What will the future railway look like?

60% of the passenger use of the railway was commuter traffic into our main cities and towns prior to the pandemic.

Today commuter traffic is massively down. There are many businesses talking of adopting a new model even after the pandemic has gone, with more working from home and flexible working.

The railway needs to research and assess these trends. It will need new fare offers, as we have discussed before, to encourage part time office goers to use the train, allowing them flexibility over when they travel. It might, for example, be necessary to offer a system of rebates or free tickets when people reach certain totals of tickets purchased for the same journeys.

The railway has a leisure business. This often relies on heavily discounted tickets. If the base load of commuters are going to spread their journeys out over different times of day there may not be the same amount of empty capacity to offer. What is a realistic target for leisure travel? What kind of financial contribution should it make to cover costs?

There is business travel. Currently this is down by a huge amount, as people hold their meetings, customer contacts , exhibitions and conferences on line. How much will return to physical meetings, and how much of the train travel will return?

Trying to determine how much train travel there will be in 2021 and 2022 is difficult, but becoming a necessary task. The government has nationalised the losses and taken control of the whole railway. We now need from it a vision of what a modern railway looks like and who it will serve. It is going to take some brilliant marketing, new fares structures and compelling offers to fill the trains again.

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  1. agricola
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    You will have to await events that at present are impossible to predict. Ultimately the customer will shape railway travel, so until he/she is back to a new norm it is a blank sheet of paper. When it is known the railways will need to reshape. The raiways are the chess pieces on the board mid game, but the rules, to date unknown, have changed.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink


      End furlough and social distancing. See how many come back to railways.

    • Hope
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      So your fake Tory govt has come full circle. After ridiculing Labour for wanting to nationalise the railway your govt has actually done it!

      How many policies has your Fake Tory Govt. Lombasted Labour for to get elected then copied and implemented it?

      Corbyn right again, he won the argument! It is a devastating indictment by you, JR, to admit by this blog that your party went from private franchising back to nationalisation! Unbelievable !

      I think this blog proves Dominic right with a lot of his comments that you derided. Do you think you owe him and the rest of us an apology?

      Your govt in eigtht months has devastated the economy, forced thousands of businesses to go bust and millions unemployed!

      Today we read those who who gathered for an unlawful assembly/riot to tear down the Colston statue in a wanton act of criminal damage get cautions and £100 fines. Those who arrange for a peaceful protest against lock down get £10,000. Last weekend the Met police, witnessed by journalists from Con Woman, unilaterally decided to don riot gear and go in heavy handed set upon a peaceful crowd and prevent an expert speaker from addressing the crowd! Party of law and order my arse.

      Widdecombe and others fear Johnson is about to sell out the nation by capitulating to the EU. Is this what the national arrest scheme is really about? We have to wonder because the figures do not match your govt.’s policies or actions.

      Your govt has failed the nation with every policy decision its made, every one. Come on, get out.

      • agricola
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Cannot work out why my contribution should attract this rant. The consequences of Covid19 might require a whole range of decisions that were not in anyones manifesto. The challenges of life and government happen after the election. It is rarely as we would choose. However we chose a government we felt was the most capable of dealing with the challenges we knew about at the time. We rejected the ragbag of socialism we deemed unfit for purpose and at the time unfit for any purpose, as it so remains.

      • Hope
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        OT, JR many will read the article by Martin Howe QC in Layers for Britain where he explains how the WA and PD has direct effect and supremacy over U.K. Legislation.

        Although this aspect is described as egregious by Mr Howe, most of us will think the treacherous and traitorous May should be investigated and punished. Who in their right mind would agree to this if not selling out their nation? Robbins should have his title stripped from him. All this KitKat civil servant policy advocates also arrested and punished. Even if retrospective legislation is required including stripping May of any ministerial protection.

        Furthermore what on earth was Brandon Lewis up to when making his speech in parliament? Why is he not thrown out the door?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Actually Hope, JR explained that to us on his blog some time ago.

  2. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    HS2 is a vanity project and should be cancelled immediately!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I was under the impression the HS2 is unstoppable being part of the European Commission’s Trans European Network for Transport (TEN-T) policy.
      Oh..but we have left/leaving….NOT!

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Everybody has to follow the rules

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed it should. Let’s also remember that the original plan for it came from the EU. Seems they needed fast troop transport to all parts of their union, presumably to crush civil unrest.

      Yet still Boris seems about to commit our military to an EU “defence force”. A country is not a truly sovereign country if it can’t defend itself, especially from an enemy that has a record of attacking us.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      +1. It can only be being driven by corruption or vested interests as it is so blindingly obvious that it is such appalling value for money. The government cannot really be that stupid can they?

  3. I. Wragg
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    And still we waste money on HS2.
    Never before has such a white elephant been so obvious.

    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      That’s what they said about the Olympics. (Huge success).
      And the Millennium Dome. (Huge success)
      And the Jubilee Line extension. (Huge success)
      And the Channel Tunnel. (Huge success)
      And the M25. (Huge success)

      HS2 is not your railway. It is a railway for your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Having completely raped and pillaged our country for decades and having taken just about everything for yourselves, HS2 is the one thing that the Baby Boomer generation are actually giving back. And you are all whinging about it.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Typical Andy!

        You just couldn’t resist that last paragraph, could you. We get your point, that you hate the older generation. There is no need to keep repeating it.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          Certain members of the older generation should have taught Andy manners when they had the chance. So in part Andy is right, the Boomers made mistakes.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Point of order. We ALL care about our children and grandchildren.

        What is coming is a form of ultra virtual reality. Travel will be needed less and less. A version of The Matrix, if you will.

        Those of us with older children know that they are already partially in it.

        Biological micro switches will do for IT what transistors did for radio and
        the silicon chip did for computing.

        HS2 won’t be here for 20 years and is ALREADY obsolete.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          What we wanted and voted for was sustainable and lower population levels for the good of our offspring. So that there was plenty to go around for them. This desire was manifest in our voting and the numbers of children we had.

          Our leaders gave us was completely the opposite.

          We didn’t take anything. We were robbed of pensions and the right to live as Kiwis and Aussies do.

          • glen cullen
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            You claim yet another make-believe retrospective manifesto.

