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October 03, 2012


Matt Woods

I though having a "privatised" railway was all about market forces, competition, passenger choice and getting the politicians out of the way?

Now we've got the Secretary of State deciding who gets the custom, we've ended up with monopoly provision, no competition and record taxpayer subsidies. Imagine if the government said "Right then, for the next 15 years, Heathrow to JFK is going to be run by Air France." We have the worst of all worlds; a nationalised, corporatised railway.

We have to make a decision. Either we deregulate and let train companies go head to head for passengers' business so the customer can decide, or we admit that railway journeys are nigh on impossible to commoditise as a fungible product and are just fundamentally unsuited to the market place. Either way, we can't continue with this once every 15 years shambles of politicians deciding who the rest of us have to travel with.


Richard, Richard, I don't understand it, I don't know how Justine got it so wrong, listen I'll fix it ok, we'll push her off somewhere where she can't do any harm, overseas development, lots of trips too Bongo-Bongo land that sort of thing, find some clod to take her place, wait a few weeks, then say there's been a cock-up, blame it on some civil servants, roll the whole thing again and Bob's yer uncle: errr that place you've got on Lake Como wouldn't be free the first two weeks of June would it?

Alistair Thomas

How do 4 companies spend £40M on a bidding process? That alone says that there is something deeply suspicious about the way these things are run. In Virgin's case, they apparently spent £14M on the bid. They've been running the railway for years. What research / preparation did they have to spend that much on that they didn't know already?

Finally, even accepting that Virgin might have spent £14M on preparing the original bid, is it going to cost that much to prepare a new bid? It is still the West coast mainline they are bidding for after all - surely more than 80% of the parameters will be the same even if the bidding process is rationalised? At the very most, the tax payer should pay for the cost of rebidding which should be minimal and not the ludicrous cost of the whole process. The idea that we weren't going to be paying these costs anyway is hopelessly naive. OK it would have been commuters paying rather than general tax payers and amortized over a 15-year contract rather than in one lump sum, but the public was always going to pay one way or the other.

Mulberry Outlet

Write nice.Oh continue to work hard. Refueling.

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