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Quote: Unfortunately the government's need for money wins out.
Precisely what one would expect from a Tory government. Private enterprise? tick - Highest bidder? tick - Profit first? tick - Higher tax returns? tick .....until it goes pear shaped? tick
We need to encourage folk onto public transport. I want to travel by train but cost prevents this. Until the national rail system is run as a non-profit making enterprise where passengers automatically think TRAIN! we'll continue on with the Tory dogma that sees private ownership as the great panacea. Think Tory, think private enterprise, think GS4? Then think again where certain essential services operating at the national level are concerned.
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You know what I'm gonna say now, don't you?
What one earth makes you think Labour would have done any differently? For example Brown trying to force the digital radio switch over purely to be able to sell the wavebands for a few quid - to hell with all the people who can't receive digital and screw the drivers who experience continual drop-outs because it would bring in money and then spend on their ever-increasing welfare state.
Quote: Think Tory, think private
Think 'Government' think private.
The problem is that if you forever blame 'Tory' for cases like this, you are avoiding facing the real question which is what is the Government's responsibility is, where those responsibilities end and can the nation afford to fund it. Brown's spending over 13 years proved we can't afford it all despite that a load of retro-1970s socialists like to think (correct - fool themselves).
Quote: You only need to look at when the government too railtrack out of the private sector: the Government disbadned them because they were too expensive
I think you will find the fact that the railway was becoming increasingly unsafe was a major contribution to Railtrack's deserved demise.
If only the whole railway operated for on a not for profit basis like Network Rail
Quote: Brown's spending over 13 years proved we can't afford it all despite that a load of retro-1970s socialists like to think (correct - fool themselves).
They continue to forget (as do so many others) that Governments don't have any money of their own to spend - its all money that has directly or indirectly been removed from the taxpayers' pockets so whether its private or state ownership its still paid for by the public one way or another.
All we can try to insist on is that "They" get the best value for our money that is possible
Quote: All we can try to insist on is that "They" get the best value for our money that is possible
And that is the whole point. Value for Money is not necessarily the cheapest.
Quote: I think the public need to be educated in economics. Trains are exceedingly expensive to run and maintain and improve. Despite government money, taxpayer money and rail fares themselves, railways the world over all loose money.
We have to decide if we want a railway. If so, do we want national coverage regardless of economics? Or just the profitable routes? Is it a public service or a business? Should train fares reflect the TRUE cost or should the government use taxpayers money (even those who don't use trains) to subsides the fares?
I'm amazed how many people ignore such things and just whinge about high fares or poor service. A reality check is what's needed.
I think you captured this so well Brian. The public need to understand that you either have to pay the price to run these businesses in the cost of the ticket or, as a government subsidy which would be paid by the taxation system, either way people would bitch n moan!
However, I do sympathise with the people who have to pay 3-4 thousand pounds a year just to travel to work.
Quote: We have to decide if we want a railway. If so, do we want national coverage regardless of economics? Or just the profitable routes? Is it a public service or a business? Should train fares reflect the TRUE cost or should the government use taxpayers money (even those who don't use trains) to subsides the fares?
Though of course you need to ask similar questions about roads, buses, airports, cycle lanes, etc. It would be nice to get away from the whole "we subsidise railways, we invest in roads" mindset. After all it's no good saying a railway is to expensive to run if closing it down would mean all the traffic moves to the roads and we have to build another motorway...
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