West Coast franchise shambles – a verdict

Transport writer and broadcaster Christian Wolmar has delivered a stinging verdict on the West Coast franchise shambles.

Its an excellent piece and well worth reading in full here

But his concluding paragraph needs quoting in full:

It is time to end the ridiculous franchising system not least as no one has been able to answer the question I’ve been asking for years: ‘what is franchising for?’. The key point about profits is that they should be a reward either for taking risk or for investing capital. The franchise operators do neither. The system allows them to make around £250m per year on the basis of very little investment and hardly any risk. Moreover, the franchising process itself, as we have discovered, is a waste of time and resources. After 15 years of a misguided experiment, the railways must be brought back under public ownership. This would not only save money but also be widely welcomed by the travelling public.

Posted in News
Follow us
Save staff on London Transport!

Save staff on London Transport Boris Johnson is helping George Osborne take an axe to London transport, closing ticket offices and cutting tube staff and guards. We know passengers want properly staffed services. It's time the Mayor listened to London’s travelling public.

Our railways are under attack

The government have set out their vision for the future of UK rail services, and it's a bleak picture for rail travelers, workers and businesses relying on the network.