A new commuting model?

Many companies are saying they are looking at more staff working some days at home and some in an office in the centre of a city. One of the issues that arises is how will people travel to and from the office, and what will that cost? Will the nationalised railways respond with attractive new tickets and offers which allows people flexible choices of when to travel, with a suitable discount for being regular users?

I started researching this article by going onto one of the big well known rail ticket sites. They ask the right questions there, and offer a cost comparison for people wanting to commute for fewer than 5 days a week. They of course can only compare costs against the background of the present ticketing offers. They show that the railway has not yet bothered to think through what a part week commuter might like.

The worked example I was offered showed this for the daily costs of travel:

3 day commuting Anytime day return £48.90

Weekly season £39.53

Annual season £33.83

Traditional 5 day commuting

Anytime Day return £48.90

Weekly season £23.70

Annual season £20.24

As these figures reveal, there is a substantial discount offered on high ticket prices for daily commuting 5 days a week. If someone now wants to commute three days a week they still have to buy the full 5 day a week season ticket, but get a much smaller effective discount on the daily fare. I guess these figures do not allow for holidays which means the actual daily cost on the season ticket is higher.

The railway needs to do better than this. People may now be flexible not only about which days they go into the office, but also which times. There may be a willingness by employers, particularly all the time social distancing applies, to allow or support staggered hours. The railway has always claimed commuter fares even on season tickets have to be so high because it is all peak travel. This imposes high peak costs on the railway which needs high capacity for just a few hours a day. This new pattern of reduced days and a wider range of times allows the railway to flatten the peak, which should lead to economies to pass on to users.

If the railway wants it business back it needs to do better by commuters. One of the main reasons people do not want to return to five days a week in the office is the high cost rail service which often let them down.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I am sorry Sir John, but rail companies are business not charities, so they have to look at their business model and charge accordingly. Just because someone wants to work so many days a week is of no concern to them. The rail companies are not going to save money running half empty trains. And the commuter and his employer are not going to pass on to the train companies their savings. There are benefits and there are costs to home working. And one of the costs should not, and cannot, be dodged.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      The fact of privatised rail travel means that the Government receives franchise payments.

      So who pays those?

      Well, the passenger yet again – how could it be anyone else?

      So it amounts to a Poll Tax, on getting to and from work.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        No, Martin, I disagree a Poll Tax is a tax on everyone irrespective of if they use the service or not. If the passengers are paying that is paying for a service they are receiving.

        Now if the taxpayer picks up the subsidy that is a Poll Tax.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        unless the uneconomic bid agreed means they pull out – then the Government got nothing!

      • Hope
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        JR, your blog is illogical. Your govt. has just announced no more than six indoors while up to yesterday Johnson trying to get kids back to school and people back to work! Are they all half wits?

        Could Johnson decide what he wants and stick to it for at least two days! To scare people witless to remain indoors or to go back to normality as he previously claimed. So many U turns in such a short period of time. Would it be better if he asked Sturgeon then made a policy announcement?

        Business is not going back to reopen in the city or elesewhere based on the indecisive, U turning, science fiction crap announced daily by your govt. No one knows where they stand. You cannot run a business, railway or whelk stall. Please encourage your govt. to get out it has proven to been utterly useless in every regard- economy, energy, car industry, Chinese virus, health, social care, immigration, Brexit, law and order, crime and punishment. Your blog serves as a daily reminder what your govt has failed in.

        No explanation from you why Villers wasted £40 million on railway franchise or flip flopped from private to nationalisation. Your govt policy, again, akin to Labours nationalisation!

      • dixie
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        It is not a poll tax, it is a consumer pays for what they use.

        Or are you claiming the cost of a loaf of bread is a poll tax?

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Then the raulways will reduce capacity accordingly and public subsidies will increase.
      HS2 will continue to be built as a Tory folly and fairground attraction.

      • Hope
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        HS2 could be replaced with about fifty other infrastructure projects including providing better railway connections to help commerce and transport across the country. Fake Tory Govt. Wedded to an EU project to connect all major cities across Europe. Presumably to spread illegal immigration easier and faster!

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Or for freight to travel throughout the UK to Ireland and back via rail.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Correct – this govt likes EU projects

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Railway business model: It depends on whether the business wants customers, or not!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Like all public sector industries customers are a drag. NHS in particular.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      But the railways are a quasi-monopoly. The choice is car commuting Reading to Haymarket or whatever. Which other business gets that opportunity without office of fair trading surveillance? The other choice is not to commute at all, which is precisely what people have taken the option of doing.

      So for keeping the railways going, the choice is imposing pricing and standards or allowing some fair competition, which goes full circle into nationalisation.

      I can’t see why railways need to be a private quasi monopoly in all circumstances eg commuting into London, when health, where competition is far easier to allow, is a state quasi monopoly.

      • Hope
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        SirJS, if Fake Tory govt touches it it turns to disaster.

        Have they not learned from NHSX app. £11.8 million wasted, read in Guido the man in charge is Osborne without any specific qualification to perform the role!

        £34 billion wasted on the NHS computer system that did not work, go on give them a Kim Jon Un clap and give them more money!

      • Mark B
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Railways were privately owned to begin with, with Nationalisan coming after the War. Nationalisation, although first thought to be a good idea, was prone to strike action and government / political interference. Re-privatisation, has broken the power of the unions and it would be foolhardy to go back.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Too late. It’s all Nationalised again now. Look forward to curled cheese/rubber sandwiches.

        • Ed M
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          ‘Railways were privately owned to begin with’

          – In a technical sense.

          Not an expert in this but i believe people in railways had a certain amount of political help to bypass the concerns of locals and how these railways could have adverse affects on the economy / well-being in general of others.

          Where as ‘pure business’ works independently of politics, entirely dependant on consumer demand.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Complexity and the high cost of ticket pricing is one of the reasons our family very rarely use the train for any social trips.
      To get the most cost effective ticket you have to book in advance, between set times, know where to split the ticket, how many times, and at what destinations.
      I thought the whole idea of train transport was originally designed ease of use, always available, for hop on and off as and when you liked, and use as needed.
      The trains run to a set timetable, passengers or not, thus most costs are fixed and known well in advance.
      I can understand a reduction for an annual season ticket of some kind, but not really anything else.
      The complexity of its pricing structure beggars belief.

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Just wait until a secondary market in part used period commuter tickets develop. The railways will rush to ensure that more flexible ticket options are available.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        And that is how it should be. The Market (seller and buyer) will decide. No need for government.

    • Ed M
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      ‘I am sorry Sir John, but rail companies are business not charities’

      – I think you’re being black and white about business.

      Some businesses are pure 100% business. For example, Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He 100% took the risk in his business. No one was forced to do anything regarding Amazon.

      But people had land taken away from them (sure, they got a price for it but they were still forced to sell) when railways were built. And for good reason. These railways weren’t just for profit but to help the country’s economy. Therefore railways aren’t 100% pure business although they are partly business as well.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I’m so depressed this morning. The Government seems determined to cripple the country with more lockdown measures. Why do so many MPs not seem to care. We can’t go on like this.

    Toby Young – Lockdownsceptics website: ” This is in response to the rise in cases in the community – 2,460 new cases on Tuesday – which, as I explained in the Telegraph on Monday, is an artefact of increased testing. In the past week alone there have been over 1.3m coronavirus tests, compared to just 95,188 in the first week of April.

    Of course if any of these people die of anything withing the next 28 days they will be counted as dying “with Covid” whatever the cause of death.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Indeed meanwhile deaths and hospital admission are almost insignificant in the scheme of things.

      • Hope
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        SP, you obviously did not read the Exemptions: PM, ministers traveling to second homes, MPs, advisors testing their eye sight, modeling experts having adulterous affairs, chief medical officers, BLM protesters or Extinction Rebellion.

        Particular clamp down on any peaceful protest to national house arrest measures, freedom, democracy or liberty. Anyone writing or saying otherwise is hate speech and will be prosecuted for a hate crime.

        • Mark B
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink


          Things are starting to change. When I am hearing Muzzles complaining about the latest measure calling them ridiculous, you know the end is not far off. The government and MP’s should acquaint themselves with the story of the little boy who cried wolf.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Yes it’s coming to an end. I refuse to wear a face mask. I stop at the shop door, explain I will not wear a mask and will not enter if they prefer. So far I have 100% invitations to enter and spend in the shop. The more people who see others without a mask the more who will stop play along with this charade.