            Where was any of that offered in a vote?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            One recent manifesto promised a reduction to tens of thousands per annum.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        the Olympics. (Huge £billions cost to London success for a week – then £millions to convert the stadium to become joke for football.

        And the Millennium Dome. (Huge success) – a handful of concerts per year.
        And the Jubilee Line extension. (Huge success) useful but only because the extn at £billions for the Olympics.

        And the Channel Tunnel. (Huge success) – never paid its way.
        And the M25. (Huge success as a carpark around London.

        • John C.
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          All SE spending, really London, notice. The rest of the country suffers because of London. And forget the line about London producing the wealth. It’s just where the offices are, sorry, were.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            And the money, they suck the money out of the regions an therefore the talent which has to follow the money. If CV19 reverses that it will be a good and unexpected byproduct.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        They aren’t all that successful at the mo Andy!
        What with the lefty-run Great Reset.
        What will you do when the sheeple realise what your lot has done?
        “When the Wind Blows“ and all that.
        Didn’t wait for a nuclear war though did you?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Most of the above are a huge sucess only in spending multiple times what the asset was worth ti build it. But yes the final asset had some value – say circa 10% of what was spent/wasted. But we lost the other 90% which was taken of people and businesses in taxation. This would have produced are far better returns had it not been. The huge lost oportunity costs!

        The net benefit was thus hugely negative. Possible exception of the M25.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        What silly language. Like any major expense or commitment of resources it should be subject to calm and rational cost-benefit analysis. The case for HS2 was never good – as evidenced by the justification continually changing and the back-solving into assumptions which produced the right answer. With a likely permanent reduction in business commuting the rationale is even weaker.

        Your tone on so many issues is simply ridiculous. No wonder you keep losing elections.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        the dome was a success? what delusional fantasy land do you live in?

        • Andy
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          The Dome – now called the O2 – is the second most successful concert venue in the world. It is a huge success and has spurred on the redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula. So, yes, it has turned out to be a huge success. Who knew?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Ah! So long as you don’t worry about profitability, so you think Boris is a huge success too? Because if you ignore the finances he is doing fine 😳

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            Did the new owner of the Dome, the one making the profits you allude to, pay the government aka taxpayer back the cost of the whole project? Genuinely interested. Only then could it be considered a successful government project. If we sold it at a great loss and allowed someone else to extract the profit from the land and operation then that’s just a big failure.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        How would people feel if the government was spending £100 billion on a new motorway connecting the North together and to the South. Most people, I suspect, would think that’s a good use of public money. I wouldn’t mind bequeathing that to future generations. But a railway line no-one wants or needs and, for the most part, on which ordinary people will not be able to afford to use.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          I’m beginning to think this HS2 is more about European freight imports into the UK, straight across a new bridge/toll into Ireland. I don’t believe its for the people. I believe it is European control over borders. If they can get a land locked line in all freight would be bonded and able to get around any customs issues so why facilitate this carving up our Country to achieve it. The EU keep threatening us and our exports Andy and Martin are almost in a fit about it so you know its on the agenda.

      • steve
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Millennium Dome. (Failed)…..Labour government
        Jubilee Line extension. (Controversial)….Labour government
        Channel Tunnel. (Huge success)….Conservative government
        M25. (Huge success)……completed by Lady T.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          The investors in the Channel Tunnel lost most of their money. I told anyone who asked me it was not a good investment even with the discount fairs “promised”. As I recall the prospectus suggested they would get absurdly high fares (something like 10 times what you could get a ferry for and this before the large extra capacity of the tunnel came on line). Thus increasing supply and thus reducing prices.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Boris has to do as he is told.
      And the orders don’t come from the soon-to-be-serfs electorate!

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Indeed. Well we certainly do not want HS2 for a start. It made absolutely no economic or environmental sense, this even before the events if Covid and the downturn. Just like the insane renewable green subsidies it destroys jobs and living standards and wastes vast sums of tax payers money.

    What will a future railway look like? Probably public transport will be mainly cars, buses, mini buses and taxis that drive themselves called up by apps. Perhaps vehicles that come together to form a convoy (rather like a train) for the main part of the journey then split up again for the last door to door bit of the journey. People largely want to go door to door. Not A to B to C to D to E as with most public transport. They often want to carry luggage, tools, shopping, samples and other equipment with them and be able to leave this luggage stored in a vehicle rather than lug it round with them all day.

    • beresford
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Where will this vehicle that I have called up with an app be able to park when the entire road is filled with nose-to-tail cars from multi-car households?

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Plus if we are to become reliant on socialised Uber transport and give up our cars the next contagion will be even more difficult in its impact.

        It won’t just be trains that get banned but cars too ! In order to stop infection.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Lots of people will not have there own and just call a taxi as needed for rather fewer will be needed. Lots of space released by using the space trains and buses are stored in overnight currently too.

    • 37/6
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Have you ever been on a 125mph train that is restricted to 70 mph ?

      Well I have.

      The journey takes nearly twice as long over a long distance.

      The answer is probably to keep the intercity capability on the railways and to get them to connect to ‘Uber’ hubs as you say.

      ‘Road Trains’ would be dreadfully slow.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Well not twice as long – especially if it is a stopping train and certainly not twice as long when the end connections are added in. The stops add hugely to the journey time and if it does not stop it adds hugely to the distance of the end connections.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          The latest electrified sets on GWR brake and accelerate much more quickly than any prevous ones – thus shaving minutes of all journeys, stopping trains or expresses.

      • Mark
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        One of the more surprising things is how small is the catchment area in which a journey by HS2 would be faster than simply driving directly. Now you may live close to a major inter city station and your destination may be close to another on a direct route. But that is not the general picture, which is why most passenger journeys are by car.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      But some (having squeezed all profit from the land, the skies, the sea and from us) will make £squillions from Great Green Scam ( a nice little three word magick mantra for Boris).
      Or so they think!

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Insane policies indeed.

  5. Mark B
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    As time passes it is becoming clear that there does indeed seem to be a plan at work. This involves reducing personal travel through both the use of the car and of public transport. Cars are going to be the reserve of the wealthy and connected with the plebs forced onto public transport. To alleviate congestion and the need for massive infrastructure expenditure people are being encouraged to use it less. A sort of rationing of public services if you will. This will be achieved through the use of both carrot and stick. The carrot being time and money saved for both the person and company, the stick being limited availability and cost of 24/7 access to personal and public transport. Clearly this is being sold with some positive spin with the looming threat of contagion over us.

