“Tories accused of trying to quietly re-privatise Britain’s rail infrastructure” (including south west)

The plan is for Great Western Railways to be split into two:

“The plans would create a new West of England rail franchise to provide long-distance services between London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall together with local and regional services across the south-west.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-future-of-the-great-western-franchise

“Transport secretary Chris Grayling says the government wants to break up the troubled [Great Western] Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise when the current contract comes to an end, and look into reopening lines closed during the notorious Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

But the proposals also include publicly-owned Network Rail sharing its responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators.

Britain’s rail network – the tracks, bridges and infrastructure – was taken into public ownership after a bungled experiment with privatisation left it close to collapse.

Railtrack, the privatised franchise, went bankrupt after being hit with the cost of repairs and compensation from the Hatfield rail crash in 2000. …

… Mr Grayling denied that the plans amounted to the splitting up and privatising of Network Rail.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “No, we’re not privatising Network Rail. Network Rail will remain in public ownership, but Network Rail is going to be devolved into a series of route businesses, it’s not going to be one big central blob, it’s going to be a series of locally-focused, or route-focused, operations around the country.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-accused-trying-quietly-re-11606147

3 thoughts on ““Tories accused of trying to quietly re-privatise Britain’s rail infrastructure” (including south west)

  1. A good final question. The Tory ministers are theoretically well educated so ought to be capable of intelligently thinking about and through a policy (and seem to manage it fine on their own behalf !). We also have a supposedly excellent Civil Service of high intellectual capability. Are the latter ignored or browbeaten?
    Yet time and time again we see anf feel dumb and dumber decisions and policies. I’m forced to believe that the Tories either don’t give a damn or are motivated by something other than the good of our nation and its people.

    And I certainly wouldn’t vote for Swire or the serial economy wreckers on the benches opposite. No wonder politicians are held in disrepute bordering on contempt.

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    • Personally I think they are the cast of the sequel to the sequel – “Dumberer and dumbererer”

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  2. “the proposals also include publicly-owned Network Rail sharing its responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators”

    Shared responsibility for track operation sounds to me like a recipe for misunderstandings leading to accidents leading to finger pointing and finally lack of accountability.

    We have been here before and it is always ends in tears – financial failure and / or people dying.

    When will they ever learn?

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