    • Sharon
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink


      And what depresses me is that these ‘spikes’ may well be used to not repeal the Corona Virus Bill!

      It still seems that someone wants this virus to continue….

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Join the depression club!
      Toby Young is right.

    • Christine
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      It started out as protecting the NHS. Now it seems to have morphed into controlling the population. All the latest evidence shows that the number of people hospitalised and dying is very low. When people see all the protesters flouting the rules and getting away with it I doubt very much they will be stopping seeing their friends and family.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Those costs are interesting. But why shouldn’t they just try to get as much money as possible from all their passengers ? Many (the majority ?) of commuters, be they 5-day or 3-day, have no choice but to use the train so what point is there lowering prices for the 3-day ones ?

      • Adam
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Consumers need choice. Trains don’t have rivalry from direct alternatives to force them into competitiveness.

        Assess this:

        Two competitors with trains on the SAME lines could sort out their values. Each would attract passengers on merit, and face a fine for blocking the other.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        I think Sir John was begging them to reduce prices to encourage people back to work. There is no other rationale to help out a captive audience.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        They will lose the commuter altogether. That’s why.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Are there no restraining actions or ideas in the Conservative party membership or MPs to check the totalitarian impulsive madness of Boris and Hancock?
      The useless Theresa May was a harmless pussycat by comparison with the destructive idiocy of these two. Would Corbin have been any worse?

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        At least we would have seen Corbyn v Corbyn

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        A party of sheep – or fools – which is it?

      • Philip P
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        No, for one thing he would nationalised the railways – and now what do we have? See Sir John’s reply to Peter’s post following this one.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      A recent report in the news said a man due a cancer operation just as lockdown started and had it delayed has now been told it is inoperable ( I suppose a polite way of saying the inevitable ). This is effectively “Due to Covid”.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      This is about the destruction of capitalism, not fighting a disease. The Tories have jettisoned their 80 seat majority to suck up to BLM and XR.

      A real pandemic has towns sealed off with armed troops in hazmat suits.

      Everyone knows someone who’s died and cowers in fear and avoids homes with ‘X’ on the door. A plague pit in every town.

      Believe me, I’m known as a bit of a prepper but I’m not at all convinced that this needs my skills – the coming economic collapse will though !

      I am petrified of Hancock and Johnson’s faces. They are now a nightmare to behold.

  3. Peter
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    ‘What is meant by ‘the railway’?

    I don’t see the franchises introducing any radical fare reductions. They are mostly happy with the status quo with huge government subsidies just as important as any income derived from fares.

    Reply The railway is now effectively Nationalised

    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    We have more to worry about than the price of a weekly rail ticket for London commuters. Indeed, most of us don’t live in or near the cesspit that is now the capital of the UK

    Reply I suggest you use another website if you do not like my varied choice of topics. Why are you so dismissive of our capital city?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Mr. Redwood – I guess your experience of London is a train ride to Waterloo and a taxi to Parliament? With, perhaps, meetings and events held in the nice parts of London. I grew up in a suburb of West London. When I visit London these days, and I know it is not politically correct to mention this, I feel like a stranger in my home town. I also feel a bit frightened. On the odd occasion on a Sunday when, if staying with family near London, we drive up and park in Hyde Park and have a wander around – it feels okay. Move out of the moneyed bubble and it is a horrible place. If I took you out for a beer on a Friday night in the part of London where I grew up, you’d think ‘cess pit’ was a fair description.

      Reply No I do not get a train and taxi to Parliament.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink


        I was raised in Mitcham, South London.

        I don’t recall it looking like a shanty town – though my childhood home (now a ramshackle hovel) is worth £500k apparently.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Mike – you spell out what hundreds of thousands feel about what was English (British?) London.

        reply to reply – – -very wise Sir John. Commuter trains to London – ugh! Taxis – health risk?

      • Hope
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Reply to JR reply: you might not like Dominic’s view but that is tough luck. Your second question/sentence shows he was on topic. Presumably you blog to encode a spectrum of opinions, would you prefer everyone just agrees and shout how wonderful your fake Tory Govt. is? Why not order everyone to clap and cheer like Hancock and give a stern warning this is not advice. Gamecock should have been sacked months ago before he deflected blame by announcing all the team leads, czars or task forces. Clue: these appointments mean he failed to do his job properly and should have resigned!

      • Peter
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        There is great churn in London. So neighbourhoods change rapidly in a short space of time, particularly North of the river.

        I remember old areas with nostalgia. Middlesex in the postal address was still important. Inner and outer London. Inside the North Circular was seen as a place to escape. The suburbs – Metroland – offered more greenery.

        Now the places that people left are being gentrified. Kensal Rise never used to be desirable/upmarket – still less Hackney. West London now really stretches as far as Watford and beyond though.

        I am still glad that I am London rather than just down the road in Surrey. The transport is better all night buses and free transport into town where there is more going on and even out as far as Reading now.

      • agricola
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Moderation being used yet again to supress opinion.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Excellent answer. All we get from this correspondent is a pile of daily ordure from I guess someone with a very big chip on their shoulder.

      Time frankly to move on.

      • Peter
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Dominic is this site’s version of Sir Herbert Gussett.

        I could just imagine John Session doing the voice. The YouTube version on the Olympic letters to the Editor being a great example.

        I can agree with him on some things, but the tone always suggests he is about to burst a blood vessel. Always entertaining though.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          It only seems to happen once a day so I think he’s at low risk of a blown Gusset gasket.

          Bang on target every time, in my view.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      London is a great place to live and work I lived there for some 25 years. It could be better if we had police who actually tried to tackled real crimes and a less appalling Mayor. A shame the Tory Candidate (though perfectly pleasant) is almost totally invisible and has even less charisma than Theresa May. I listened to him on Choppers Politics Podcast last week.

      Would also be nice if the tax system was not so anti-London. With high stamp duty and income tax rates that take no account of the large costs of living in London. Rather poor schools rather an issue too in many areas. Plus the idiots keep blocking the roads and causing congestion.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Plenty of London evacuees are dismissive of our capital city.

      Some call it Escape to the Country, others might call it flight.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Live in London and call it ‘flight or fight’.

      • agricola
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        They liked where they grew up. They now find it alien and opt to leave. The 17.4 million who opted to leave the EU were saying the same, we don’t like it we are leaving. It is called free choice in a democratic society.

    • BOF
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Sir John, I have to go occasionally to see a specialist dentist. My wife refuses to go to London at all and I get in and out asap. In between dodging aggressive (and sometimes abusive cyclists) I feel as if I have arrived in a foreign country.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      I am not certain why JR publishes what he finds enraging.
      Plenty of comments are deleted.
      Is it a case of “click bait”or a sort of pour encourager les autres ( to be good!)?
      Dominic’s comments are great!

      Two roads where I lived in London were scenes of a brutal murder.
      Not exactly endearing!

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        One murder in two roads ?

        That sounds gruesome.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          Two roads. Two bodies.
          Not funny.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      you miss the reason why people come here Polly.

      It’s not to talk to each other it is to have direct contact and communication with an MP who we hope shares similar hope for the country to ourselves.

      If I want a generic blog for “What most people think” there are plenty out there.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I don’t like Disqus, I stopped blogging on ConHome and don’t blog on guido because of Disqus I prefer the way John runs his blog.

      • Peter
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        ConservativeHome is not particularly conservative.

        David Gauke has regular articles despite being expelled from the Conservative party. Though he now has an almost shaven head that does not mean he is a reformed man or a penitent in anyway – far from it.

  5. agricola
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    In fairness to the railways, they might be waiting to see what the future pattern of work/commuting is. However nothing is stopping them doing the exercise to cover reduced days per week , or staggered hours working. Having the figures would help both employer and employee arrive at an agreement on future work patterns.

    The gains from more working from home are considerable, so if it suits a business or civil service/government lets get on with it, but by mutual consent not compulsion.