    It is clear that the government is embarking on a major social reorganisation program and no questioning (effective shutting down of debate in parliament) of it is being accepted. This Maoist, ‘Great Leap into the Dark’ project is doomed not only to failure but create much social and economic harm. But as a prominent Labour MP once said on the BBC when questioned over Chairman Mao stated that; “On balance, he did more good than harm.” This despite starving millions to death in the process. So our government, ably advised by our Marxist / Maoist CS no doubt, sees the planned outcome and all the ‘losses’ as worth it. After all, it is not as if anyone in the Public Sector, and that includes MP’s, are going to lose their jobs and homes over the next few years, is it ?

    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I suspect rather a lot of Conservative MPs will be losing their jobs within the next 4-5 years.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink


        • Hope
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          None of those on this site should have voted for the Blaire Tribute Act. It was obvious from Cameron that the party had not changed from Major’s disaster. There are only a few conservatives left in the conservative party. The name bears no resemblance to the left wing party.

          Read JRs blog against the background of what his party and Govt has said and done.

          Internal market bill- there is no need for it if we accept what Johnson said that Mayhab’s deal (WA and PD) was dead. It would not be required if we accepted what was written in their party manifesto about Brexit to get elected.

          JR is very intelligent he writes these blogs knowing these facts but always deliberately fails to reveal what his party has said and written previously.

          Reply These blogs set out my views and analysis. You can get the government/Conservative view from their websites.

          • Hope
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            You get elected on “their” views, you cite govt. policy, decisions etc. but lately selectively forget your govt and party’s record!

            Look at your blogs on the internal market bill, why not state why the legislation is required?

            You know it is because May sold our nation out to continue to give EU direct effect and sovereignty over our nation after we left!

            Despite her wicked lies to say Brexit means Brexit or no deal better than a bad deal! Egregious=shockingly bad. That is the word used by Mr Howe. Most average Joe will think outrageous dishonesty. The scale of the investigation should include all those recently given titles and extra pensions by stupid Johnson!

          • Fred H
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            reply to Hope ….
            Sir John does not get elected on the views stated on Conservative media. In the main it has been recognised for many years that his views are indeed largely shared. However, the electors of Wokingham note his position and honesty on many matters not necessarily in tune with the Cabinet of the day. It is our belief that he is head and shoulders above anybody else we may be offered. Hence a significant majority regularly confirms his standing, even with a changing demographic in the constituency.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            But the few WON BREXIT FOR US ! Are you saying they should not have been there to do that?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            PS Hope, please note that you hero, Nigel Farage ceded the Referendum as voting closed! Before a single one had been counted. He did it TWICE! What judgement!
            He wanted the UK to remain in the EU until he retired – then leave. He was in the papers whinging about being ‘skint’ after 19 years of £250k pa as an MEP! If JR was not in Parliament, he I come would increase! That’s the difference, chalk and cheese! We taught Farage the Brexit words and they are the only ones he knows, That’s why he wanted to go to Ireland and use the same argument there! He has no alternative act!

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        A strange pattern is emerging but I also agree

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink


      I feel that the real reason for CV and the destruction of economies around the world was to get us completely softened up and under the thumb for the UN-NWO.
      The UN has often told us populations are too high and clearly have a plan to reduce them

      All countries are following a similar pattern – no real originality anywhere, suggesting orchestration.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        Veil is lifting!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Great comment!
      Agree 100%.
      And the entire theory comes from the globalist rule book!
      Boris the Bought!

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        I keep thinking about that second letter Boris wrote 5 years ago

  6. S Matthews
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    We are seeing a step change in rail usage. High speed broadband is contributing to this. Which makes HS2 an even bigger waste of money than it was.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Indeed what is the point of high speed (15 minst faster) if you can work on route anyway. Also door to door high speed trains (which have to have very few stops in order to be high speed) are often slower door to door anyway. This as the end journeys become far longer. Often these end journeys are two way too so not very energy saving. Wife/husband etc. dropping you off then going home or a taxis there and back journey to drop you off.

    • BeebTax
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink


  7. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    We probably need a new Dr Beeching and some sensible pruning or the rail network starting with HS2.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed we need massive pruning of most of government and nearly all the many taxpayer subsidised activities in general. All those (in the main rather worthless degrees) that so many people get into large debts for being another good example. The state subsidies “arts” and the dire propaganda outfit of the BBC.

      • DavidJ
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        I have often thought that if government , both local and national, were to be restricted to the proper business of government than we could enjoy a 50% tax cut.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Indeed 20% of GDP for the proper business of government is plenty.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            Halve it!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink


      Cuts are obviously on their way. The remainder of this Government’s term in office will be one of miserable lack.

      Even those who do not use rail and who criticise it will see the effects of their local station being closed on their house prices and their local traffic.

      The railway has been heavily subsidised thus far but in this crisis isn’t the only industry where the politicians have made life impossibly restrictive and then come up with a glib “… time to get imaginative.”

      Our whole problem is imagination. Our rulers have let their own imaginations run wild and are now making themselves look silly trying to get the rest of us to buy into their terrible visions.

      The vision I’m terrified of is not dying of suffocation (which most of us do anyway) but of gulags, mass starvation, pet eating, stasi and neighbours grassing each other up to the authorities for the crime of living lives we called ‘ordinary’ until a few months ago.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      And re-establishment of some of the local networks that were pruned under the Beeching plan but now have become more necessary.

  8. Oldwulf
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Pre covid our trains were often overcrowded. This will not be the case for a while.

    In the short term there will be fewer trains. That should facilitate improved reliability and punctuality. That would be nice.

    In future there is likely to be fewer work related journeys. Some imagination might be needed to increase the number of leasure journeys. Maybe more day trips to Blackpool.

    Then there’s HS2. I wasn’t going to mention it but I can’t help myself. It was always an expensive irrelevance. In the future even more so. I would be interested in seeing a blueprint for HS3. Preferably one which does not involve a trip to London.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      And now Crossrail want ANOTHER £1.1bn.

