It was announced earlier that the government has sacked the bus company National Express from running one the main rail franchise and aims to bring it back into state ownership.
National Express managed the East Coast mainline franchise, which runs trains from London and serves several cities in England and Scotland. It also manages three others: East Anglia, c2c and the Stansted Express. The East Coast service, according to some commentators, was suffering from a sharp decline in passenger numbers, but others argued the decision to strip the company of the franchise was a political one…. in other words, that the government was to blame.
This may be seen as further evidence that the privatisation of the national rail network since the mid 1990s was a complete failure. Indeed, parts of it had to be brought back under state control. However, many commentators have argued that if the present government had stopped regularly reorganising the rail system, it would have been able to work properly.
Meanwhile, many foreign commentators and observers wonder why we Brits regularly continue to put up with an inferior public transport network, with its frequent breakdowns, constant delays, and annual fare rises. This is a major long-time scandal, which ranks alongside the row over our politicians’ expenses.