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The UK and Public Transport

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posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 08:11 AM
The Uk transport system is in a mess, unreliable, unsafe and costly , yet there are moves to prise us out of our cars and to tax us to death to use them.

Lets go back a while to the days of privately owned transport, a system that worked, every town and village connected by trains. Then we had a labour Goverment that nationalised everything and basically run it into the gound, countless strikes billions of tax payers money wasted.

Now we have a labour Goverment doing the same thing to car owners, its not all their fault successive Goverments have not invested in the transport system of this country. Most of our roads are Victorian they have never been improved in a hundred years. yet Goverments past and present have had billions to do something about it.

Why is it mainland European countries have good transport networks even the poor ones, why can we not do the same is there any real reason for this, the money is there is it just a case of too many palms being greased.

With the current round of ideas such as congestion charging etc. many details and facts are left out as to why we are in this state, most of the blame appears to be pointed at the motorist but that is not the cause and very little attention if any is ever given to the following.

As already stated the general lack of proper investment.

This country was once known as the country that shut at the weekend, not any more now we are becoming a 24/7 nation, that means that our roads are no longer quiet and are busy all the time.

The population has increased significantly since many of our roads were first contructed, but have never been improved, well they have tarmacked over the cobbles. The UK population around 1900 was about 38 million now its 60 plus, yes we have motorways and bypasses but these represent a tiny amount of our road network.

On top of that you have this obssesion with bus lanes, reducing the number of lanes available, closes of streets and roads, streets and roads closed due to property developers. thats before we hit road works and repairs.

We are told that congestion charging will solve all this, well no it wont and its a bare faced lie, the money from congestion charging will disapear in company profits and Goverment taxes, very few extra trains or buses will be provided. If the Goverment relly believed it would get cars of the road they would not do this but they know people will pay the charges.

If our towns and cities wish to thrive then massive investment will be required to improve the public transport system and people will use it just as they do abroad when it is cheap, efficient and safe.

The answer is simple if you want to Reduce the number of vehicles on the road then stop taking the money out and put it into the transport system, once people have a choice they will use it, for many there is no choice.

There is much that can be done but the Goverment and its corporate lakies are only interested in making money not solving the problems so the rule is if you can afford to pollute and congest please go ahead and do it because we want your money.

posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 08:24 AM
And do you know what is really funny?

Hong Kong used to be a British colony, and it quite possibly has the best public transport systems in the world.

The MTR (underground) makes the tube in London look like it's hundreds of years old...

Oh yeah it is.


posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 11:02 AM

Originally posted by magicmushroom
Lets go back a while to the days of privately owned transport, a system that worked

- Actually it didn't, by it's end in 1948.

Railway profitability suffered during the great depression of the 1930s, capital spending was postponed and maintenance cut back.
This meant that the state of Britain's railways was already poor on the eve of Second World War.
During the war, the railways were taken into state control as a vital part of the wartime economy.
They were heavily damaged by enemy action, and a further lack of capital investment and maintenance caused by wartime economic necessity compounded this.
In parallel with the rest of Britain's economy, after the war the railways were in a very run-down state.

The reason they were nationalised is that the had nowhere else left to go, they were a bust and worn out national necessity (which is why they were nationalised and not left to go completely broke).

posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 01:59 PM
Hi Smink, clever with them quotes again, every business was suffering during/after the depression and ww2 compounded the action, the Goverment of the day could have resurected it but no everything it touched turned to crap.

And whats the excuse today I may ask, how many Billions raised in vehicle taxes and how much spent on the roads and transport. These taxes have been the golden chest for every Goverment to rob from. What did labour say a while back were spending 10 billion a year on roads so whats happened to the other 30 billion each year.

We seem to have alot of money in this country yet where does it all go other countries have far less to spend but their infastructure is 1st class.

posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 10:29 AM
I'm not being clever with anything there mm.

I just find that trying to shoe-horn the immediate port-war financial state of the UK into a simplistic left-right argument is about as wrong as it gets.