    • 37/6
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      The railways are going to have difficulty coping with unpredictable peaks. If things carry on as they are there will have to be deep cuts to services. Unless there is a system to inform workers which of the days are busy there will be chronic overcrowding.

      For the past decade at least, huge investments have been made in infrastructure and rolling stock and these decisions were made on a prediction of never ending passenger growth – this has been thrown completely into reverse and capital costs cannot be avoided no matter what cuts are made; they will remain a burden on the taxpayer, even those pleased to work from home.

      Cancel HS2 and dispurse the money to other parts of the network – otherwise we are likely to have the ridiculous situation where passengers have little rail service today on the promise of a spanking new train set serving one under-used route in maybe 20 years time.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        I wonder why they don’t have a railway carriage or two with airplane type seats (use the same air filter system that airplanes use that were considered safe for passengers all summer long and that regularly come in from long haul routes). Make it that you can prebook your seat, instead of expecting people to stand up near the toilet, left it too late to book a seat, then you have to take the earlier train or later train.

        I watched a design program once where people designed a lighter weight comfy seat, perhaps its time to look to change things.

        • 37/6
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          That would require retro-fitting across the national fleet @ billions. Social distancing in carriages is supposed to sort this out in the emergency.

          Once the disease has abated or a vaccine is found there is no point in the airline seats.

          Frankly I don’t think the railways nor many other sectors will ever recover.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed but the train companies have a virtual monopoly so they will almost certainly be very slow and inefficient to respond – if they ever do. Train fare complexity almost rivals the tax system for idiotic complexity).

    It is even worse with “free” at the point of use monopolies like the NHS. I see that the weekly excess deaths reported yesterday are 791 higher (9.6%) than the 5 year average. Is the lack of normal NHS treatments for the past six months now killing far more than the circa 70 per week now dying of Covid perhaps? Not easily to say as yet but quite likely. After the 70,000 covid excess death bulge (effectively brought forwards deaths) earlier in the year one might reasonably expect them now to be below average. But for this large NHS shutdown.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink


    • 37/6
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink


      However, mobile phone technology has mitigated much of this problem. A savvy smartphone user can avoid heavy ticket costs quite easily – I agree that it oughtn’t be this way.

  7. Freeborn John
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The irrational British Rail era ticket pricing model never seems to change. One-way fares that are almost as expensive as returns, no weekend tickets that let you go into London on Saturday and come back Sunday etc.

    • beresford
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      My memory of British Rail is that you could just turn up at a station and get a sensible walk-on fare without having to use ticket-splitting or this stuff of being priced off of certain trains that you need to use.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      buy ‘open return’.

  8. Nigl
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    You haven’t offset against a London allowance albeit I agree about the cost.in any event cold rational comparisons do not take into account the human factors. WFH loses the learning from the interaction with colleagues, maybe more experienced or different skills. The 8 – 9 ‘gossip’ was invaluable.

    I loved working in London. Post work social life was unique, excellent and I miss it greatly.

    I see the government is punishing us all again in response to actions of the few. Why don’t you bl****y well get the police to enforce the rules aggressively. As my sport emerges from hibernation I was with another group yesterday that I hadn’t seen for months. Collectively they thought most of ‘your’ actions were a shambles, over reactive timid, unnecessary. I agree.

    • agricola
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      I agree, but WFH avoids the 20% loss of productivity down to gossip and office politics. I enjoyed 30 years plus of WFH and enjoyed a great life because of it.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        But it does absorb the 30% loss of productivity from seeing what’s on the telly, in the fridge, doing the washing, your manager’s extra time, keeping in touch etc etc.

        Both office and home offer environments for certain types of work and a blend of both is the way forward for productive workers who have a suitable space to work at home.

        It is noticeable that our sickness absence is markedly reduced with people not having to get out of bed to go to work.

    • Andy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Did you really love London? You always seem to despise everything London is and everything it stands for.

  9. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Yes the Railways had better find a way to ‘make themselves useful’ before an entirely new and unexpected alternative is discovered by the ‘intermittent commuter’. Commuters remain their bread and butter. Recent events should cause them to acknowledge how quickly change can become entrenched, and be fearful.
    I am very concerned about the new ‘restrictions’ on ‘social gatherings’ but not any other sort of gathering apparently. We must still attend work, school, get on trains and planes, go to weddings, funerals etc. where the virus has no authority to infect I assume. I’m shocked at a Government Minister suggesting that ‘Christmas is at risk’. Even more quickly than obtaining a better management for the Railways the Government needs to obtain better advisors for the Wahun flu debacle.

  10. SM
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I do wonder why the response to so many of life’s issues today is ‘let’s make it all more complicated’?

    I’m sure someone/everyone will tell me it’s a terrible idea, but since the railways are now effectively nationalised, I wonder what would happen if for one trial year, ALL train fares were simply based on a flat fee per mile? The only advantage of a season ticket would be not having to queue at a till or machine to collect your proof of payment, you could travel at any time on any day and easily calculate how much it would cost you – and if the system worked, the Chancellor of the Exchequer could consider applying the same principle to taxation!

  11. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Why anyone is prepared to travel on trains into London baffles me. Last time I went from Wokingham to Waterloo the train was so full by Clapham that first class was invaded and it was like being on the tube. I almost had a panic attack. Never again. Why London doesn’t have park and ride baffles me.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      My version of “Park & Ride” to London is drive to Ealing Springbridge Road Car-park (£1 an hour) and then take the District Line to Central London 🙁

    • SM
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      There is a partial London Park&Ride…it’s called the M25.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      its been like that for 50 years!

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Commuting costs should clearly be tax deductibe as they are surely wholly, exclusively and necessary expenses to do the job. (MPs needless to say get theirs as tax free expenses on top of their salary I understand and Lords get paid their £305 tax free bung.) But not the workers who fund all this through their taxes. Still we are all in it together as they like to say.

    If you take a minimum wage job remote from your home then, after commutiing costs, you are often getting much less than the minimum wage and being taxed on the commuting and lunch costs too and then not paid for the commuting time.

    Yet you are prohibited by law from taking a job next door for 1p less than the minimum wage – total insanity – like so much of UK tax and employment laws.

    Reply I pay my own travel costs

    • agricola
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      You may well pay your own travel commuting costs, but if you are outside what is deemed the London area you could claim them plus travel costs when on constituency business. All credit to you if you pay your own. Other expenses that MPs can claim are myriad, look them up if you are interested.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    the full price season ticket does allow you to travel 7 days a week not just 5, dont forget those parts of the workforce who do this! indeed on some train companies they let you travel 1st class at the weekend if you have a standard class season ticket, which is a perk worth having.

    but yea probably a super carnet ticket (a book of tickets for say 10 or 20 journeys) with a significant discount would probably make sense, so no pressure of when you need to use them. complicated by some train companies refusing to let anyone travel if you dont have a reservation at the moment, so super simple ways of getting a reservation if you already have a ticket are needed.


  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Train companies have always made their profits from overpriced business travel while covering their day to day costs from the commuter.

    This relies on a matrix volume and price. New movement patterns are not going to match the volume previously so if anything the three day commuter will need to be fleeced more in order to make the numbers add up.

    I suspect that the Train Operating Companies will sit on their hands waiting for increased subsidies which is more likely to turn a profit than asking fewer commuters and other travellers for less money.

    As an aside, the daily commute is so much more pleasant with fewer people on it.

  15. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    There was a House of Commons briefing paper which included discussion of this topic in April 2019. One of the challenges is that certain things are written into the terms of the franchises, so require government approval and agreement to be changed (unless, I suppose, the rail companies choose to change them in a “very specific and limited way”).

    What has your government done to make this possible?

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Below to Caterpillar at 0712, John replied that: ‘the franchises are suspended’

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Suspended, not cancelled. It is government who deals with regulated fares and writes such things into contracts. The suspension of franchises does not prevent government working on how to change those elements in any way.

  16. Simeon
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I think it is the insistence that you are honest that grates. To write a book entitled ‘We don’t believe you’ indicates that you demand the truth from your adversaries. Yet you fail to reach the standard you demand of others. This is dangerously close to hypocrisy.

