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Should the railways be re-nationalised? watch

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    Yes.
    65.38%
    No.
    34.62%

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    This came up on Question Time on Thursday. 100% yes for me. I'll give views on why soon.
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    Absolutely. Privatisation has been a disaster. The main problems for British Rail started with a) an increased reliance on road transport and b) the Beeching Axe.

    If rail is to become popular again in this country it needs to be cheap, reliable and well connected. The power of the state can do this, and in doing so can help the environment too. Countries like Germany have an excellent nationalised rail service, we should too.
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    Yes, I think so, but only if the government make it affordable to both them and the public.

    For the passengers this should go without saying. It looks like it's going to cost loads to re-nationalise the system though.

    Scrap ID cards and there you have the money, I suppose!
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    A wholehearted yes from Punktopia.
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    I think there's a difference in what should be considered.
    Nationalisation was on paper an effective means of pushing investment from the private sector, increasing effiency, and of course relinquishing the government from control.

    The intrinsic issue is the structure of nationalisation - which has completely failed from a logistical and investment perspective for institutions within the sector and those that depend on the railways.

    Having multiple companies operating on a line owned by a further entity, introduces a whole host of problems should an incident occur. Who is to blame? Who has to pay any relevant charges?

    The franchise nature of operators implies that there is no justification to investment in long-term projects, when the possibility exists that they will not be running the line in a few years time.

    Re-nationalisation is something that has been touted for some time - maybe it is the right approach, maybe it isn't.
    What is fundamentally wrong is the structure that exists.
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    Absolutely not, they should just be fully privatised next time.
    Franchising is a recipe for disaster. If you put enough controls on a market and force companies to bid recklessly, those companies will inevitably fail.

    I thought Peter Hitchens' point was interesting though: the Tories' opposing positions, on railway infrastructure vs the roads, are untenable upon comparison.
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    God the trains are a disaster in this country anyways...we should learn from our Japanese counterparts...
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    Most certainly not.
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    what we need trains that can run 186mph+ on intercity routes, 310mph can be achieved on maglev although that will never happen. At the moment speeds of 125mph is achieved on the WCML and ECML, there were plans to increase this to 140mph but that would require in cab signalling, something the goverment was reluctant to invest in.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    Absolutely. Privatisation has been a disaster.
    Nope. The British railways carry more people than under public ownership and are of a considerably better quality.

    If rail is to become popular again in this country it needs to be cheap, reliable and well connected. The power of the state can do this
    No it can't, unless you simply count the price of the ticket and ignore massive state subsidies.

    (Original post by punktopia)
    A wholehearted yes from Punktopia.
    A state monopoly on one form of business. How very anarchist.
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    Absolutely not - so people can keep paying subsidies for it even after its failing? So people can pay for it who will never use it? So the government has yet another monopoly to extend its incompetance to?

    I'd go the other way and take all government controls and regulations out of the railways (except maybe safety regulations) and let them compete eachothers prices down - no taxing small companies out of competition!
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    Certainly not on a national level.

    I would support subsidy, though.
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    (Original post by Just Another Student)
    This came up on Question Time on Thursday. 100% yes for me. I'll give views on why soon.
    Do you understand how much the would cost?
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    Network Rail owns and operates Britain’s rail infrastructure.It is a British "not for dividend" company limited by guarantee whose principal asset is Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, a company limited by shares. These shares are owned 100% by the government.

    The train companies (Network Rails customers) are awarded franchises to operate certain lines. (Virgin Trains- West Coast Main Line) and this can be taken from them (GNER lost East Coast to National Express.... who has now gone and lost it too!!)

    I belive that the Train companies are in this ONLY for profit, they are always reducing the amount of carriages on trains (atleast on my line, Manchester-Warrington-Livepool- 2 carriages at rush hour!!!) and the customer service is appauling.
    If the government were to nationalise the Train companies, into Britis Rail once more, I think that the sheer size of the operation would create a synergy, and that customer service and satisfaction would be vastly increased... aswell as your usual things like all types of economies of scale etc..
    They would also be able to make it more affordable!!