      • DavidJ
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        And what is Boris’ answer? Hand over control to Sad Khan.

      • John C.
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        It’s for London. That’s OK.

  9. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I think that the railways are perhaps some way down the list of topics upon which commenters might wish to give opinions just now, John.

    reply I have provided recent extensive commentary on Covid and the state of the economy and will return to these topics. Railways are a central issue in the big debates on a green agenda and elevated levels of public spending.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      The innitial actions of the CCP have put both the British Prime Minister’s and the US President’s lives in grave danger.

      Yes. We’ve more important things to talk about.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Do you blame the Government of Uganda for all the people who have been killed by HIV too?

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink


          HIV is even easier to avoid than CV-19 – prophylactics, education, celibacy and fidelity are key. All of those things within the ‘nudge’ capabilities of government.

          Of course, there needs to be a cure too … which Western Capitalism has provided.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Thank you John, yes, within the apparent scope of your blog topics that is evidently the case.

      However, what I meant was that your commenters’ minds extend well beyond that, and with the recent news about the US President and so on, I suspect that they may well not be thinking much about railways at this particular juncture.

      • forthurst
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Nobody’s interested in your opinion.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Andy is!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Other than get well soon and testing evidently doesn’t stop one getting this virus I have little to say on infections within the Republican party.

        I do find many of the commenters’ views on the railways informative so enjoy the occasional railways postings.

    • Peter
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      ‘reply I have provided recent extensive commentary on Covid and the state of the economy and will return to these topics. Railways are a central issue in the big debates on a green agenda and elevated levels of public spending.’

      Agrees. While Covid and Brexit are the key topics, most posters have nothing new to say on the subjects. Repetitive posts are boring. Railways, education, policing, etc are also of interest.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Over 200 comments, seems we all have something to say on this. MIC running 100% true to form.

  10. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    It’s at least 45 years since any government did anything ‘brilliant’. This one can’t even manage ‘competent’. The era of rail is over. Nobody wants mass transport. It’s over. Government needs to STOP SPENDING ALTOGETHER, private industry will react to demand for motorways and clean internal combustion engines.
    Boris needs to go into quarantine for 12 days until we walk away from supping with the Continental Devil which is well on the way to bankruptcy.

    • turboterrier
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Lynn Atkinson


    • Gramp
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      You are so very negative Lynn. Would you have all trains scrapped because as you put it “mass transport is over” ?
      Yesterday you wrote suggesting that the NHS weren’t capable of diagnosing anything which is obviously wrong.
      I do usually totally agree with your comments regarding brexit though. I fear Boris is going to make big concessions today.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Cars in the U.K. are the most expensive in the world, I suspect fuel is too, all due to massive taxation. Yes I think the railways cost the non-travelling taxpayer as well as the poor commuter far too much.
        Turn the railway lines, love flat and wide tracks, into roads that traverse the country and go straight to the heart of every city. Let spend money on efficient below/above ground parking facilities. Let’s get everyone in a car, clean, efficient, no taxpayer subsidies. Let relaunch the British Motor Industry with all sorts of beautiful, fun, stunning cars.
        PS The NHS pays out £66 million in compensation each year. Very few cases are ever brought or successfully pursued. I would ‘die in a ditch’ rather than go to the NHS. It kills more people each year than the Army! ie they die of something they did not have when they went to it.

        • glen cullen
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Fully agree

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          10,000 Polish Doctors are working in the UK? Wow. How many British Doctors are we training each year? Why are we allowing inflated numbers in degree subjects that have no job at the end of them whilst not training sufficient British Doctors?

    • beresford
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Those of us who don’t own cars want public transport. If everyone has a car then none of the cars will be moving because of the jams and wars will break out over parking spaces.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        There’s good news.

        The Guardian reports that air pollution in London has plunged since Sadiq Khan became mayor, with a 94% reduction in the number of people living in areas with illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide. The number of schools in such areas has fallen by 97%, from 455 in 2016 to 14 in 2019.

        Experts described the reductions as dramatic and said they showed the air pollution crisis was not intractable. More than 9,000 people in the capital were dying early each year due to dirty air in 2015.

        Now, no one wants rid of Johnson and his government more than me, but I have to say that some of the astonishing success in London is attributable to policies initiated under his time there as mayor.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          such a shame there are no tourists, hardly any Ubers or Taxis, very few workers. Shops, restaurants, bars, theatres closed. Great places for a countryside stroll!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      According to much-admired and wholly wonderful Anne Widdicombe his spoon just got a whole lot shorter.
      Surely with all else he has done we can have little hope of not being “sold out“?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Peace in Ireland, the Land Registration Act 2002, Freedom Of Information, the National Minimum Wage and the Human Rights Act are all pretty brilliant, along with many more.

      But in the World Of The Upside-Down where you live you perhaps cannot see this.

      • John C.
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Freedom of speech would be nice.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Peace in Ireland😂😂! You have never been heave you?
        Land Registration Act, of yeah! That’s a biggie!
        National Minimum Wage is about to causes unemployment! You are about to witness that bigtime!
        The human rights Act is killing us! Literally. We want our own ancient Bill of Rights reinstated!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      What did any government do that was brilliant in 1975? End the the Vietnam Way perhaps?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Mrs T beat Heath for the leadership – OK in Opposition.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        And that’s an improvement because the whole of the British Isles had been surrendered without a single shot being fired!

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink


  11. Richard1
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    On the subject of rail travel I see the foolish Scottish separatist woman who travelled knowingly on public transport infected with the Wuhan virus was also one of the shrillest critics of Dominic Cummings’s (legal) journey to self-isolate at a family farm building.

    The hypocrisy and humbug of some leftists is a wonder to behold.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      But this fact is not making it into BBC reporting – why not?

      • I. Wragg
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        Very few facts make it onto the BBC unless anti government woke agenda climate alarmist pro EU bias.
        That’s sorted it

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          or anti-Trump or anti-landlord or anti-private sector or pro-open door immigration.

        • Ed M
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

          Yesterday, there was a video on BBC online about why women shouldn’t be afraid of having hairy armpits.

