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Author Topic: Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?  (Read 5947 times)
Mark A
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« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2021, 06:09:51 pm »

The honourable member for the British Virgin Islands, yes?
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« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2021, 03:12:33 pm »

Personally the fragmentation of the industry has been damaging with idiotic decisions like effectively outsourcing the maintenance under Railtrack. Network Rail taking it all back in house is much better. Are we running something that keeps the country running efficiently and the public good or something done for profit? If it's just for profit and nothing else then you kill off the unprofitable bits. Then people are forced to use other more carbon intensive means of reaching their destination or take massively longer. I used the Manchester - Brighton Cross Country service at least once a week return and was horrified when it was removed. The alternative route added extra time to my journey but I suspect despite the usefulness of the service it wasn't very profitable.

The issue with competition is you can't really have competition on the same lines to the same destinations at the same time. Yes you can have two or more operators but if you need to arrive there for a particular time you can't just get the later train with another company. Look at Thames Trains and FGW (First Great Western) where it was possible to get a train with both companies to the Cotswolds. You could get either depending on your itinerary but it wasn't like you had a choice of trains departing at the same time and arriving at the same time.   

What I find odd is where you have this government private sector hybrid, where the DFT (Department for Transport) stick their oar into what should be TOC (Train Operating Company) decisions. When that happens you don't get the best results. The LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) routes for example have a lot of customers who travel with luggage. Speaking to somebody at LNER after the Azuma (Brand name for Class 80x trains on LNER) was launched they said it was chaos on a lot of these services because of the lack of luggage space. The reason because "the DFT has a one size fits all policy and hadn't looked at how the existing services were used."   


Taking an outsiders point of view in all this......I have a relative who isn't a UK (United Kingdom) resident any more but makes periodic returns to Blighty. When he last came back pre pandemic, he had to travel by train to Bristol. He took my advice and bought food and drink before the journey in case the trolley didn't make it. His thoughts on his return trip were interesting given his last trip was shortly after privatisation. He liked Paddington and how that had been smartened up although not where the taxis are now supposed to stop. He loved having an M&S at the station and if it was better stocked it would be brilliant. The ticket gates are a faff, not wide enough for luggage and then the ticket is checked again on board the train too. The trains (assume he meant seats) are uncomfortable, the announcements too loud and the lighting too bright. What really annoyed him though was when there was a problem. His original train back was delayed and then cancelled. He caught the next train which was smaller so therefore full and standing. There were no seat reservations as a result and despite having a reservation had to stand. He had GWR (Great Western Railway) claiming that the problem was outside their control and he said he had no idea if that was true. He said in the BR (British Rail(ways)) days you had one organisation who were "responsible for the whole shebang" and if it went wrong you knew who to blame.
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grahame
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« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2021, 08:24:57 am »

A really good write up, 1st fan - please excuse me picking up on just one element for starters.

Are we running something that keeps the country running efficiently and the public good or something done for profit? If it's just for profit and nothing else then you kill off the unprofitable bits.

Passenger numbers "now" are back down to the levels they were at the time of the Serpell report of 1983 - see http://www/passenger.chat/17797 (report mirrored ((here))) and that drew up a map of a "commercial" network:



Which would, of course, almost solve the electrification question once and for all - just the spur into Bristol Temple Meads to be electrified to have 100% coverage.

There were other options falling short of being "commercial" ....



and ...



Now I would not expect our current government to "get away" with trying to reduce the network to any of the above, but the the rhetoric (and we heard in from SWR» (South Western Railway - about) in our meeting last week on "The Waterloos") is that each service must pay for itself - and that would be even worse that the top example which was a commercial network as a whole, with some individual loss making lines retained to be subsidised by the profit from other lines.