The truth is that the Gov of the day could not just merely have resurrected the rail industry anymore than they could the steel industry or the coal industry or any of the other industries they were forced to involve themselves with.

It's true they had an ideological interest in doing so too but everyone of those industries was bust or on the verge of collapse.

The central point in all of this is that 'UK plc' was bankrupt.

The truth is that we were utterly flat broke and there was no private sector alternative.
The only place money might be raised was by the central Gov
(but only after protracted grovelling to the Americans who, despite promising us substantial loans during WW2 ended up giving us loans far smaller than what we needed or asked for.)

I suggest you might like to read the story of how that nasty little episode in power-politics broke the health of and killed Maynard Keynes; US policy was absolutely to demote the UK from a leading world power to merely being an adjunct to the USA who would then be the leading world power.

I'd suggest this as an excellent place to start.The peace of illusions

Happily for those behind such grand geopolitical schemes it was very useful to lay all the blame on the postwar Labour Gov for promoting a (as they told it) 'disastrous socialist program'.
It is a myth that has sustained generations of torys and those favouring the right-wing perspective here.

As for your complaints about how things are today?
Too many of us want and drive cars.
That's it in a nutshell.

A small fortune in public money has been spent on the roads in the last 10 years, ditto the railways and air transport too for that matter.

But I'm all for integrated transport systems and agree we ought to be taking a leaf out of our European neighbour's books on that one.....

....except that isn't what you meant is it?

You're not in the least but interested in a Euro type solution cos the taxes to pay for it are anathema to you.

It seems to me that you prefer the delusion that we can be reasonably compared to Hong Kong or perhaps somewhere like Singapore.

....and btw despite varying degree of result the truth is that there are no places with a perfect solution to this one either.

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 02:39 PM

Originally posted by magicmushroom
Lets go back a while to the days of privately owned transport, a system that worked

Well my experience of public transport in the hands of a private company is that poor quality service and sudden drastic price rises. Though I'm not stating its the norm.

There used to be two separate bus companies where I live, a small local company and a national company, their prices were pretty much the same. However it all started with the take over of the local company by the national company effectively doing away with competition.

A short while passed after the take over with no real changes taking place then suddenly without warning, advertisement or announcement the prices jumped from £2.50 for a return ticket to between £4.30 and £5.00 depending on the bus stop you used. The excuse given was that the previous price was a 6 month special offer and the prices were being returned to normal, out roar correctly ensued as the lower price had been in effect for at least a couple of years and with their purchase of the other bus company people couldn't use a rival service.

It was later discovered however that the true reason for the price hike was that the council had been contacted and asked to provide subsidy to maintain prices otherwise there would be price rises for the buses run in their area. A couple of bordering councils gave in and provided subsidy but my council refused.

The situation has driven me to car share, so much for being greener.

Makes me wonder whether local transport would be better off run and owned by local councils, at least there would be some accountability then and the services could maybe even be run as not for profit.

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 05:51 PM
reply to post by magicmushroom

i hate our public transport
granted i have to use buses now to get from St albans to Hatfield everyday

Trains suck though
it costs less to get into london 11-12 for travel
but during peak its 22+

then to get back it costs around 12+ (thats if you stay in london and dont come back the same day)

Public Transport sucks

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by UK Wizard

Our rail system is now track national, but trains private so it does induce some competition. The problem is that train usage has gone up, but not train capacity 'coz that takes years, and we don't really have a reputation for our investment in transport, so we react after the event. Hence the train prices going up as a 'disincentive' to use rail to decrease overcrowding. Just not on a hot summers day and its ok.........

[edit on 3-12-2007 by redled]

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 06:58 AM
Bottom line is...

If the goverment want to price people out of cars onto public transport, they can't sustain high prices for public transport simultaneously. It's one or the other. To drastically raise the cost of driving whilst drastically raising (an already high) cost of public transport, they're offering no incentive one way or the other. I'd happily use trains and buses if it didn't cost even more than it costs to use my car.

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