          Really. It’s complete nonsense like this that warms me to those who want to cut back the BBC.

          I think we need to get cut back on everything in the BBC that commercial broadcasters can do including news, online and so on.

          But we’ve got to keep it privately-funded (but with half the money at least) to preserve what commercial broadcasters can’t do or can’t do nearly so well: films such as BBC’s brilliant 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, great original comedy such as Fawlty Towers, great nature programmes such as Life of Birds, really good cultural documentaries such as The Amish – A Secret Life, original children’s and music and arts programmes, as well as content in general that celebrates Patriotism – including The Monarchy, Parliament, The Judiciary, The Armed Forces, The Church of England, Business & Entrepreneurism, Education, The Arts, Volunteer Work, Health, and more.

          • Ed M
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

            ‘But we’ve got to keep it privately-funded’ – publicly-funded, I meant.

            Not forget, strong link between negative television and dysfunction in its viewers and society in genera. We don’t want that. We want the BBC to set high standards in creativity and hard work in the creative sector.

            Also, there is a strong link between an organisation such as the BBC feeding talented creative people to the commercial sector. And CREATIVITY is a premium. You can have all the great technology you want but if you’ve got nothing creative to broadcast on that technology then that technology is pretty useless in the end.

            JK Rowling was one highly creative person who brought billions to this country. The BBC can do something similar as long as it focuses on original and creative TV – things that the commercial sector can’t do or can’t do nearly so well.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        Why not ? Because it is the Big Brother Corporation ! I am surprised you even had to ask, Richard1

      • BeebTax
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink


      • Andy
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        It is. Because I literally watched a report about it on the BBC last night in which they literally pointed out her criticism of Cummings.

        Clearly she should resign as an MP. But well done to the SNP for casting her adrift so swiftly and to the Speaker for putting the boot in. But my understanding is that nobody can force her to resign as an MP – that is a decision for her.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

          Yes, here’s the BBC’s headline piece.

          The police are investigating.

          I can’t remember offhand how severe any penalty has to be before a by-election can be held.

          But the Right depend on these endless silly fictions.

          • Fred H
            Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            how many police are investigating? Result due in a few weeks? Possible fine £100.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink
        • Fred H
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          the people of Rutherglen can simply ostracise her!

        • Richard1
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Well that’s good it did get mentioned, I haven’t heard it and it isn’t up in lights in the headlines or on the website as it would be if it was a right wing person accused of hypocrisy (eg as was the case with Mr Cummings). I imagine you consume much more BBC than me.

        • John C.
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Do you know what “literally” means? Do you understand its relationship with “metaphorically”?

      • JayGee
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        The fact is that the fact has made it into BBC reporting. That’s a fact.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Rather ask yourself… how come they both felt in their hearts ( if applicable) that it was ok to travel!

      • anon
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Apart from selfish carelessness, disrespect to others and potential criminal negligence?

        What information is being purposely witheld from the public, given the behavior of individuals who would be expected to have some non-public knowledge.

    • Old person
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      The virus understands that she is privileged and normal rules don’t apply.

      On the bright side, she was certainly claiming on expenses and travelling first class – so little risk to normal passengers.

      The MSM have been slow in the witch hunt – was she wearing a face mask for the whole journey? – did she spray her hands before entering and leaving the carriage?

      Is anyone contacting the other easily traced passengers and asking them if they want to self-isolate for fourteen days or pay the £10,000 premium? Has the track-and-trace app worked?

      On a serious side, what is the government’s answer for people testing positive while away from home – hotels are not the best solution for quarantine. Is there a legal requirement for the covid positive to declare their status when seeking accommodation?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The hypocrisy and humbug of some people is a wonder to behold.

      That’s that fixed.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        you appear to recognise yourself as leftist Martin?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I am not defending her actions, but she is in a privileged postion, does not have to fall back on statutory sick pay and yet still travels, initially whilst awaiting a result (a faster, though less accurate test would reduce this). If the punishment is that she loses her career, we should think carefully of the message this sends. The comparison to those on or near minimum wage who the Govts wish to beat down with fines, and therefore cannot afford to risk the consequences of coming forward for a test when showing a low number of unclear symptoms which can be put down to other seasonal illnesses, is something to reflect on. The dictatorial threat to the livelihoods of many if they come forward for a test is now high and off putting. The Govts do not care about people’s livelihoods.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        People need to think very hard before they string different people out to dry it may be them next time.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          We need to know the reason for her test first? Did she have symptoms or not? Why did she book a test?

  12. 37/6
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    You can’t fill trains with social distancing in place. We will have this until at least 2022 by the looks of things.

    Even if we cut staff to a minimum, reduce trains to a minimum there remain huge capital costs in running a railway. I fear the only options are nationalisation and Beeching Mk2, closure of lines and stations and mothballing of new stock – even those operations that have had recent investment, which is still being paid for.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Until 2022 – no nonsense. It is all but over already. Covid is about the 24th highest cause of death now and mainly sparing almost all people under about 65.

      Just get back to normal now please.

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Rail fares need to be far more simple and less complicated if you want to get leisure passengers on board.

    Four people in a car is often far cheaper overall, than just one person on a train.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      most car journeys are cheaper with just the driver when taken in isolation. Going over a longer distance 2 or more becomes dramatically cheaper. If cars are owned for convenience trips then the standing costs are covered anyway!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Almost always cheaper and you can put 7 in a larger car. A single London to Manchester £157 per person second class. 7 people in a car perhaps £6 each including fuel, insurance, tyre wear, vehicle depreciation etc. And with the train you have the taxis at each end too.

  14. BOF
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It will look like HS2, carrying 10 passengers per journey. Funded by, the taxpayer, of course.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Just how the global communist dictatorship planned

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Each ticket costing perhaps £100 and subsidised by other £2000 or so from taxes on others.

  15. SM
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    This is a question/suggestion I’ve occasionally posed over the past few years, but it has never been answered:

    Why can’t railways be used to a far greater extent for heavy goods haulage around the country? Yes, I realise there would need to be greater investment in new lines, and depots would need to be constructed to enable transfer of smaller loads to individual customers – but wouldn’t this reduce the number of ‘dirty’ heavy road lorries, and be far more useful than HS2 making passenger journeys just a tad quicker?