    On Merseyside (Liverpool, Sefton, Southport, St Helens area- 249sq Miles) the company Merseyrail operates MOST trains in the area and the fares are unbeliveably cheap!!
    Warrington - Mancester = 20 miles = £6.40 single (32p per mile)
    Warrington - Liverpool = 18 miles = £4.10 single (22p per mile)

    The Liverpool services are operated my Merseyrail trains.... and they are TEN WHOLE PENCE cheaper!!!! This is an example of the Different companies charging differnt rates.... and that it is possible to keep prices low whilst running a big operation.
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Absolutely not - so people can keep paying subsidies for it even after its failing? So people can pay for it who will never use it? So the government has yet another monopoly to extend its incompetance to?

    I'd go the other way and take all government controls and regulations out of the railways (except maybe safety regulations) and let them compete eachothers prices down - no taxing small companies out of competition!
    But you can say this about many things i.e. Those who are paying for private health care will still be paying taxes to go into the NHS, and those who pay for their kids to go to private school for their entire educated lives still have their taxes going into the state education system.

    Though, I do agree with you.
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    thanks to zanuliarbore interference in the duration of franchises, franchise holders have been unable to secure funding for stock , so the government has ended up securing funding and preventing the market from developing.

    Freight however has done remarkably well thanks to the whole system effectively being the 'open access' model which is realtively new to passenger travel
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Absolutely not - so people can keep paying subsidies for it even after its failing? So people can pay for it who will never use it? So the government has yet another monopoly to extend its incompetance to?

    I'd go the other way and take all government controls and regulations out of the railways (except maybe safety regulations) and let them compete eachothers prices down - no taxing small companies out of competition!
    Well, I disagree with that- it could create a 'Postcode lottery' because, some areas are only serviced by one train company (Merseyside's main operator is Merseyrail) so these said companies that have an effective monopoly in some areas can charge what the hell they like (especially without Government regulation, like you are suggesting- theres nothign then to stop them) and Im not going to accept that it will 'Increase competition' simply because the Government (for safety i presume, but other reasons i guess) will only allow one company to have control of one franchise. Even if it was to be 'rented out' by the operating companies, they would charge stupid amounts making it impossible for smaler companies to enter (so either way, Government or Private- SMall comanies arent going to be viable in the railways)

    If prices in the monopoly areas were to rise, custom would fall, prices rise again, custom falls once more and the company goes under!!

    I think some thigs are a natural monopoly, like Postal service, Trains, Utilities maintanace et al.... simply becuase of their nature, and I think that handing it over to Private industry is flawed.
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    Most definately. Train companies are entirely driven by greed and profit. Their service has become a joke and customer relations are horrendous, this is made even worse when you compare our trains to some of our global neighbours.
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    (Original post by tomcuk123)
    Well, I disagree with that- it could create a 'Postcode lottery' because, some areas are only serviced by one train company (Merseyside's main operator is Merseyrail) so these said companies that have an effective monopoly in some areas can charge what the hell they like (especially without Government regulation, like you are suggesting- theres nothign then to stop them) and Im not going to accept that it will 'Increase competition' simply because the Government (for safety i presume, but other reasons i guess) will only allow one company to have control of one franchise. Even if it was to be 'rented out' by the operating companies, they would charge stupid amounts making it impossible for smaler companies to enter (so either way, Government or Private- SMall comanies arent going to be viable in the railways)

    If prices in the monopoly areas were to rise, custom would fall, prices rise again, custom falls once more and the company goes under!!

    I think some thigs are a natural monopoly, like Postal service, Trains, Utilities maintanace et al.... simply becuase of their nature, and I think that handing it over to Private industry is flawed.
    Trains are competing with cars, air, and other travel, not just other rail companys.
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    No. See, the problem here is what people think. Train is one method of transport which is NOT independent of other methods, and other methods are competing with trains. The answer frankly is to privatise roads, not to nationalise trains, although I admit trains were not privatised in the best way possible, and that although we're better off now, privatisation wasn't particularly amazing.
 
 
 
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