Chaos on the railways entirely predictable | Letters
Readers respond to the current debacle affecting the Northern and Govia Thameslink rail franchises
The debacle with new railway timetables is entirely of the Tory government’s own making (Report, 6 June). It’s been obvious for years that the franchising system is both dysfunctional and has destroyed the operational economies of scale that were an essential part of the British Rail integrated network. What is truly alarming is the escalating cost of propping up the failing franchises, now in the billions and possibly about to rise yet further if GTR and Northern collapse.
As your editorial (5 June) rightly says, in Chris Grayling we see a minister so fixated with privatisation and viscerally opposed to the idea of a public service railway system of the kind used all over the rest of the EU, that he has become incapable of objective judgments and unwilling to accept any responsibility. At the heart of the argument is an economic theory, peddled by rightwing ideologues for the past 40 years, that only private profit can encourage efficiency, that the state can never match the private sector, and that the only measure of market performance is price, dividends and earnings per share in a (fictional) perfectly competitive economic environment.
Source: Guardian Transport
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