The original question on this thread was "Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?" and that has become "what is there purpose". If SWR's responses (which have made me so livid it has taken time to write them up) are to be believed, then anyone who has a service NOT shown on the maps above should, perhaps, have eyes open to the potential need to defend it.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2021, 12:03:42 pm »

A few points regarding Graham’s post

Firstly, to make such a statement as “each service must pay for itself” is demonstrable nonsense. Every transport operator – rail, bus or airline – has to accept that some routes are busier than others, and some individual services will be busier than others. Take an example from some time ago (that got a lot of people hot under the collar both in this forum and elsewhere!) was National Express offering a stupidly cheap fare between Bristol and London in the peak, and then comparing it with the peak railway fare. The reason they were doing that – quite simply – was that they would otherwise have been running a half-empty bus on the outward leg, which much better loadings to be had on the way back. That’s economics.

Secondly, it has been accepted since the Transport Act 1968 that some services are there because they are a public service and are subsidised. I wonder how many round trips for a DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) on the Central Wales line “pays for itself,” or between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh. I am not suggesting that this is a factor you could sensibly apply to the Bristol to Waterloo service; indeed I would susoect that each DMU working on that route does actually pay for itself in terms of revenue exceeding expenditure. In this case – no matter what SWR» (South Western Railway - about) may say publicly – the real reasons for withdrawal are a balance of how many passengers stay on each train at Salisbury and whether it is worthwhile catering for them, and operational convenience.

Thirdly and finally, I don’t think that republishing the Serpell maps, which were widely discredited at the time, is particularly helpful. They were in essence a continuation of the Beeching/ Marples philosophy which may have had some traction in government at the time, but things have moved on. We have just had COP26 – the world is at least paying lip service to reducing emissions and going green; what western developed country could possibly get away with wholesale rail closures and forcing people on to the roads at this time, whether or not they need to raise a few quid to pay for the pandemic.

Service reductions such as reducing frequency between half-empty trains I can envisage; a “New Beeching” I cannot.

Only time will tell if I’ve read those runes correctly.



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grahame
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« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2021, 02:04:36 pm »

A few points regarding Graham’s post

I am going to follow up your points, Robin

Quote
Firstly, to make such a statement as “each service must pay for itself” is demonstrable nonsense. Every transport operator – rail, bus or airline – has to accept that some routes are busier than others, and some individual services will be busier than others. Take an example ...

I agree the nonsense element - but it was what we were told, with a straight face, by SWR» (South Western Railway - about). We can argue as to whether they believed the words, whether they originate the words, and whether they knew we would pick up the nonsense element on the basis of "you can fool some of the people all the time".

I don't totally buy your "every transport operator has to accept ...", I'm afraid. I can show you examples local to us where one operator had provided a service to meet the needs of the community, and a second operator brought in extra services at the times he could make a profit, admittedly on whole round trips and there will be elements within the round trips where the operation is not bringing in the £££.   I would strongly suspect that the same thing might apply to airlines.

Quote
Secondly, it has been accepted since the Transport Act 1968 that some services are there because they are a public service and are subsidised.

But just because it has been accepted for over 50 years in the past does not mean it will necessarily be accepted now and into the future by a politician with a record such as (this) and no historical significant involvement with public transport prior to arriving at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about).

Fifty years ago, it was (and had been for a long time) generally accepted that slide rules and log tables were a necessary part of education, that telephones were connected with wires, and that you went out to shops to buy your groceries.   That you went out to work five days a week in a location away from your home, and that you did not wear a mask when you entered a bank!

Quote
Thirdly and finally, I don’t think that republishing the Serpell maps, which were widely discredited at the time, is particularly helpful. They were in essence a continuation of the Beeching/ Marples philosophy which may have had some traction in government at the time, but things have moved on.

Yes, things have moved on.  But perhaps we need to learn from history and have an eye open to make sure they don't move back?

Let's see how it goes, Robin ...
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« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2021, 04:19:15 pm »

On learning from history, it is worth remembering that last time we had a significant Treasury-led effort to slash the amount of money the railways were costing back in 2006, a public report was published advocating mass closures and service withdrawals in the North, at the same time as significant service cuts were being proposed in what is now our GWR (Great Western Railway) area. Furthermore, grahame and I found out through FOI (Freedom of Information) that internal reports existed that indicated that the proposed service cuts in our area were just the tip of the iceberg, and that detailed business case assessments had been prepared for line & station closures and service withdrawals in our area too. Indeed, the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) even went so far as to publicly advertise for a Closures Manager.