    As I have suggested, this may be a function of delusion rather than dishonesty. The former is preferrable, though it is difficult to justify allowing you the benefit of the doubt. But all is not lost, because you could still plead ignorance. After all, your self-styled strongest suit is your economic analysis, and indeed your credibility is largely dependent on this. Alas, you are evidently economically illiterate, failing to grasp that the ‘health’ of the global economy is utterly dependant on a confidence trick that you are clearly keen to keep up.

    Politicians of all stripes, yourself included, backed by big business and the wider establishment, have sought to keep the whole corrupt show on the road, ostensibly to protect the little people, but in truth to preserve the status quo. Perhaps they have been more successful than they intended, and have inadvertently widened the gap between the haves and the have nots, such that it is now a yawning chasm. Or perhaps they understood this would be a fringe benefit from the off. Either way, the effects are observable, and they are utterly immoral, and politically unsustainable, short of the military being enlisted to maintain order.

    Brexit is a sideshow now, if it wasn’t all along. The looming economic correction/catastrophe is the main event. I don’t know for how much longer political forces can delay axiomatic economic truths from exerting their terrible power, but for as long as they do, the short-term blight of a zombie economy is damaging enough, and the day of reckoning delayed will only increase the misery in the end.

    It is your failure to understand and/or engage with this that makes you irrelevant, even as you strive for significance. And it is the striving that is so unbecoming.

    • Cliff. Wokingham
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      So should I not bother to risk buying a day return then?

    • Simeon
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      There was really no need to publish this particular post, but of course publishing is your prerogative. My assumption was that this post would be unpublished, as my last few have been. These posts have been for your consumption – though of course I have no issues with them receiving a wider audience.

      My words and tone are harsh. I stand by them. Some may well take exception on your behalf. Very well. I do not expect a reply directly from you. I’m not sure what you could say. Silence might best serve you.


      Reply As the site makes clear any submitted comment is for possible publication .

    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      A lot of words saying nothing

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Well I have to laugh! JR ‘economically illiterate’! You must be joking? Brexit a ‘sideshow’ – hell where have you been? You think Government by Consent is an optional extra?
      There will not be a economic collapse. There might be quite a bit of economic activity unforseen by the Government, SMEs in the North are thriving! I have 3 good potential tenants for each of my empty shops in the market towns.
      The housing market has been unlocked for the first time since 2007! There is much liquidity in the system, so long as it is not all taxed away, we – the people – have investment capital for the first time in ages.
      We need the end of ‘social distancing’.
      We need acknowledgement that The Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty, and the WA approved under constraints clearly stated, contradicts that first International Treaty and must therefore be amended to protect the reputation of the U.K.
      Let’s put these fascist years (Dictatorship and Corporatism; arbitrary application of the law etc etc) behind us and get back to the English System as Hitler called it, Democracy (you can sack your law-makers) and Capitalism (most people own capital which they can invest or back themselves with in business).
      Nobody is more eloquent than JR in advancing these precious principles upon which Britain was built, and which has delivered plenty, safety and happiness to the British people.

      • Simeon
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Sovereign debt, asset bubbles, gross debasement of currencies, an economic shut-down and massive state interference. What does your choice for this nation’s next leader have to say about this?

        Corporatism and arbitrary application of the law are hallmarks of your champion’s party. Democracy and Capitalism in their modern iterations are incompatible with liberty and free markets. What form of democracy and capitalism are you proposing?

        What does ‘eloquent in advancing these precious principles’ mean? What has this achieved? Because this country is very firmly in the toilet, and there is absolutely no indication that the people have the means or desire to attempt an escape.

        You like what JR says, but what does his party do? But if you believe ‘the end of social distancing’ is in sight, and that the economic outlook is rosy, and that the EU deceived Blowers, who must now rescue Northern Ireland from impending doom, then it sounds like you’re in broad support of the government. Your prolific outrage at government policy, in that context, is… odd.

        There are people out there who understand and explain these things better than I can. They are not so hard to find. You just have to look.

  17. Nigel
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Less peak time capacity needed, yet we still plough on with HS2 now supposedly justified by a need for more capacity.

  18. George Brooks.
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    There is a good chance that we may lose the AM and PM peaks from pre CV19. If so, this could save the train companies quite a lot. From 6 to 9am and 4 to 7pm they have to run maximum length trains but for the rest of the day they are much shorter and lightly used.

    Many buildings do not not have the lift capacity to get staff in and out at the beginning and end of the day and keep to the rules on social distancing. Businesses will have to plan round this and the rail companies should start by suggesting fares that are attractive for part time commuting during a much wider time band per day.

    The technology exists to control varied travel times/days so we just need a rail company to start being creative and get the businesses in its area to respond. Don’t just leave it to the government which has enough on its plate at present

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Yes – it is time the railways gave value for money.

    For too many decades commuters have been at the mercy of poor performing over-priced railways, and insulted annually with huge increases for no added value. This is one reason we are called “Rip-off Britain”

    Now perhaps the railway companies can make their services a tad more attractive…. or will they degenerate and demand taxpayers money to keep them afloat?

  20. Christine
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    You have to ask the question why has HS2 not been cancelled if rail usage is forecast to reduce? There must be another motive for continuing to build this white elephant that nobody seems to want.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Too true…

      It pains me to say this, but… Maybe Corbyn & McDonnell were right with their free broadband for everyone.

      Certainly it would be better to invest in true nationwide high speed broadband and get us to the same level as South Korea for example…

    • agricola
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      It has gained its own momentum and nobody in government is prepared to stand up and confirm that the king is naked.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Well..bizarrely, unbelievably this seems to be what they are putting their faith in.
      Reading all that I still think that the EU must be lurking somewhere in the pig headed way govt. is going ahead with ploughing up the countryside.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Anyway..don’t we all know that high speed, long distance travel spreads a virus very quickly?
        How do they know that travel will ever become “a thing” again?
        They must be pretty confident??
        I mean what if they spend all that time and money and then decide to imprison the travelling public again because of several million more deadly viruses??
        Trains = vectors of infection…like tennis and cricket balls…remember?
        LIFE is a pretty good vector too!

    • BOF
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      It is now just a job creation scheme. A bit like digging ditches during the great depression of last century.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Absolutely agree.
        Hoover Dam.
        What shall we call HS2?
        The Boris Line?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Damn HS2?

        • Fred H
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          White Elephant was always popular.

          Mole with 9 lives?

  21. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    If we’re really worried about transmission of the Covid-19 virus, then public transport needs to be avoided altogether. A succession of people going into and out of carriages, leaving their contamination on surfaces, and then large numbers swilling around in stations must carry high risk. The PM is introducing a maximum of 6 rule. Will this apply to tube train carriages?

    • Ginty
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Swedish deaths hit 573 per million citizens compared with 626 per million in Britain. At least half of Sweden’s casualties were aged 80 to 90. But whereas the Swedish economy contracted by 8.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the UK crashed by 20.4 per cent.

      So Sweden has fewer deaths and less economic damage despite there being no lockdown. I know there are adjustments to be made in the comparisons but it’s not looking good for the UK lockdown.

      5 people die per day in car crashes but you would be called chronically anxious if you refused to go by car because of this. CV 19 deaths are now lower than car crashes.

      If you put people on roads instead of trains (only second to aeroplanes in terms of safety) then don’t forget to offset the rise in deaths because of car crashes.

      The UK government has messed up badly. And it appears they are about to mess up again.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        from Google: –
        The economy of Sweden is a developed export-oriented economy aided by timber, hydropower, and iron ore.
        Why would it crash like ours?

        • Ginty
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:55 am | Permalink

          If anything (our service sector people able to work at home even when shielding) our economy ought to have crashed less.

          Bars and salons remain equal in both countries.

      • Mark B
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Sorry but you are comparing apples with oranges.

        The population size of Sweden is just over 10 million whereas, the population size of just London is 8 million with a much higher population density. It is the latter that is a main driver in the spread of any disease, so spread and morality rates are likely to be higher.

        • Ginty
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:57 am | Permalink

          Stockholm is a dense city and the death rate is reported ‘per million’.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        You make some good points but it’s tempting to think about the death-toll while ignoring the far greater number who will be suffering long-term consequences from their infections.

        • Ginty
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:02 am | Permalink


          And I’m considering the numbers to be killed and injured in car crashes because rail and air are no longer being used.