    • forthurst
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Containers don’t fit under bridges.

      • forthurst
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Railway axle gauge 4 10.5 ins as opposed to lorry 8ft 2.5 ins. How close are lines together?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        Standard sea freight containers most certainly do fit under bridges.

        ‘The size of load that can be carried on a railway of a particular gauge is also influenced by the design of the rolling stock. Low-deck rolling stock can sometimes be used to carry taller 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m) shipping containers on lower gauge lines although their low-deck rolling stock cannot then carry as many containers.’

        Can’t be bothered to post the link. It’s on Wikipedia

        • forthurst
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          The current state of affairs from a Freightforwarder:

          Network Rail is engaged on a major investment programme to open up the major UK rail freight lines to the W10 loading gauge, which allows Hi-Cube 2.9m high containers and 2.5m wide Euro containers to be carried on normal wagons (Hi-Cubes can be carried on other routes using low-slung wagons but wagon capacity is reduced). Check with your freight forwarder to see if your intended transport route(s) will fit your consignments.

      • Mark
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Easy to do if you replace the track with a roadway. Dips under bridges to provide clearance would not require replacing the bridge.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you ask the Royal Mail why they stopped using rail to move the post around overnight?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Or better still, ask the Union which stopped it.

  16. George Brooks.
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The shape and volume of train usage in the future is impossible to predict at this stage of the pandemic. Whatever happens it will be very different and all the train companies can do, at present, is to set up some sophisticated modelling to estimate costs for different patterns of usage and design attractive fare structures.

    It may well result in shorter trains running more frequently throughout the week in order to meet a very different volume of usage. It could well make a nonsense of HS2 if the planners continue with the present design of long trains travelling infrequently at a ridiculous cost.

    We could have a very similar situation with HS2 that occurred with Concord and Barnes Wallace’s advice for smaller planes was ignored. He pushed hard for 60 seater aircraft costing a lot less to build and operate (well under half), than the 140 seater that was built, and fly them hourly across the Atlantic and to many other destinations.

    So it is back to modelling for the train companies but don’t use any of Ferguson’s out-dated software!!!!!

  17. Iago
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Ghastly report in Facts4eu about the eu food standards to which we are subject (and will remain subject, we are irrelevant).

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    So Jenny Murray bids fairwell to Woman’s Hour. I found the programme was very often totally hilarious. It must have done so much to convince most listeners that women are lefty, dim, chip on the shoulder, vain, obsessed with their appearance, nurotic, totally lacking in logic and with little grasp science, engineering or economics. This as about 99% of her guests were exactly this.

    It must have given Jenny a very misleading immpression of women too. I can assure her that this is not the case. Many woman can be bright, sensible, rational, do not have giant chips on their shoulders and many even have a good grasp or science, engineering and economics.

    Alas they were almost never on woman’s hour over its 33 years. But then that is the BBC for you.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Yep agree, woman’s hour is sexist rubbish. Never a working class accent on either, so it’s classist too.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink


      ” Many woman can be bright, sensible, rational, do not have giant chips on their shoulders and many even have a good grasp or science, engineering and economics.”

      I wish the same could be said about men.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Well it depends on what you mean by many I suppose. It is a shame almost no such sensible women appear on Woman’s Hour & the BBC. As they almost never do it rather tends to make people (who listen to the BBC to much) start to think that all women are daft, lefty, vain, unscientific, irrational, chip on the shoulder feminists. Which is not true and rather a shame.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        such a shame that you aren’t and didn’t.

  19. Richard1
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The virus offers excellent political cover for a U-turn on the foolish and wasteful HS2 vanity project. More than ever this project has no economic justification. MPs should be doing more to see the £100bn spent elsewhere (or better still not at all).

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Sorry about your heart attack and missing leg mate but we just have to recharge the Ambulance for 6 hours we are off for a long lunch on full pay. We will be there in about 6 hours 20 mins. Good luck!

    Plus of course Electric Ambulance will not even save any C02. After manufacture of vehice and battery, the electricity generation, wasted staff time and everything else is fully considered. We are clearly ruled by complete virtue signalling idiots.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      This in response to our idiotic government trialing electric ambulances at vast expense!

  21. turboterrier
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It is going to take some brilliant marketing, new fares structures and compelling offers to fill the trains again.

    More likea miracle. The future of the railways has got to be in freight if it is to be used as a catalyst to assist in this governments green agenda. People have had enough of being transported in what is nothing more then an up market cattle truck. The whole industry is stuck in a time warp and the present pandemic has highlighted it in all its gĺory. But again too many of our ministers are not capable of delivering what is required a vision that the industry can sign on to and bring about real long term change and gains. HS2 isn’t the panacea of all that is wrong with the rail industry, all it is doing is distracting investment and a wider thought provoking ideas. The right people and there are many are just wasted on the back benches with all the attributes to be able to actually bring about the vision and changes that are so desperately needed.

  22. Nigel
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The airline and hotel industries have developed sophisticated systems of pricing of seats and beds to ensure maximum occupancy and efficiency. The same could be applied to railways, but only by private industry. Government should step aside from running the railways.
    HS2, of course needs to be scrapped. Improve high speed internet, and provide decent internet and work facilities on existing trains.
    I wonder why I bother to write this. They won’t listen.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      The railways can only be kept going with huge subsidies from the taxpayer, whoever is running them. John Major privatised the railways: what was the objective? If it was to reduce the overall cost to the taxpayer then privatisation could not be deemed a success. In the bad old days we used to have to get up at some ungodly hour to attend a meeting in some remote location: no more, nor the need to remember whether to go to Euston, St Pancras or King’s Cross. The railways are a 19th century technology which are becoming progressively more obsolescent as newer technologies are developed ( not in the UK as the Tories flog all technology companies to foreigners: inward investment, they call it!)

  23. Horatio McSherry
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    “Trying to determine how much train travel there will be in 2021 and 2022 is difficult, but becoming a necessary task.”

    It’s only a necessary task because the government has its hands (now completely) on the railways. The railway network will never improve until the government (including Network Rail) and unions gets out of the way.