During this period, a very similar proposal to withdraw the Bristol-Waterloo services was put forward, and the hugely successful campaign that prevented this was widely seen as a catalyst that helped cause the DfT to think twice about going forward with the negative agenda above.

Fast forward to 2021, and hopes of a positive rail future for the North have been severely dented, and the modern-day campaign to save the Bristol-Waterloo service has been ignored and rode roughshod over. Therefore, I strongly suspect that no forum member - not even Robin - would bet the farm on there not being similar internal closure/service withdrawal reports in existence regarding today's rail network, or that those who may consider that they have "won" the battle of Waterloo might not be emboldened to act upon those reports.

Obviously I get that there are differing views among forum members as to exactly where the balance of overall blame should lie, but I think we are largely agreed that - as was the case in 2006 - we are once again witnessing a significant Treasury-led effort to slash the amount of money the railways are costing. And as I said elsewhere, the year prior to the Serpell Report saw the lowest number of passenger journeys of the second half of the 20th century, the lowest level of passenger miles, and the lowest level of passenger revenue for 14 years - coincidentally nearly the same time as has now passed since these kind of measures were last proposed in 2006.

Serpell also cut his teeth as a Treasury mandarin, moving to the Ministry of Transport, ultimately becoming Permanent Secretary, and being around to implement some of the Beeching cuts.

He therefore would have had much the same background, experience and attitude as those who currently wield ultimate decision-making power over today's rail network.

In my view then, it is helpful of grahame to republish the Serpell maps, as it serves as a invaluable reminder to us all of the lessons of history, and as he says, of the need to ensure the things do indeed move forward rather than back.

Of course, it may be that they do think again about crossing one too many red lines in this respect, but what has happened with the "Waterloos" this time round does make the prospect of them going further more likely than back in 2006, and several members on here will remember only too well that that was a close enough run thing.
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« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2021, 04:53:15 pm »

I guess there is simply no way of calculating how railways contribute to an economy beyond the profit or loss they make. I should imagine that the London Underground has enormously played its part in contributing to the economy of London while at the same time not turned a profit for long periods in the past (recent developments aside of course, which I see as a bargaining tool). How is the National network not seen as a benefit to the economy, regardless of which services are making a profit or a loss, when it’s clear it is seen like this in other European countries?  It’s not just lines that need protecting but frequency of service particularly at a time when it should be encouraged to use the train. This switch cannot be done with a market led system as use for many types of journeys will never be encouraged if the network is poorly integrated, expensive and vehicles lack capacity. Skeleton services do not encourage use. Surely standard retail economics cannot be applied to (perceived) public transport?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2021, 06:37:57 pm »

I see I need a follow-up post after contributions from Graham and Lee, both of which make some good points. However, no-one appears to be taking into account the wider political dimension.

I have already said that whether I have read the runes correctly remains to be seen. Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom, and that certainly includes me! I will start by explaining where it appears that more was read into my words than I wrote.

I do not doubt what SWR» (South Western Railway - about) said in a meeting. What I am querying is whether they meant it and/or whether the statement was made in an attempt to close down debate. This latter point is especially important if, as appears to be suggested, these SWR chaps or chapesses were simply the mouthpieces of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), who in turn have a politician as their boss. Politicians are masters of the art of trying to close down debate when they are on shaky ground – and they know they are on shaky ground. See the recent debacle with Owen Patterson as a recent example, or perhaps a Downing Street Christmas party...

I was not suggesting that rail subsidies “invented” in 1968 were now set in tablets of stone – nothing is (except stone tablets...) All I am saying is that the principle was established at the time. It may need to be fought for again, but that is another argument for another day if and when it arises.

My most important point in that post was the current political situation. Think back to 2014 when the SNP were going to fund Independence with “Scotland’s oil” – only 7 years ago, but the next independence campaign will have very different foundations. The government has faced huge opposition in its plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria and a new oil field off Shetland. The list is quite long.

