised and in rural areas often expanded bus network service provision.

It's a very subjective thing though - I completely get that if (for example) your priority for rail is reliability/punctuality over network expansion, or if you have had a career in the rail industry, you may well have a completely different take  Grin
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Lee
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« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2019, 05:07:58 pm »

On Portishead, as I said, .... It is a confused mess, ....

There is NO confusion at all, the cost is just too much for the LA's involved to bear.

I do think there is confusion. Cost is a good example of that - It appears that you could ask anyone from the DfT to WECA to Network Rail to Portishead campaigners to informed people on the forum like you and I how much Portishead could truly cost, and we'd all come up with different answers. That needs to be sorted once and for all.

My central point though is that I agree that Grayling should be clearer on how Portishead should be achieved if he truly supports it, because saying you support it and then your department declining to fund it is (to put it charitably) confusing...
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martyjon
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« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2019, 06:46:53 pm »

.... because saying you support it and then your department declining to fund it is (to put it charitably) confusing...

Well if that's your attitude then Graylings no creditable Head of H.M.'s  Governments Transport brief.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2019, 08:01:47 pm »


The list of ex-ministers should include Sir David Mitchell (1983 - 88, in two roles) at DfT.
He with SoS Nicholas Ridley (Civil Engineer) put through much of the 1980's electrification.

He should have his statue at KX IMHO, Tory or not.

OTC

Growing up as I did in Portsmouth on the South Coast in the 1980s, Ridley is probably the one that sticks in my mind too.

On the minus side:

Bus deregulation and the privatisation/selling off into many pieces of the National Bus Company was steered through on Ridley's watch. Apart from the obvious overnight change and upheaval I remember at the time, I am always mindful of two longer-term effects this policy has had.

1) Before bus deregulation, it was not made obvious to passengers exactly which bus services or journeys on a particular route were loss-making. Once bus deregulation took place though, timetables suddenly began to show the note "Operated under contract to X County Council", thus making the difference between commercial and subsidised journeys very clear.

This system worked ok in the early days when local authorities had the resources and bus subsidies based on social need were higher up the priority list, and actually worked in a largely positive way when successive Labour governments had ring-fenced transport grants to give out to fund such bus services with.

However, one of the first things that the incoming Conservative-led government did in 2010 was to remove the transport grants, and what funding remained available was no longer ring-fenced and often got diverted to other things that councils saw as a higher priority. This led immediately to a bonfire of evening and Sunday bus services, and as time has gone on has to led to a situation where central government has lit the fuse in the form of ever-reducing council funding, and then thrown the bomb over to passengers, bus companies and local authorities to play bus cuts pass the parcel with. This manifests itself in the kind of battles over disappearing bus services that we often document on this forum, and which central government has contrived to stand as far away as possible from despite creating the conditions for such disputes in the first place.

2) We often discuss on the forum how we can best integrate bus and rail ticketing. However, what people have forgotten over time is that prior to bus deregulation, it was the norm to have integrated bus and rail travelcards, certainly in the towns and cities on the south coast where I grew up. Overnight though, all the new bus companies seemingly brought out their standalone products, with hardly any negotiating the continuation of arrangements with rail. Ironically, a key reason not as much progress has been made as one would have liked in the interim is due to fear of the very competition laws that were allegedly there to improve things for passengers in the first place.

Also, I remember very clearly the closures of Radipole, and that of Eridge-Tunbridge Wells, and it was those examples that first encouraged me to look into the circumstances and reasoning behind rail closures. Both were signed off by Ridley.

On the plus side:

Many see the mid-1980s as the beginning of a period of rail renaissance, and there was definite progress beginning to be made. The Eridge-Tunbridge Wells closure was directly linked to the Tonbridge-Hastings electrification scheme, which was announced just after Ridley became Transport Secretary, completed just before he left, and was (as OTC said earlier) the forerunner of a number of electrification schemes both in the South East and elsewhere.

Network SouthEast was launched towards the end of the Ridley era, and had a huge positive effect, both practically and visually on the rail network in my part of the world, providing the perfect vehicle for a renaissance vision both in terms of refresh/rebrand, and the practical modernisation steps such as the Solent and Weymouth electrification that was to come.

Let's not forget also that Melksham station reopened in 1985 in the Ridley era and sparked what is very likely to be my lifelong interest in the TransWilts, and that it was a forerunner of the slew of such station openings/reopenings through to the early 1990s.

Leaving aside Ridley and looking in overall terms, given my priority in terms of public transport has always been geared more towards the expansion of the rail and bus networks, rail-wise I would probably look more favourably towards the Conservative Transport Secretaries on the list for their role in 80s/early 90s rail network expansion and latterly in the 2010s onwards for finally sorting the TransWilts and overseeing the New Stations Fund, and less favourably on Labour Transport Secretaries for utter inertia on network expansion, their botched creation and handling of the Strategic Rail Authority, and their complete disinterest in the TransWilts. On bus, it would be the other way round, with Conservative Transport Secretaries failing on bus deregulation and enabling latter-day devastating bus network cuts and contraction, while Labour made genuine attempts to provide funding that stabilised and in rural areas often expanded bus network service provision.

It's a very subjective thing though - I completely get that if (for example) your priority for rail is reliability/punctuality over network expansion, or if you have had a career in the rail industry, you may well have a completely different take  Grin

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2019, 08:13:40 pm »

Shoulda paid him his 600...
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« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2019, 07:58:19 am »

Growing up as I did in Portsmouth on the South Coast in the 1980s, Ridley is probably the one that sticks in my mind too.

Fascinating read, Lee ... looking back to decades that I really wasn't a public transport user so lack first hand experience.  But seeing some of the seeds sewn of things that became (and some remain) major issues.
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