Express busways: the ultimate rail replacement service
The Institute of Economic Affairs thinktank has floated a plan to concrete over Britain’s railways and replace them with bus lanes. But where would that get us?
The role of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to propose the logical free-market solution to each facet of civilised life, so that by the time the vision passes and the world shimmers back into normal, everyday dystopia, even George Osborne’s face looks mildly reassuring. Certainly, only a brave politician would endorse the thinktank’s latest call to pave over the railways to create express busways – effectively putting millions of voting commuters on a rail replacement bus, for ever.
The IEA claims that the £4bn annual subsidy given to the railway could be better spent elsewhere. According to its calculations, as many people could be shifted via a fleet of coaches as by train, and concreting over train lines would allow cheaper, more flexible travel into major cities. Less space would be needed, letting the state flog off more land to developers, and deregulated buses could zoom into town liberated from the shackles of “harmful government intervention”.
Source: Guardian Transport
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