In the current political climate, the Treasury and/or the DfT will simply not get away with a raft of rail closures, transferring the demand go roads, no matter how electric the cars are and no matter how electric National Express might become at some indeterminate point in the future. What the DfT or the Treasury could get away with in 1963 or 1981 or 2006 is not necessarily what they can get away with in 2021
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« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2021, 10:58:03 pm »

There's an article in "The Conversation" that picks out some of the contrasts between support for rail here and elsewhere and for roads.
Quote
Other countries are already revising their rail policies – for example the new German government coalition is committed to investing more on rail than road, and the Austrian government has introduced a “climate ticket”, giving access to all public transport.
Quote
There are various choices the government might make. One is cuts in services, from pre-pandemic levels. For example, there has been a consultation on the future of services for South Western Railways, which says demand is not coming back so services must be slimmed down. This resulted in a furious backlash from passengers. Some immediate cuts have been announced for the Bristol to London Waterloo service via Salisbury.
Quote
But this will require the UK (United Kingdom) government – especially the treasury – to take a new approach, supporting railways, and public transport generally, as the backbone for a zero carbon transport network. Current policies, with reduced rail services, increased fares and investment uncertainty will clearly be bad for the environment, as well as the economy.
https://theconversation.com/government-must-back-uk-train-travel-or-risk-long-term-retreat-to-cars-172667
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« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2021, 05:42:59 am »

I would agree that there is a slow shift towards the kind of longer-termist Climate Emergency focused political view that Robin describes, as evidenced by impressive recent local election results for the Green Party in places like Bristol, London, Sheffield and Suffolk, and by the fact that the Conservative government have felt a clear need to focus on the messaging around COP26. However, I also feel that he is in danger of placing too much emphasis on this at the expense of the far more overriding short-term political imperatives that Central Office tends to focus on. The fact is that when the majority of people come to decide how to cast their all-important Westminster parliamentary votes, environmental issues simply aren't yet high enough up people's priority list. This is evidenced by the fact that, in the 2019 General Election, the Green Party only managed to get more than 10% of the vote in just 5 constituencies, which are their long-held solitary parliamentary seat of Brighton Pavilion, plus the constituencies of Bristol West, Bury St Edmunds, Dulwich & West Norwood, and Isle of Wight, all of which are situated in relatively strong concentrated pockets of Green Party support. In terms of Parliamentary By-Elections, they have never managed more than 10% of the vote, and it has been over a decade since they last managed more than 5% of the vote in a Parliamentary By-Election.

Similarly, the public perception of the extent to which the "Red Wall" seats are a preoccupation for Central Office - while obviously important to them - is generally overplayed somewhat. This is because the reasons for voters turning away from Labour in those areas are deep-seated and long-standing, and therefore they wont simply turn back to Labour just because Boris and the government have periods of poor performance, particularly given that the current Labour leader is for many of them the "metropolitan elite" poster boy for all the reasons they turned away from Labour in the first place. It is also the case that voters in these areas are far more likely to stick with the principle of Brexit - a clear Conservative electoral pillar - while polls show a clear shift towards dissatisfaction with the way Brexit has turned out among voters in the rest of the country. Were this not the case, then the Conservatives would not have been able to gain Hartlepool in that By-Election.

It is also the case that Conservative short-term political strategy in these areas is far more carefully calculated than people give them credit for. For example, the general media and public narrative was that the recent Integrated Rail Plan would prove a disaster for the government in "Red Wall" terms. However, this ignores the fact that the focus on the Western half of HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) was calibrated to show they look out for the "Red Wall" seats in the Midlands and North West, while the binning of the Eastern leg of HS2 was calibrated to "punish" those areas that had the temerity to vote Labour in 2019 - see here.

Also, despite the current broadly negative Treasury-led approach to rail, Central Office is not above using rail policy levers for political purposes. An obvious "Red Wall" example is the "dead cert" reopening of the Northumberland Line, which is a key part of a wider strategy to turn precarious parliamentary majorities such as Blyth Valley's 712 votes into more secure electoral footholds next time round. It is not just happening in "Red Wall" areas either - More on that later in the post.

