Heading for a rail crash

I am completely baffled to read that a majority of UK electors favour the re-nationalisation of the railways.  I grew up in a country where the trains rarely ran on time and were beset by strikes.  These days, I travel up to London several times per month, using Chiltern Railways from Banbury to Marylebone. I have an old codger’s Rail Card so can get to London and back for £12.00 return if I book early.  Chiltern trains are invariably on time, they are clean, there is free wi-fi, I can always get a seat and usually a table with a power point and the staff are friendly and helpful.  Marylebone is a delightful station, clean and accessible and the tube journey onwards is a lot quicker than trying to catch a taxi.  All-in-all, the travel experience is excellent.  On the rare occasions when a Chiltern train is a few minutes late, it is usually clear that the cause is a late running earlier train run by another rail operating company.

Now I accept that the Chiltern network is very straightforward, running from Marylebone to Birmingham with only a few distracting branch lines so I am sure it is an easier network to manage than more complex ones.  However, it works and works well.  Why change it and  send it back to a state-run monopoly?  Don’t people realise that the state is hopeless at running businesses?  It is subject to political pressures and when the government is a left-leaning one, it will favour the provider over the customer.

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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