Why millions of passengers will face years of overcrowded trains because of a staggering electrification blunder

The whole transport system is breaking down. I travel from the village in which I live to a city ten miles away by bus or & train. The average time is 80 minutes. There is supposed to be an integrated transport system, which is badly planned. In fact, I wrote to the manager asking if he would re-alter the route slightly to avoid a busy bypass. Surprisingly I received a letter back weeks later saying this was under review. Two months later the bus was re-directed from the bypass. The East Coast rail line was taking back into public ownership as the company that had the franchise said it was unprofitable. When in public ownership it made a profit , and was then again sacrificed on the altar of Economic Liberalism whose creed is Private Good and State Owned Bad. The tram/railway was in the hands of a German company and breakdowns and delays was a regular occurrence, particularly near the end of the contract and it became obvious that the company was not even maintaining the rolling stock. Long queues would form for replacement bus services, which could not be found. People then had to rely on the existing bus network and being in a queue for 90mins was not uncommon.
Yes, UK’s transport system based on profit, does not in anyway profit the public who it was meant to serve, but the shareholders of these companies are certainly profiting.

David Hencke

electrification-work-on-line Electrification work Pic Credit:South West Business

overcrowded train Today’s Vision of future travel: Overcrowded train Pic credit:BBC


If you want to know what is wrong with the present state of  Britain’s railways look no further than a recent National Audit Office report into the mess that is the Great Western electrification scheme. I have written about this in Tribune

As reported at the time the cost overrun and delay totalled a mouthwatering £1.2 billion on a £2.8 billion scheme and led to the scheme being curtailed with delays to the Cardiff to Swansea electrification for up to five years and  similar delays for the electrification of branch services in the Thames Valley.

But the damage  goes much further than just the Great Western Mainline to Cardiff and Bristol electrification scheme, bad though that is, the National Audit Office reveals. It will affect train capacity hundreds of miles away

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