Tories nationalise East Coast Main Line Railway

Virgin wasn’t making enough money so they decided they didn’t want to play any more:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44142258

Labour comment was priceless:

“Good to see Grayling implementing first stage of Labour’s Manifesto promise to renationalise the railways. I think I’m right in saying that he’s now nationalised more railways than any Labour minister in 6 decades. Come on Chris, East Coast line today, the whole system tomorrow.”

Tories to nationalise rail line!

Owl says: well, this will take some explaining!!!

“Chris Grayling is expected to make a decision “within days” to end the existing East Coast rail franchise operated by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains.

The transport secretary was said to be preparing to either renationalise the London to Edinburgh line or negotiate a “not-for-profit” arrangement with Stagecoach and Virgin Trains before the end of the week. …

Ministers have denied that the companies are being bailed out, saying they will lose a £165m performance bond and face other penalties. Beyond 2020, the government is expected to introduce a new public-private partnership model on the line.

Virgin Trains East Coast said it had “met or exceeded” all of its contractual commitments on the East Coast line. The DfT declined to comment.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/14/east-coast-rail-franchise-to-be-scrapped-chris-grayling

Roads: less traffic predicted on poorer roads

Both articles in today’s Times (pay wall)

“Billions of pounds spent upgrading motorways and roads may be a waste of money because traffic levels are expected to fall, ministers have been told.

A study said that people were travelling “less often and less far” by car because of the rise of internet shopping, Netflix and flexible working. …”

and

“The condition of Britain’s roads is turning into a “national emergency”, with rising numbers of cyclists seriously injured and cars damaged.

Research published today by the AA found that almost nine in ten drivers say that roads have deteriorated in the past decade. In the past year the number of motorists describing the state of local roads as “poor” has risen by a quarter.” …

Pays yer money, don”t get yer choice!

“The Times” hates potholes

Three different articles in the newspaper today:

“Thousands of roadworks a year will be shifted on to pavements under government plans to cut congestion and prevent roads from being plagued by potholes, The Times has learnt. …”

“Britain’s roads are worse than those in Chile, Cyprus and Oman despite motorists paying some of the highest taxes in the world. …”

“Potholes are being left untreated for up to a year as councils hide behind red tape to avoid dealing with them and save money. …”

Source: The Times (pay wall)

Best live in western East Devon and not in northern or eastern East Devon!

In some parts of East Devon you are lucky to get a couple of buses each day!

“East Devon District Council gave the go ahead to fund four projects, unlocking new jobs and employment space locally.

Some £530,000 has been allocated over three years for an ‘enhanced’ bus service connecting the Enterprise Zone – Exeter Science Park, Skypark, Airport Business Park and Cranbrook town centre – and Exeter, with some services also running to Woodbury and Exmouth. This will be for a three year period from summer 2018. …”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/enhanced-bus-service-for-exmouth-to-boost-job-opportunities-1-5481849

At last something we are best at – potholes – we have the most, biggest and best!

Third-world roads …

“Pothole related breakdowns have doubled in the space of three months following the harsh winter, the RAC has revealed.

The breakdown rescue firm said the proportion of call-outs caused by issues such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels reached 2.3 per cent between January and March.

This is almost double the rate during the previous three months and equates to 5,540 cases.

Since RAC records began in 2006, only two three-month periods – January to March in both 2015 and 2017 – saw a higher proportion of pothole-related breakdowns.

A better indicator of the true state of the UK’s roads is expected to be revealed in figures for April to June as the Beast from the East brought snow and freezing weather towards the end of the previous quarter.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Anecdotally, few would disagree that the harsh cold weather experienced over the last three months has led to a further deterioration of road surfaces.

“While RAC patrols saw the third highest quarterly share of pothole-related breakdowns in the first three months of 2018, the figure was not as high as we had been expecting, probably due the fact that the weather hit relatively late in the quarter.

“For this reason we feel we are likely to see more vehicles suffering pothole damage in the second quarter of 2018 compared with recent years.

“The Government has made additional funding available through yet another emergency pothole fund, but at best this will only allow councils to patch up roads that in many cases are in desperate need of longer term preventative maintenance.”

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “When exceptional weather occurs, the impact on local roads can be significant.

“It’s essential this is measured and that funds are provided for serious repairs so that traffic can move freely through our communities, and local economies and businesses aren’t impacted.”

Source: The Times (paywall)