10 thoughts on “Why railway renationalisation must be sent to the sidings”

  1. Posted 21/09/2015 at 14:28 | Permalink

    The capacity requirement for most railways is mainly driven by employers demanding that commuters adhere to a standard working day. There is therefore a need for a market to connect supply and demand for rush hour peak services directly between the parties. Perhaps then employers might consider measures such as 4 day working weeks, staggered hours, or even relocating and home (or near to home) working.

  2. Posted 21/09/2015 at 19:23 | Permalink

    You say that “There has been a huge reduction in accidents since privatisation, to a large degree caused by the complete replacement of almost all the train stock.”
    What evidence is there that the change in train stock is the main contributory factor, rather than imporoved track, signalling, etc ?

  3. Posted 21/09/2015 at 22:27 | Permalink

    that is a fair point and raises another issue my colleague, Richard Wellings, discusses a lot. If the government allowed more flexibility in pricing at the peak, there would be an incentive for employees and employers to agree more flexible arrangements

  4. Posted 22/09/2015 at 10:00 | Permalink

    I can think of so many pros and cons. What we have now is neither a nationalised nor a market-driven rail ecosystem. Fares are kind of market driven, but as ItDoesntAddUp says, it’s a market skewed towards the working day, which is a very inefficient one for transportation of all types. And the franchise system means that state-defined services are auctioned off, leaving little flexibility for those who want to create services the state hasn’t thought of (check out what happened to the Wrexham and Shrewsbury to London service, which had to avoid Birmingham).

    I think a mixed ecosystem is unavoidable. Some lines will never be economic. Should they be closed? Perhaps, but as we found from Beeching, short term decisions left us wanting in the longer term. Besides, we wouldn’t close non-economic roads so why close railways? The way I see it is that any service which requires a subsidy probably should be state-run. Services to places with high demand like the commuter belts and main lines can be left to the market.

    The track, I think, should remain in state hands just like (almost all of) the road network. Although its maintenance and operation can be contracted out.

  5. Posted 22/09/2015 at 14:38 | Permalink

    @anonymous – I don’t have the figures to hand, but I am sure that the biggest contributory factor is reduced number of people falling out of carriages and committing suicide by jumping from trains. Also stronger carriages mean that fewer people die in accidents. Happy to be contradicted on that. As it happens, before network rail was taken into public ownership, accidents were falling too

  6. Posted 22/09/2015 at 18:23 | Permalink

    Seriously. You chose not to publish my comment because it was critical of the arguments put and the weakness of the case? That reflects very badly on you. You are a think-tank, how can you possibly have so little confidence in the strength of your arguments that you would deny one piece of criticism? This suggests only that you are not totally convinced by the case you put.

  7. Posted 22/09/2015 at 19:06 | Permalink

    Keir, I might have accidentally deleted your comment. If so, it had nothing to do with the substance of what you said; I must have misinterpreted it as spam. Please post again.

  8. Posted 27/10/2015 at 17:55 | Permalink

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get three e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me
    from that service? Many thanks!

  9. Posted 27/10/2015 at 18:23 | Permalink

    Hilton, I cant do that from here, I’m afraid. But towards the bottom of the e-mails you receive, there should be a passage which says “You can stop receiving emails when someone replies to this post, by going to”, followed by a link. If you click on that, you’re done.

  10. Posted 25/05/2016 at 08:12 | Permalink

    great work, i am @ school i am cool

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