Rail thoughts

http://www.shapingnorfolksfuture.org.uk/content/rail/ : I’m broadly supportive of this campaign, though not particularly of the ‘Norwich in 90’ component thereof! FAR more important than time-reductions on the timetable is improving the reliability of train services, and working to reduce or eliminate the weekend repair schedule which devastate weekend rail travel in our Region. Surveys show this again and again: people don’t mind much about 10 minutes on a timetable; what they mind about is hours of uncertainty or delay in real life.
As for the changes that the government are proposing to make to rail franchises: It is all very well to extend the franchise to 12 or 15 years, but what would be better would be to extend the franchise to permanency – while taking it back ‘in house’! I.e. Renationalise the railways. That is the only cure to a balkanized rail system which has resulted in obscenely vast private profits at public expense without any improvement in service level, let alone safety.
It is a crying shame that the dominance of neoliberalism in our political system means that the Green Party remains the only Party committed to the obvious, commonsensical, popular answer: renationalise our railways, for a joined-up, more affordable public transport system.

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