What really keeps Central Office inhabitants up at night though is the recent trend in By-Elections for either Labour or the Liberal Democrats to basically not turn up in campaigning terms if the other party has a better chance. This mirrors the undeclared tactic deployed by Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown in the run-up to and during the 1997 General Election, two men who were close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding. Today, Keir Starmer and Ed Davey are similarly close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding, in a way that would never have been possible with, say, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson. The modern day understanding between the two parties is directly responsible for the Lib Dem Chesham and Amersham By-Election win, for Labour holding Batley and Spen in that By-Election, and for the Labour vote jumping by 7.4% while the Lib Dem similarly plummeted by 5.3% in the Old Bexley & Sidcup By-Election. It therefore doesn't take a genius to work out what could be made possible if similar tactics are deployed in the upcoming North Shropshire By-Election.

The Conservatives know that it only takes a combination of negative electoral factors - such as sleaze and changing attitudes towards Brexit for example - to shave off a few percentage points from their vote, along with the above understanding between Labour and the Lib Dems, to bring what currently look on paper to be very safe Conservative seats back into the play as the marginals they often used to be again. Indeed, their ultimate fear is that Geoffrey Cox will either be forced out or call it a day as Torridge and West Devon MP (Member of Parliament), ushering in a Lib Dem By-Election victory that would be seen as a "turning point" moment which opens the door for them to ultimately regain their former seats across the South West. Such an outcome would be a political catastrophe for the Conservatives - For example, people often forget that it was less than a decade ago that 4 out of the 5 Somerset constituencies were Lib-Dem held.

This is why if you look, you can see the "Red Wall" tactic of using rail policy levers for political purposes creeping in further south as well. The future passenger potential of Okehampton comes largely from surrounding areas that used to be Conservative/Lib Dem marginals. Tavistock is a major town in Geoffrey Cox's Torridge and West Devon constituency. The recently-approved Edginswell railway station is in the traditional bellweather constituency of Torbay, which is also benefitting from significant government regeneration money. New Forest East was in play during the Blair years, and the potential Labour and Lib Dem voters are concentrated in the Waterside area of the constituency, while the incumbent Conservative MP is one of the most dedicated Brexit Spartans. I could go on, but you get the drift.

However, the above are very much specific political initiatives to serve specific political purposes - the "Okehampton misdirection" as Mark A puts it - and not indicative of any desire for a wider, more enlightened rail policy, whether based on the need to combat the Climate Emergency or not, largely because in general terms the government simply doesn't feel the political/electoral pressure on environmental issues to the extent that Robin believes that it does. This is why I believe that The Conversation article that Bmblbzzz posted is bang on the money when comparing the government's rail strategy with the other countries mentioned, and why when Robin asks the question "What western developed country could possibly get away with wholesale rail closures and forcing people on to the roads at this time?", unfortunately my answer has to be "Potentially the UK (United Kingdom)".

This is also why I would endorse grahame's call for people to keep their eyes open to the potential need to defend their rail service.
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« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2021, 07:39:37 am »





What really keeps Central Office inhabitants up at night though is the recent trend in By-Elections for either Labour or the Liberal Democrats to basically not turn up in campaigning terms if the other party has a better chance. This mirrors the undeclared tactic deployed by Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown in the run-up to and during the 1997 General Election, two men who were close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding. Today, Keir Starmer and Ed Davey are similarly close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding, in a way that would never have been possible with, say, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson. The modern day understanding between the two parties is directly responsible for the Lib Dem Chesham and Amersham By-Election win, for Labour holding Batley and Spen in that By-Election, and for the Labour vote jumping by 7.4% while the Lib Dem similarly plummeted by 5.3% in the Old Bexley & Sidcup By-Election. It therefore doesn't take a genius to work out what could be made possible if similar tactics are deployed in the upcoming North Shropshire By-Election.



Ironically, the main factor "directly responsible" for the Lib Dems overturning a huge Conservative majority in Chesham and Amersham into a large majority of their own was Conservative voters changing sides in a protest about HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) tearing up the Green Belt in their area along with other planning issues.