          Not to mention suicides nor deaths and long term illnesses by missed treatments in the NHS.

          With respect, I think you have lost all perspective.

          And here we’re not even mentioning the total destruction of the society we love and the activities which made it wonderful to live in.

          Other generations would have considered that worth risking life and health to defend. From your blog name I’m sure you’re aware.

    • Hank Rearden
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      That would be inconvenient so the “science” will probably say it’s not necessary

  22. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    If workers and employers want flexibility and the rail companies want more passengers, and not just commuters, should we be talking first about making it easy to just turn up and go without being penalised in the pocket. The idea that a turn up and go fare must be high and everything else a discount on that seems wrong but thinking still seems tied to it.

    With everything in a state of flux there must be reluctance to be tied into any systems. It doesn’t appear that we will return to mass movements of people as before.

  23. Caterpillar
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    If the franchises are running as businesses then it is up to them to decide pricing model. (Govt may of course decide specific subsidies due to spillover benefits to the wider economy).

    If the railways are nationalised/operator of last resort then the pricing model should be considered by Govt in terms of the spillover benefits to the rest of the economy.

    In terms of the wider argument of people not wanting to pay after growing accustomed to increased expendable income, then (i) employers should renegotiate salaries downwards to keep/replace staff (this should be a more competitive market as remote roles can be filled from a larger, even global, talent pool) and (ii) Govt can decide whether to nationalise rail and ticket at a marginal cost (or free) rather than average cost basis – travel being paid for by general taxation as a spillover benefit is seen for the wider society / the economy.

    Reply The franchises are suspended

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Reply The franchises are suspended

      What does that mean John, the taxpayers has just taken over all the losses from the Franchise companies, what and you’ll hand it all back after those of us that don’t use the train pay the bills?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply –

      So who has pricing responsibility and with what objective?

  24. Nigl
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Your killing the pubs, restaurants, sports clubs etc for pathetic reasons. If Guy Fawkes sought crowd funding today I would give it serious consideration.

  25. Tabulazero
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    No mention of the Pound tanking yesterday or the civil service’s top lawyer resigning because he cannot acquiesce to the UK breaking the law ?


    Different priorities, I guess.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Where in his resignation letter did he say he was leaving because he couldn’t acquiesce with the UK breaking the law ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      The media wasn’t big on the 223 illegal immigrants yesterday

      Its a daily event so not news

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      You appear to be receiving the messages from ‘Project Fear’ and not the horses mouth

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero – “France and the UK have signed a treaty to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais…both leaders remained committed to the “Le Touquet” border agreement in Calais – the UK has announced an extra £44.5m to be spent on beefing up Channel border security… Mr Macron said the Sandhurst Treaty signed on Thursday – the first joint treaty on the Calais border in 15 years – would “enable us to improve the relationship and the management of the joint border” and reduce the time taken to process migrants.” BBC

      If this has been breached repeatedly all summer long with boats allowed to launch off from France does this mean France has been breaking treaty law?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Actually, it is rather the UK who had promised to process the asylum applications of underage migrants on humanitarian grounds and ended up doing nothing for fear of antagonaising the tabloid press.

        The French taxpayer is however glad to have received £60m from her majesty’s treasury which apparently was all that was needed according to Priti Patel to solve the migrant crisis.

        Who would have guessed that it would take so little money to solve a problem rather than put an end to this giant sucking sound that stands for the British immigration policy ?


  26. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Are MPs going to roll over and allow social gatherings of more than 6 people to be made illegal? How many more of our liberties are we to have removed? How does it make sense that people can meet up at work or school – quite rightly – but can’t meet their own families if that becomes a gathering of more than 6? Where I live, I was able to have – quite rightly – an electrician in my home for repairs and yet cannot allow my own family and friends to do the same thing. We are living under a form of dictatorship which infringes our freedom and liberty and threatens the future of democracy. Do MPS care? It doesn’t seem so.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Poor thinking
      Poor communication
      Benefits to Europe’s summer tourism re-opening too early when the virus arrived here from the half-term winter holidays, and now we ALL have to be punished. NO!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      All the Tory party cares about is POWER.
      At the mo..I imagine there has not been enough of a backlash and they do have 4 more years ( God help us all!).
      But if les moutons ever actually wake up …like when they realise there are NO JOBS and that you can’t keep a small business going whilst “ social distancing”..then we may see U turns akimbo.
      Unless of course this power grab is all about no more elections.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      You can still go to work (including the HoCs), school, travel on a Aeroplane etc but you can’t meet more than 6 friends in the open – thats just crazy

      We are averaging less than 5 deaths per day

      • cornishstu
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        The science is not being followed and is becoming more obvious as we have ever more contradictory rules imposed upon us. The question has to be to what end.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        glen, aren’t you concerned that just as the virus arrived here from Italy, France and other winter holiday destinations following the peak February half term period, that a repeat of that is going on now which suggests Europe was undercounting cases to get their tourism season open and now we could be spiking up again as holidaymakers mix with their elderly relatives?
        Why can’t the government just tell us who is spreading the virus in say Bolton? Is it worker to worker, people returning from holiday, people from abroad visiting family in the UK over summer? Track and Trace is surely telling us where the outbreaks are, which establishments are acting as super spreaders, if not what the heck are we paying millions out for?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Less than 400 British people who have died OF CV19 ONS. What’s the problem?

          • a-tracy
            Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            Lynn, millions of people got locked inside their homes for nearly 16 weeks they say so this didn’t transmit as far as it could have, however, details from Sweden disprove the necessity for that total wipe out we had.

            Now effectively Boris has shut everyone down without a furlough from October, this is going to get very heated soon. At the moment people are still getting money stuffed in their mouths to keep them quiet and there are a lot that don’t want to return to work, they’ve got comfortable on full salaries at home doing nothing – “thank you very much”.

        • glen cullen
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          The whole point of the lockdown was to save lives and save the NHS

          The NHS has been saved and death rate for the last two months (on average) in single figures

          So I am not concerned…the rest is hype

    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Agree totally, no evidence of any virus let alone spike in my area and more importantly the pubs and restos I have used.

      Yet again testing and trace, that should give both a way out and data is failing and only the totally in denial everyone else’s fault Hancock can’t see it.

      He had my benefit of the doubt up to know but now I think he is incompetent. Equally a Minister in charge of aviation, no qualifications/experience whatsoever apart from backside licking junior jobs, finally got rid of having, total failed to help the industry she was responsible costing them billions. I see she has been given another ministerial job presumably to fail ,there as well.

      How do these people get jobs? I suppose no fault of the government yet again.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        They can only choose from ‘the cattle on the premises’. We need to upgrade the cattle.

    • BOF
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Spot on BT, MP’s have become pointless, most never even go to Parliament which has become pointless. Government is by ministerial dictat. Lenin and Stalin would be proud.

      So when will MP’s of all shades demand the repeal of the Corona Act? I will not be holding my breath. They seem to be happy to collect their wages and rubber stamp those dictats when ordered.

      2020, the year democracy was finally killed off.

  27. a-tracy
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    This whole kit and caboodle is about to fall over and the requests to the government for more money to ensure such and such (railways in this case) can operate will reach a cacophony of deafening cries.

    This latest idea to ban gatherings of more than six, really, that is your governments answer to allowing thousands to go back into Europe for holiday and the rest of us that didn’t because we have responsibilities back in the UK to others now get punished.

    The arts are just getting back to physical distanced performances your government have effectively announced they’re closing them all down again oh and you’re removing their furlough, no railway worker type bailout for them thrown on the scrap heap.

    People can fly (on a plane with a hundred people), go to a foreign Country that has obviously been understating infection figures in order to re-open their tourist season but now they’ve taken our stupids cash we have to be closed down again.

    I’m fuming this morning reading the new laws, fuming.

    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      They don’t care because they know they can get away with it. If only we could rustle up some French farmers to set up a few roadblocks etc

  28. J Mitchell
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Carnet: Buy a book of tickets valid for, say, 6 months. You can travel when you like using one of your book of tickets each time. The rail company has the money up front. Win all round.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    But for wearing a mask, rail travel is now as I experienced it on the Continent and as it was meant to be. Very pleasant indeed.