    Open up the railway network like the air travel and telephone businesses now are. You’ll have the initial growing pains (with the accompanied screaming and shouting from the usual suspects) but in the medium to long term you’ll have a transport system that works for the people and businesses who use it at the price that people and businesses will pay for it.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Let the private sector take charge. How’s the private sector doing with test and trace?
      Rupert Soames, PPE Oxford.

  24. Adam
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    An objective to fill trains with discounts is like funding free horseshoes.
    Few modern folk need farriers to work.

    Discounts lure preference, but die without need.

    Why would Billy Bunter want 80% off a wedding dress with a long train?
    He’d rather tuck it in.

  25. DrPeterVC
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    We should not forget that before the pandemic the taxpayer was massively subsidising the railways (over £5 billion per year). So those that did not commute to work were paying for those who did. Like in so many other areas of our economy the virus has exposed the fragility of many of our business models.


    Reply Very misleading comment and source. Labour renationalised the expensive part of the railways, the track/stations/signals, and gave that a big increase in subsidy as the graph reveals in this cited piece. Current subsidy levels are far higher than pre pandemic, and the whole railway is now nationalised, though nationalisation did not take the passengers away.

  26. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Why should there be a future for the railways at all ? When we all have electric self-driving cars we’ll just use those or borrow them via car pooling. Far more convenient. Maybe some of longer inter-city routes will survive.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink


  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    If overcrowded unpunctual commuter trains are going to be a thing of the past then that will be a good thing — Commuting has been a misery for thousands for decades.

    Yes, The railways have to adjust and they need to be the alternative to the car they always should have been, especially for long journeys. With interchanges made easy, compared to the assault course many are now. That also requires they stop ripping everyone off with high fares and annual inflation busting rises.

    Applying the concept of ‘lower tax rates = more income’ to the railways, to allow more seats to be occupied, surely is the way forward!

    But, please – Spare us the ‘brilliant marketing’ — We are already the most brainwashed generation ever. The BBC and other media media never stop telling us what to think — Let’s call a halt now.

  28. Richard
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Logically HS2 should be cancelled immediately. It was an obvious unneeded white elephant even before 2020.

    A government clearly wasting taxpayers money in so many ways – & putting us all under various degrees of house arrest – raises the question…. Who does the UK government work for?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Who does the government work for? The answer is largely politicians, vested interest, the well connected and the state sector at the expense of everyone else.

  29. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    A rethink is due on HS2.Where are we with Cross Rail?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Very cross! That’s where we are… more billions demanded …

    • Fred H
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      most of it is built – what is your question?

  30. Javelin
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    First the virus will be around for at least FIVE years at the current (delayed) R0 rate.

    Modern IT practices (eg JIRAs) are based on remote teams around the world so I don’t expect IT workers in large corporates to return to work … possibly ever. JIRAs are online workflow, ticketing systems where you can closely manage a project online. They are very efficient and productive. I expect to see this style of management to become systemic in those functions that can use them.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Yes I read that too.
      “Scheduled” to end March 2025!!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      It is absolutely the people who will not wear masks nor observe other hygiene measures, who are making this misery such a long, drawn-out affair.

      Show some patriotism for once, and stop being such petty-minded fools.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Martin I’m thinking that gob stoppers would be even more effective and masks. Even if they aren’t there will be other benefits.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          or even sticky toffees?

      • dixie
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Hypocrite, you celebrated the BLM misery merchants who gathered to spread the virus.

  31. James Freeman
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Open up the railways to competition! This will enable innovation to flourish making up for lost revenue from commuting. This is tricky as some sections of track are natural monopolies. So achieve this by:
    * Providing a basic timetable by single operators on all lines.
    * But where lines branch out to many destinations, have different operators to each destination. So enabling competition on the shared sections.
    * Maximise the number of remaining slots and open them up to open access rail operators.

    • beresford
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Sounds very similar to what we have at the moment. If your operator is in difficulties you can stand for a couple of hours and watch a procession of trains of other operators pass through the station, none of which are usable with your ticket. If your train breaks down you can wait hours for a replacement to travel from your operator’s depot rather than using the train standing around in the sidings opposite.

  32. Ian Turner
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Get heavy goods traffic off the main roads and onto the rail network where it should have been kept. If there is going to be less commuter traffic then the conflict between passenger and goods traffic should ease. Containerisation revolutionised global shipping but wasn’t logically extended deeper into this countries infrastructure with rail connecting local distribution hubs.

    One of the (good) reasons for high speed rail is that it separates longer distance journeys from local one – and also obviously between slow and fast traffic.

    • Mark
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I have found if you need to travel longer distances at speed, air travel is the better option. Or at least it was until security theatre and extended checkin times made it more painful. The latter are unnecessary: I regularly used the Belfast shuttle which had a nominal 20 minute checkin with full hand search of baggage.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      unless we build a number of passing stretches of track where slower stopping trains and freight can pause, the conflict between them and the current antiquated signalling method will deny significant improvement.

  33. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Ministers are planning to change the law to allow a vaccination programme to begin before the end of the year after ordering 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine already.

    Fast tracking something that has not been thoroughly tested is asking for trouble.

    Are we going to be provided with full details of how this vaccine will work — what the side effects will be, including the expected death rate?

    The government are putting all their eggs into one basket — They will suffer for a lack of joined up thinking and no plan B or C

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink


      “Bring in the army – Impose vaccinations – Track everyone with a national database to ensure we all comply” — Proposed by an MP, but surely this is the way the government are going…… Towards total anarchy and treachery.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Bryan Harris,

      I expect zero honesty from the Govt on these characteristics. The virus itself is very low risk for many and appears to have very high return in terms of immunity. It is a big ask for a rapidly developed vaccine to match this. An honest Govt would at least compare the risk return of the virus itself to that of the vaccine. Nearly a year of covid19 and this Govt does not openly publish implied infected fatality ratios as function of age and comorbidity (and calculation method). There is no intention of honest data with which to compare, the approach is one of fear and force.