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« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2021, 08:08:47 am »





What really keeps Central Office inhabitants up at night though is the recent trend in By-Elections for either Labour or the Liberal Democrats to basically not turn up in campaigning terms if the other party has a better chance. This mirrors the undeclared tactic deployed by Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown in the run-up to and during the 1997 General Election, two men who were close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding. Today, Keir Starmer and Ed Davey are similarly close enough in political terms to facilitate that kind of understanding, in a way that would never have been possible with, say, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson. The modern day understanding between the two parties is directly responsible for the Lib Dem Chesham and Amersham By-Election win, for Labour holding Batley and Spen in that By-Election, and for the Labour vote jumping by 7.4% while the Lib Dem similarly plummeted by 5.3% in the Old Bexley & Sidcup By-Election. It therefore doesn't take a genius to work out what could be made possible if similar tactics are deployed in the upcoming North Shropshire By-Election.



Ironically, the main factor "directly responsible" for the Lib Dems overturning a huge Conservative majority in Chesham and Amersham into a large majority of their own was Conservative voters changing sides in a protest about HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) tearing up the Green Belt in their area along with other planning issues.



Labour had 12% of the vote in the 2019 General Election which went down to 1% of the vote in the 2021 By-Election. Had they bothered to campaign seriously, then there is every chance that the Lib Dems wouldn't have made it to victory.
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« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2021, 09:35:13 am »

In the current political climate, the Treasury and/or the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) will simply not get away with a raft of rail closures, transferring the demand go roads, no matter how electric the cars are and no matter how electric National Express might become at some indeterminate point in the future. What the DfT or the Treasury could get away with in 1963 or 1981 or 2006 is not necessarily what they can get away with in 2021

My bolding.  A week is a long time in politics; the concern is "what can they get away with in 2022?" - political climate can change. Look back to 6th December 2019.  Who would have expected that The Government would have been able to implement all the changes it did in March 2020 (and indeed some say it did too little too late).

This is also why I would endorse grahame's call for people to keep their eyes open to the potential need to defend their rail service.
 

Thank you, Lee.  I have no crystal ball, but we should be prepared for the potential - and perhaps in this current age of great change we should be looking early on to inform the agenda. 

Times have changed already - the Railfuture line of "campaigning for a bigger, better railway" looks to me outdated by its use of the term "bigger". From Bradford-on-Avon to Beeston and Barrow Haven, services in the lead up to Christmas 2021 are down on the lead up to Christmas 2019; were that capacity reduction with adequate alternatives provided, that might well be "better". But it's not better - it's serious enough at Bradford-on-Avon to displace people back onto the roads, at Beeston to give severe overcrowding even in the time of depressed covid travel numbers, and at Barrow Haven to leave a station and line without a morning commuter hour train.
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« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2021, 10:30:38 am »

Quote
‘Back to the bad old days’: swingeing rail cuts set alarm bells ringing

Rail operators surprised by immediacy and scale of cuts demanded by Department for Transport

Train operators have been told to find ways to cut hundreds of millions of pounds from the railway’s operating costs next year, in a move that is likely to result in fewer services and worse stations for passengers.

The Department for Transport seeks to cut spending by 10% after the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s autumn budget.

With the Treasury anxious to limit spending on rail, which increased massively during the pandemic, letters from the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)’s managing director of passenger services, Peter Wilkinson, have been sent to individual operators setting out the swingeing cuts needed across the industry.

While train operators expected cuts – the Williams-Shapps plan for rail, which was published in May, set out a target of saving £1.5bn over the next five years – the immediacy and scale of the financial demands has come as a surprise. Government sources said there were no finalised decisions, and denied that individual operators were being asked to deliver cuts of 10% or more to expenditure.

[...]

Christian Wolmar... said: “In the short-term, they are being completely squeezed. It’s incoherent. And it’s going to have a real impacts.”

Timetables are likely to be thinned out and late-night services withdrawn to cut costs, he predicted: “It’s back to the old days of British Rail when they squeezed services and then said no one is using trains because the service is rubbish.

...continues
Source: The Guardian


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Things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen faster than you thought they could.
FarWestJohn
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« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2021, 05:49:55 pm »

I think the embarrassment at Dawlish today answers this question.
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