  30. Walt
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t like the high prices of some rail journeys, but let’s try looking at this from the train companies’ perspective. If I want to commute to the City three days a week instead of five, how do the train companies know which days I will choose to travel, unless I have tickets bought in advance and valid for specific days only? And suppose my neighbour decides to commute on the same days as me, or on different days. And similarly for other people. How do the train companies know on which days they must run more commuter trains and on which fewer? Either they must run a ‘country bus’ model (e.g. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only, 8am out and 6pm back) or they must run a daily service and accept that some days and services will be under-used, but they don’t know which in advance. The ticket pricing must be determined accordingly.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Phew – just lie running a restaurant for instance. You buy in the ingredients and have no idea how many will turn up for lunch, but you know how to stay solvent and attract customers. Those last two are the lessons the Railway needs to learn.

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Nothing leading to this rejigging of rail fares etc.ever needed to have been done.
    The more testing that is carried out the more people they will find carrying a corona virus.
    So WHY?
    Is the govt. forcing a Second Wave ( as we all knew they would) in order to prove themselves right?
    All very sinister.

    • Sharon
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


      There is a line of thinking that March was the second wave!

      Many people have been comparing notes as to the many people who had unexplained illnesses ( resembling Covid) in October and November and over the Christmas/new year period.

      That would coincide with October half term, Christmas and Feb half term!

      It sometimes (well,often) feels that someone wants the ‘pandemic ‘ to continue when I’d say, it’s fading away.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes..I have heard that too.
        And I agree with all you say.
        We had a nasty flu in Nov 2018 …the strangest part of it was total loss of taste and smell!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Yes my neighbour was sick Oct 2018, same -loss of smell and taste, felt rubbish, continued going to work. Recovered. Bet she would test positive. I think I had it too, felt pretty rotten for a few days, caught the cold from her…

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink


        Agreed, my Wife and myself had completely uncontrollable dry coughs, a bit of a temperature, whole body ached, and absolutely no energy at all at the end of November 2019.

        Thought it was possibly flue at the time, but none of the usual blowing down and coughing up, completely dry.

        We both had the flue injection many weeks prior to the above.

  32. Know-Dice
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Sorry Sir JR, off topic again from me….

    I hear Matt Hancock saying that [if I heard him right] 25% of those coming forwards for Covid testing don’t have symptoms. But, he didn’t say how many of those then actually tested positive.

    I will suggest that testing those without symptoms is just as valuable in the big picture as testing those with symptoms. That should give a good and full overview as to where the next Covid “hot spot” is likely to occur.

  33. Bob Dixon
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    So at Prime Minister’s question time we can expect no more than 6 in the House.

  34. glen cullen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The biggest con is the cheaper pre-book rail ticket price

    The cost of a seat on a train per journey should be the same whether I buy it today or a month in advance – the seat, the journey and the service doesn’t change

    The modelling is and pricing is to the detriment of the commuter and occasional traveller – we need a simple model eg £1 per mile

    This government sets the conditions of the rail franchise, its funding and costings

  35. Hank Rearden
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    You are entirely correct but I do wonder if the Railway companies will respond adequately? I’m inclined to think they will try to protect their revenue model

  36. ChrisS
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I have had two periods of long-distance commuting to Holborn Bars during my career but fortunately, in both periods I was only in the office for three days and working from home the rest of the week. At other times, I have permanently worked from home while both employed and for the last 22 years, when I have been self-employed.

    I therefore have huge sympathy for anyone wishing to continue working from home for at least part of the week after lockdown. The surprise has been that it has taken so long for employers and employees to come to appreciate the huge advantages to both of home working, especially now that technology makes your location largely irrelevant.

    When commuting, the cost was met by my employer so was of no concern, but the quickest way of getting from Ferndown in Dorset to Waterloo was to drive 25 miles to Southampton Parkway Station ! This saved more than half an hour each way but the cost of parking, however, was and remains high, as it is at any Network Railway Station.

    The railways should be charging commuters the full cost of providing the services people use. It seems that commuters have been subsidised by other travellers and the government for far too long. It is likely that if commuter fares were to be charged at the full economic cost, more people would want to work from home at least for part of the week.

    Far from discouraging this, the Government should be promoting it because it is so much more efficient and carbon-neutral than commuting. The short term loss of low-grade jobs in coffee shops is a price well worth paying.

  37. Andy
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I heard an interview with someone from the railways the other day and he was saying that it was government rules which prevented them from offering 3 day ‘season tickets’. I don’t know whether it is true or not but it certainly sounds likely. I think it is fair to say that railway privatisation has failed. It is 2020 and there has been no significant improvement in our railways since they were flogged off.

    One example. I vividly remember standing in a massive queue at Highgate tube station on the first working day of 2000 waiting to buy a monthly tube ticket and thinking what a massive waste of time it was for us all. Hundreds of commuters being forced to wait hours to buy a ticket. A few years later TFL introduced Oyster cards and the queue vanished. There are no ticket office queues on the Underground anymore because there are no tickets. Just a card I tap. I can even tap my phone or a smart watch or just a bank card. And it works on buses too. Brilliant. TFL is probably the world leader in smart ticketing.

    And what have UK national rail companies learnt from TFL about ticketing? Diddly squat. I still have to buy paper tickets at my now local station. I think there is some sort of online offering but I have to have the operators app. I can’t just tap my bank card or phone on a reader. Why not? TFL has successfully been using this technology in this country for nearly two decades and I still need to buy paper tickets for Tory privatised trains.

    Smart tickets are the way forward. They would automatically adjust how much a customer pays depending on how many days they travel. One day might cost £10. But the computer then knows you made the journey yesterday and it charges you a little less on day 2. Less still on day 3. And by day 5 perhaps that day is free. This technology exists – why do we not have it? And why do shareholders in train companies have mansions with swimming pools, tennis courts and expensive cars?

  38. MG
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Are you able to give yours views on this question or will you face consequences if you give an honest answer?

    Which is correct?

    A)the Government policy is to eradicate the virus completely

    B)the Government policy is to live with the virus and continue relatively normal life in the UK as we have historically done with other nasty viruses

    The former might be a noble aspiration but comes with massive expense in terms of excessive lost lives and untold economic damage. It also establishes an elite bureaucracy with shockingly draconian powers over personal choice and freedoms.

    All the evidence from the last 6 months suggests the former, surely the population deserves to be fully informed of the true effects of both options and be allowed to make a choice at the ballot box.

    At the end of the day I believe most of the population does not wish to be treated as cattle in the fields to be farmed by the Government with very little choice on how to live their lives. We do not wish to feel as if we are owned by the state. The correct relationship in a proper democracy is the inverse of this.

    Reply The government both wishes to stop the virus and have an economic recovery. Balancing these aims is proving difficult.

    • BOF
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      To achieve the latter, the former must be abandoned. It is in any event unachievable and proving to be the most harmful policy any government could possibly inflict on the people, but on they go.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      I guess there could be two approaches to achieving the balance:-

      (i) By Govt command which is informed by some measure of the balance (e.g. QALYs, personal well-being etc) and how policy effects them, or

      (ii) Allow people’s free behaviour to determine the balance (which would include informing the people e.g. latest estimates on implied infection fatality rates as function of age and condition, individual approaches to risk reduction, hospitality outlets being able to optionally follow safer practices to differentiate themselves in the market from those that don’t etc.)

      The Govt appears to be following the command approach of (i) but without any evidence whatsoever of balancing the impact on any reasonable objective.

      The Govt is keeping a far distance from (ii) by not even keeping the electorate informed on implied infection fatality rates and the knock on effect to increases in probability of dying within a year if infected etc. If fact, Hancock and the Govt are just continuing the fear / existential threat approach.

      There is of course a third approach which would be to offset the potential life years lost to Covid without mitigation by investing in areas that it is known that life years can be gained and at much lower cost. I would wonder whether this approach combined with (ii) would be far more ‘balanced’.

    • agricola
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      It is particularly difficult when at present you can only eliminate the virus on exposed surfaces. We patiently await an immunity vaccine to protect us from normal day to day exposure. Then it can join Flu, Rubella, and all the other fatal diseases of yester year. There is no incentive to government to work towards anything less. I do not buy it as a population control system.

