Friday, 19 April 2013

One-track minds

A really short history of one privatised railway route.

East Coast Mainline.

  • First it was privatised. Taxpayers gave the franchisee billions in subsidy and through upgrading the infrastructure.
  • Then the operator failed to make their insane financial model work and walked away: the state took it over again, in the form of a company called Directly Operated Railways. 
  • DOR was so successful that subsidies come to 1% of its income, less than all the other 15 privatised operators, 32% of whose income is taxpayers' money, on average. 
  • About 20% of the money paid back to the government by train operators comes from DOR. 
  • DOR is to be privatised again

So in summary: a state railway, in a fair and real-world test, is shown to cost taxpayers, the government and the passenger less than a privatised one. So it's being privatised.

At this point, one can only surmise that evidence is far, far less important than ideology. What a stupid government.


Adam said...

Absolutely. Privatisation was never going to work on the railways. It's not like you can withdraw your custom if you don't like the way the company operates your route to work. The corporations merely siphon the cash abroad, and are obviously abusing the subsidies. Like the companies running the privatised utilities, they're just there to turn a profit at our expense, as you would expect, and no politician will ever do anything about it. The Tories for ideological reasons, and Labour because they don't want to frighten the horses.

The Plashing Vole said...

I wonder if ANYONE gets to a train station and opts to wait around for another hour or so because they prefer one operating company to another?

It's not just that Labour is scared: an awful lot of them are just plain Tory capitalists. Their presence in the party is either an accident of history or a cynical grab for power.