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Of course we can point to the passenger increase and say “privatization is a good thing” – but many believe that the increase in passengers has been stifled by privatization.
BR would have worked wonders with the money now thrown at the railways. People forget that their “inefficiency” brought InterCity to profit! Something that seems to evade TOCs.
And when things go wrong, the railway of today is appalling. Customer service is severely lacking, with the mantra “It is the passengers responsibility…” being a sticking plaster of many woes.
Virgin Trains have empty services leaving Euston because of their absurd pricing policies.
The flagship East Coast route – serving some of the UKs biggest cities, is now on to it’s fourth franchise as both GNER and National Express threw in the towel. It took the Directly Operated Railways to fix it.
But the point does stand – the DoT has massive influence on the TOCs, right down to minor details in the timetable or if a train has a trolley service or not. This isn’t ‘minimum service’ stuff, this is when an operator wants to add extra trains, or carriages, they can only do so with DoTs permission. For a “private” industry, that’s not right.
As usual in the UK, we have a botched up job somehow working.
We want our railways to be a public service AND we want them to be profitable AND we don’t want to pay more AND we want motivated staff.
But then, what public service became better when privatized? Can you name one?