    • beresford
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      It is unclear what we are trying to achieve. The initial lockdown was to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. Now we have empty Nightingale hospitals and a surplus of ventilators. Chris Whitty said there may not be a vaccine until winter 2021, and indeed there may never be an effective vaccine since we are tracking a moving target. Lockdown cannot eradicate the virus, particularly as we have a lax immigration policy. The only answer is to allow the population to acquire immunity, a cycle of lockdowns will just destroy jobs and society whilst the virus remains ready to flare up as soon as restrictions are lifted.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        correct – at the start this govt had a policy of herd immunity ?

        • Fred H
          Posted September 10, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

          I think the Government has already been infected with something! This policy on the hoof (geddit?) from totally bonkers SAGE types must stop.
          There is no way on this earth the population will take a daily 30 minute ENABLING test to leave home, travel, go to school, visit shops, friends – ie continue normal life.
          The Police will be called to likely suicides every few streets.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      A bit like kicking a sandcastle over and then trying to rebuild it as the tide rushes back in.

    • MG
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Sir John. Please explain what you mean by ‘stop the virus’ Do you mean eradicate?

      If so then achieving both aims is likely to be impossible as there is probably an element of mutual exclusivity. The outcome is more likely to be somewhere near the worst of both options.

  39. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Another 250 approx reported arriving – and God knows how many more we haven’t been told about. I assume they are already tucked up in the hotels as punishment, smartphones charged and on free broadband, showing their pals back in 3rd world hell what UK punishment is. All will have been seen by the taxpayer funded ( but free to the rest of the world) NHS. Families back thome will already have been told to start packing as new houses are currently in short supply and they need to choose theirs quickly on arrival to Freebie Land UK. 4 0r 5 bedroom Mr Ahmed? Don’t worry about the costs Sir – YOU won’t be paying for a thing.

    • agricola
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Much truth in what you say. When you read much of the negativity that is given air in this diary, would its proponents use same rubber boats arriving in Dover for a trip to France were the French offering the same level of hospitality to immigrants as the Brits. I very much doubt it. There are after all masses of health and safety regs to swot up before risking life and limb. I therefore acknowledge that the immigrants who make that journey have a lot of guts. On those grounds alone they could be a nett asset to the UK.

      When you see the numbers involved from all means of entry there is a limit. So I await 1st January 2021 to judge the Home Office when they have no impediment to exporting all those we do not want in the UK.

  40. Will in Hampshire
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The policy of successive governments has been to progressively shift the burden of paying for the railways from the taxpayer to the passenger. As a proportion of total train operating company income, fares has risen and subsidy has fallen through time. Some franchises were bid on the basis that they would receive a negative subsidy (i.e., contribute to the Exchequer).

    Now we are in a position where it is unclear whether the franchise model can be recovered at all, let alone whether that policy of subsidy reduction can be continued. Which begs the central question: to what extent are commuter railways an essential public service that justifies taxpayer subsidy? How much is enough?

  41. Rhoddas
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Rail prices rise inexoribly by RPI inflation, not true in the real private sector.
    Council tax rises by more than inflation, especially in Wales where I live.
    HMRC allows £3.5bn to be defrauded in C19 payments, worse than the Wirecard fraud.

    Fundamentally UK State run/controlled functions are costly, v badly managed and no-one is held accountable. There is best practice in many other countries to learn from, but no we don’t … ‘not invented here’ syndrome. Noddy in Toytown prevails.

    Civil service been on holidays for last 40 years, just rubber stamping whatever came from brussels, quite happy to take a golden job over there in exchange for selling their soul to the EU project. Not much different from collaborators with the EU powers in the 1930’s-1940’s. The IrishExit guy summed it up very well, the way they suck up to get that job that will make them insanely rich and powerful at the expense of their national interests.

    Why wasn’t the civil servant lawyer who presided over the WA sacked once Boris realised it effectively caused UK serious issues, meaning we have to break it? Why let him resign?

    Reading all this I conclude we reward failure, God help us!

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just ‘especially in Wales’ it’s everywhere and council tax is lower than in England just one example:
      Oldham Band C £1375 Wrexham £1164.
      Oldham Band D £1547, Wrexham £1310.

      Same NLW, NMW, same pay grades in the public sector for teachers, NHS workers etc.

  42. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Off topic but on message – if Sir John will permit the link, thankyou

    Conservative Woman has today included a item from Adrian Hill which is a good read


    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed. Essential reading. I see the quisling David Gauke was at it yesterday and the hand wringing Mrs May whose fault it all is. Transparently continued efforts to ignore the voters and stay as a vassal of the EU. Frankly I wish they would just pee off.

      • glen cullen
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


  43. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    What appears to be missed most commuter routes are oversubscribed, over-crowded and un-pleasant of a good day.

    The structures are old and creaking, yet the facilities exist to improve them and make public transport palatable.

    As Sir John has suggested previously, more automation, signaling etc, would significantly increase capacity. If there is £109 billion floating around just to create work on a railway that does nothing other than save 10mins(their own figures) on a 100mile journey for a just a few people. Surely just 10% of that can be found to reduce the misery for 100’s of thousands on their daily commute. This is where some have had wrong for so long, why improve the lot of those held hostage – need and must commute by train. Now those hostages have found they are more productive and have a better quality of life in working from home. Technology has made them free.

  44. Fred H
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    As our MP may I ask you to request clarification on some services via Wokingham Council?

    What is happening about Library services – only 2 (of 9?) are open for book return, and borrowing what is on the shelves – no other services.

    When are Waste services at Bracknell going to be improved? I book appointments every week – and never arrive with more than 6 cars on site – usually more staff than customers! The Booking system needs to allow many more on each 30 minute slot!

    What plans exist to remove road narrowing around Town centres – at least a very short hazard beyond Waitrose in Rectory Road, Wokingham has been removed – probably due to accidents caused.

    I ask you on this diary because I’m sure other residents want issues addressed.
    Thank you.

    Reply I have raised the issue of road capacity and access to the town centre With WBC. I would like release of parking spaces and removal of temporary barriers. I will also ask them about library services.

  45. Original Chris
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    It is a powerful tool in the advance of the globalist socialist agenda and they are striking swiftly and mercilessly before our compliant, unsuspecting, easy going population realise exactly what has happened and what freedoms and rights have been taken away.

    • Countrywatch
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      My above comment which was a “reply” to another comment seems to have been misplaced. ” It” (at the beginning of my comment above) refers to COVID..

  46. XYXY
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps with fewer travelling, it will be possible to travel by car, possibly car sharing.

    But you’re right, the railways are as ever, behind the times. They may need to wait to see what the world looks like once we’re out of lockdown though.

  47. Ian @Barkham
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Quote from MsM, Michel Barnier’s team made threats to make food exports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland illegal if the UK did not bow to their trade deal demands.

    So it would appear in response to the EU reneging on the WA the UK is forced to bring in laws to ensure security in NI.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Not spammed-up on the Irish Potato Famine is he? The handling of the Irish Border Question in this fiasco needs to be a case study on a PPE course.

    • steve
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink


      The last European who tried to starve the UK came unstuck.

  48. Original Chris
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May was dangerous, in my view, and seemed to be a very effective tool of the globalist cabal, advancing one world government. Boris and Hancock are, apparently, continuations of this, the only difference being that Boris initially entertained people with classical witticisms, but has been found out, while May was always the dull and apparently devious bureaucrat.

  49. Original Chris
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    O/T but maybe you would permit this?
    My grandson’s state primary school has suddenly, without any consultation, changed their school meal provision to all vegetarian, “on account of COVID and safety issues”.

    Any bright ideas why this might be? Apparently the script the headmaster seemed to be reading from was illogical.

  50. Original Chris
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    A question in jest, Sir John, will passengers each now need to take an “enabling test” every day before their journey?

    Apparently Boris has just stated this, reported in tweet below by Simon Dolan. Dolan questions quite correctly “Where are the MPs opposing this?”:

    “Johnson has just said:
    “The world we want to move to is one where everyone can take an enabling test at the start of every day”.
    These are the words of someone either very ill,very evil or very stupid.
    Where are the MP’s opposing this???”

    • Everhopeful
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      He has also just said that the aim is to get everyone of us tested EVERY DAY!!

