Pay for a mess or pay for success?

HQ of Deutsche Bahn in Berlin

Head Office

One thing is clear:

We taxpayers will pay the £40 million to compensate the bidders in the failed, flawed West Coast franchise process.

The rest is a shambles. Three civil servants are suspended, but their political masters, the transport ministers, keep their jobs as usual. The Great Western franchise process is now suspended. Who will run our main lines in north and south Wales in future, and on what terms? We just don’t know.

Two of the bidders for the West Coast franchise are themselves state-owned rail corporations – not our state, or course, but France and Netherlands. Your taxes will compensate their governments. All other Welsh rail services (plus a large slice of our bus transport) are run by Deutsche Bahn – German state railways.

There’s only one state unable and unwilling to take control of our public transport: Britain.

Can we do better in Wales? Will Welsh Government draw the obvious conclusion staring us in the face?

Own and run the railways in the public interest. We’re already paying for a mess. We’d rather pay for success.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Pay for a mess or pay for success?

  1. Rhydgaled

    Arriva’s slice of our bus transport is diminishing apparently, I have read that local independent operators have been contracted to run what was the Arriva X32 service between Bangor and Aberystwyth, which Arriva attempted to operate commertially then decided wasn’t viable. Sadly their actions have made a shambles of the once-promising TrawsCambria bus network, of which the X32 was one route (the frequency, in the hands of the local operators, has been reduced, but at least (now called the T2 apparently) it is still part of the network, Arriva withdrew the key TrawsCambria X40 service between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen to replace it with their own commertial Cymru Express).

    Returning to the railways, if you would like Britain’s railways to return to state ownership, perhaps http://www.bringbackbritishrail.org/ should be on your list of links. Also, could there be other shambles caused by the same civil servants at the DfT, widely known on the fourms I frequent as DaFT. A look at the Intercity Express Programme would suggest yes.

    That’s three burning issues, the state of Wales’ bus network, the question of ‘what is franchising for?’ and the IEP, but 2012 is marching on and the issue of the future of the Swansea District Line is also pressing.

  2. Swansea Jack

    Rhydgaled – regarding the Swansea district line – Saturday October 13th is the day – there is a roughly hourly service along the District line all day. Just be careful though, as to connect with the 18:46 arrival at Goodwick you would have to travel on the 15:39 from Cardiff, as the 16:05 ex Cardiff runs to Swansea only. The Fishguard train leaves Llanelli at 17:24 without a connection from Swansea. If you need more details you’ll notice the posters at most stations – well Goodwick and Clunderwen at least, and most others probably.

    I like the additional time trains wait at Llanelli and or Carmarthen as the journey from Cardiff to Llanelli becomes a very competitive 1 hour and 1 minute.

    There will be another opportunity over a weekend before Christmas followed by 10 days over Easter, after which Gowerton will have a second platform and the line will be double from Cockett to Llandeilo Jcn…..

    As for DafT the less said the better – that department has not been fit for purpose since at least 1960 when Ernest Marples was minister of the department!

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