      “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, You are mad; you are not like us.” ― St. Antony the Great

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t read your comment properly and repeated it.
        Eeeeek…doesn’t say much for my mental health!!

      • steve
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


        “…..the aim is to get everyone of us tested EVERY DAY!!”

        But the Lab Rats are making out they can’t cope. Simple solution: 1/2 Hr lunch break + two ten minute breaks per day, same as people who do graft for a living.

    • Barbara
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink


      What a strange choice of word.

      ‘Enabling Act’, anyone?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        VERY unfortunate and we are feeling most wary!
        Is there no MP who is chilled to the bone by this??

    • Nigl
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Stupid because he still thinks we believe this BS. He or rather Hancock lost the country on this weeks ago.

      I am now told I cannot go to the pub where there have been zero cases in an area that has had very few/zero because of partying young people somewhere unspecified.

      We saw the hysteria about Bournemouth beach which led to no spike and this is again nonsense.

      When will lickspittle MPs finally grow a pair and stand up for us.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Original Chris,

      This is doubly worrying. Firstly, as suggested, because of what it might indicate behaviourally about the PM (I was worried back in Feb with the treatment of Mr Javid https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2020/02/14/we-need-change-at-the-treasury/#comment-1089265).

      Secondly ‘we’ again got the promise of a relatively instantaneous blood droplet antigen test – a promise ‘we’ had a long time ago, so I won’t hold my breath – but moreover seemly at odds with the idea of testing incoming flights. I remain confused that the Govt didn’t use available tests in a stratified and hierarchical way, whilst their accuracy was improved. I remain confused that pooled testing doesn’t seem to have been considered. I see that at last private antibody tests are coming back to market, but am confused that this is now as ONS results are showing antibodies are waning. I may have missed it, but I have also not heard whether ONS will report a background incidence rate based on T-cells. Given the work at Karolinska University Hospital indicating that T-cell responses were seen in patients without antibody responses and 30% of donors who had given blood in May 2020 had Covid 19 specific T-cell responses it would seem that U.K. needs to get some data.

      Overall it still appears that motivations, data and thus the decisions taken are all questionable.

      (In defence of the P.M. as a politician he could have fallen back on the testing route, as the vaccine trials run into difficulties – giving him a parallel argument way out.)

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I’ll bid for very stupid – what are you going for?

    • Al
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure why they’re worried about more cases: if the aim is still to get herd immunity they should be delighted. I see the latest insanity is banning social gatherings of more than six in case young people spread it.

      So the government’s ideal plan for society seems to be that someone aged 20-30 can take the train or bus to work with twelve or more strangers in an enclosed environment which allows the virus to concentrate, go to their office with twenty or thirty people in an enclosed environment breathing recycled air, and take the train or bus home with a different twelve plus people again in an enclosed environment that massively increases risk. But heaven forbid that after work they go to the pub, hang out in the garden in the open air, and be the SEVENTH person!

  51. glen cullen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Covid19 Marshals = Secret Police

    • RichardP
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      More like jackbooted traffic wardens with a new mission!
      Another very good reason to give our towns and cities a miss.
      Time Parliament got a grip I think.

  52. glen cullen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Watching the PMs brief this afternoon, I am starting to understand why people believe in the reptilian lizard elite conspiracy theory

    The whole brief was strange, disjointed and without logic

    Boris is no longer Churchillian

    • Fred H
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Just goes to prove this Covid messes with brain as well.

  53. Everhopeful
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Who’d have guessed it?
    Easter ruined and now Christmas under threat.
    Who could POSSIBLY have guessed??

  54. Jake
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Stupid topic today- where do you think we’re going to be travelling to after brexit and covid has finished its work.

    And what we have set in train with this new proposed legistation is only going to speed up the break up of the UK. Like a runaway train we are surely heading to become the backwater a lot of the little englanders crowd want.. but too bad for the rest if us

  55. Fred
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    This is a dystopian nightmare, like the opening chapter of a political thriller about a global communist revolution disguised as a virus.

  56. Hh
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Tell your tory friends not to mess with the Irish- if you stir this up again you’ll be sorry

  57. steve
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink


    “One of the main reasons people do not want to return to five days a week in the office is the high cost rail service which often let them down.”

    …..And also that Office Workers while at home can have as many fag breaks as they like, and as long a lunch break as they like.

    I don’t think the trains have much to do with Office Workers refusing to go back to their offices.

    But I do think employment law needs to be changed so that employers can immediately assume the employee has resigned if there is a refusal to go back to work.

  58. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    World Economic Forum – Strategic Intelligence (You have to log in), it is called The Great Reset. It was all preplanned to reshape society and the economy. Like in all communist empires there are no pubs, as pubs are places of revolution. If you own a pub the govt are intentionally running you out of business.

    • Countrywatch
      Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Part of the one world government cabal pushing for their new world order, and succeeding, apparently being aided and abetted by Boris?

      • Sid
        Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Every PM since Thatcher has been working for the globalists, this time they shot the bolt. Ended politics as we know it, put them selves all out of a job (*like the rest of us).

  59. Countrywatch
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Quite right. As I have said in a comment on yesterday’s JRD article, Boris seems to be SRB aka stark, raving, bonkers.

  60. glen cullen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    If I was very cynical I’d suggest that the new covid-19 regulation released today where to disguise and temper the release of the brexit internal markets bill

  61. What Tiler
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Any chance we could have our democracy back? And the promotion to high office only of those with discernible intelligence and morals? No, thought not. Some of you might at least try to dissent though JR.

  62. a-tracy
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    So can couple A go to visit Parents on Monday (4 people meeting), Brother and his family x 4 on Tuesday (6 meeting), friends on Wednesday x 4 (6 meeting), have wife’s friends around for a meal Thursday (6 meeting) and on? In a week a potential 28 different people mixing inside with our couple who may both have returned from holiday with the virus? No test, no quarantine.

    No shared information about who is acting as spreaders, holiday makers, workers in meat factories, with this information we can avoid contacts ourselves without having to lock everything up again just as people were emerging.

    This is just bizarre now, we are an Island yet the government doesn’t want to stop flights in and out. Children that are attending school and college aren’t being told not to visit grandparents especially those most at risk where this can be avoided, why?

    The medical advice Boris is listening to is just making him appear confused – is this the plan?

  63. LondonCommuter
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    There should be an ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ style scheme for the railways starting in January 2021. All rail fares should be half price for at least the entire month of January and a full range of 2 day and 3 day annual season tickets introduced with incentives to purchase these (e.g. 25% total cost) in February to ensure consumer lock-in for the year ahead.

  64. glen cullen
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Does this mean the furlough, and the funding there of, is going to continue till christmas ?

    Only 8 deaths today

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    You’re forgetting something – the practical implications of one metre minimum spacing. On bus or train, that’s one passenger either side of the aisle on every second row. On the tube, it’s one passenger every third or fourth seat. Add a few standing passengers and that gives an occupancy rate of about 30% maximum.

    No transport company can make money on that basis. Some subsidy will be necessary. How much can the State (taxpayers) afford?

    We need to dedicate emergency parking areas in London and our other cities for electric cars only (this will need to be policed). Government should allocate the parking areas. The private sector will do the rest.

  66. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    This is the most awful PM ever. He’s gone stark raving bonkers.

    • glen cullen
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      ….and guess whos in charge of our brexit plan

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 10, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Well hardly! Far from perfect I agree. But then he did save us from Corbyn/Mc Donnall and the SNP. He is not perfect but clearly better than 9% support Theresa May, John (ERM fiasco) Major, Cast Iron face Conservative Cameron, War on a blatant lie Tony Blair, pension mugger and economic illiterate Gordon Brown and the dire Ted Heath who took is into the “Common Market” without even asking the voters permission also Wilson who lied about the loss of sovereignty in the first referendum.

      Wilson did at least keep us out of Vietnam though.

  67. Mark B
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Those the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

    To quote the best PM we never had.

  68. Countrywatch
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Very interesting that everywhere the signs are for 2 metres even though the 1 metre rule was brought in.

  69. D Note
    Posted September 10, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    but at home more than 6 is so so dangerous…….

    The globalists want to break up families. Perhaps they are dangerous?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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