      I am scared of what this dictatorship will do, scared of the future of the UK, scared as the dictatorship bins the Enlightenment.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink



      • ed2
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        There is no intention of honest data with which to compare, the approach is one of fear and force.

        as it has been since march.
        the deaths did not start until the week of the lockdown hint hint

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Two people (at least) who took part in the Oxford vaccine trials are desperately ill. Apparently ‘nothing to do with the trial’. 🤦
      I will never have the vaccine, look at the list of ingredients to truly understand why, and take responsibility for your own health.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Let us have assurance that every MP ( plus local councillors) and family will be the first to partake.
      LIVE with randomly chosen witnesses. With a (masked) audience.
      It could be done locally…if my MP has completed his charity run.

  34. Everhopeful
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The globalist-run govt. has effectively killed off the need/demand for the railways.
    No jobs. No theatre. No safe city centres. No sight seeing.
    Nuclear bomb sites.
    So how can we tell what the plan can be?
    Four million being brought in to boost GDP?
    Has anyone taken B the B’s temperature recently?

  35. Freeborn John
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Today is the day for the U.K. to make clear that we will not accept EU demands for their law, courts and access to fishing waters. They need to be told that it is either a no strings FTA with independent arbitration or WTO. As someone who has lived in work in Germany I know that simply saying this to a German will not convince them you mean it; the U.K. government has to assert stridently (to the U.K. ear) its position or the German ear will simply regard it as weakness and not being serious. All terms must be insisted upon including removal of any threat to impose tariffs and checks on GB/NI trade or they will use this to play games for the rest of time and as a hook to impose more and more control in future negotiations. We need a clean break that removes that type of leverage for all time.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      +1 and I concur with your assessment of the ‘German ear’.

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is the day John but I still cannot bring myself to trust Boris. Maybe he will end up as May in disguise. Article 50 was the first mistake followed by trying to negotiate with the EU whilst we were still a member.

    • Old Salt
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.
      Boris’s WA is simply not Brexit. It is a commitment to being tied to and ruled by the EU for many years to come and perhaps indefinitely. Not what was voted for – by the general public anyway.!
      Talk of another three years for fish.
      What else do we, the general public, not yet know?
      Talk of compromise. What compromise on the way in?
      Leaving, as voted for, we are not it would appear.
      As someone commented on here last October …I wager we’re still in the EU this time next year.
      Politics !

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn John

      You may have worked and lived in Germany but obviously not long enough to understand them. They couldn’t care less what Britain does or does not do although no doubt some will regret it was Germany that supported Britain’s EU entry against the better advice of France’s De Gaulle.

      When you say we need a ‘clean break’ do you mean we want to renege on the things we agreed to when we begged to join the EU because it suited us at the time?

      It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • beresford
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Once again, we didn’t join the EU, we joined the Common Market. And as the EU keep telling us if you leave the club you don’t retain the benefits (though apparently you have to keep paying for them). Are you suggesting that we retain the liabilities?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Margit are you claiming to understand the Germans? How long have you lived and worked there?

        • Fred H
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          Ve haf vays of running zer EU.

        • hefner
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          And you, Lynn?

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            Yes. Frankfurt. And of course in SA I encountered a lot of ex-Nazi Officers and their children with whom I went to school.

  36. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    At the end of August motorcycle sales in the UK were more than 40% up on the same period last year. Many of the sales were mopeds and small scooters, dealers report many were for commuting as buyers were wary of not only trains but buses as well.
    India produces a the 3 wheel Tuk Tuk used for taxi work and goods traffic. Although now available here I get the impression folk treat them as a novelty. Why I’m not sure. The real novelty here in Snowdonia is the number of heavily subsidised large coaches covering bus routes with just one or two passengers using free bus passes. Like the railways central government will pay they have lots of our money. Sorry Sir John.

  37. Fred H
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The danger is in assuming the present difficulties in travel will continue. Yes, some commuters will no longer use trains, but car journeys are not going to get any easier. The car investment, running costs and hassle on road signage/speed rules and parking will be so off-putting that it will feel less and less convenient. I can see shorter, out of (major) town/cities rail travel returning to a fairly significant level.
    This virus will reduce impact each successive year, and measures and restrictions will have to continue in some form. Increasing numbers with immunity and a possible vaccine will start to have an effect.
    Mass closure of plans for railway improvement at this stage is far too early, although it is bewildering that HS2 has survived.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Transport in any form and driving use to be cheap, enjoyable & fun…..when did it become expensive and evil

      Maybe it stated in 1974 with EU over regulation and our governments need to tax everything and our MPs need to appease anything GREEN

      Sometimes I just wish governments would lease things alone

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        I wish they would leave things alone the overwhelming majority of the time. Why are they in the Press? I don’t want to hear from them much at all. If I don’t need to speak when walking my dogs, it’s been a good walk! I want the Govt not to have to speak because it’s doing it’s job.

  38. BetterTimes
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    O/T EU fishing in UK waters.

    The UK owns its own waters and the fishing rights. There is fish surplus to our needs, even with limits on catches.

    Why can’t we offer licenses to EU fishermen, to allow continued fishing but completely on our terms?
    Annually renewable licenses could provide excellent income to the UK, while EU fishing is not destroyed, in the way the UK fishing industry was previously decimated.

    We can also ban the current EU destructive fishing vessels, that hoover up all sea life, including down to the sea bed.
    We would need an effective military inforcement policy (consult Australia on how to do that).

    Maybe I have missed something and this idea is already being pursued?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Why don’t we just sell them the fish we catch?

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


    • Sea Warrior
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I’ve already raised the subject of fishing licences, so you’re not alone! I’ll hazard a guess that EU boats are currently paying for licences – but the money is going to their national governments.

      • beresford
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        We could do all of these things, but the bullying EU is adamant that it must have the same control as it would for an EU member and our lot are too dim to just walk away. Fisheries have nothing to do with a trade deal and by linking them we allow the EU to threaten to cancel the deal (Irish border, Irish border) if future access isn’t to their liking. Macron has sworn that the French will not pay for access to our waters.

  39. Caterpillar
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I do not like the current Govt vision of a widespread ghettoised suburban sprawl, locally constrained with a few bike and e-scooter trips. Increased mental health problems as life after education becomes a home/work box (but some can own that box). Education’s failures will increase as failed social fabric spreads, ambition becomes pointless and there is not even a city centre where protests can be voiced. Reducing GDP per capita as creative interconnected cities are broken. Reduced GDP per capita that comes from the low income infinite labour model. This Govt vision of impoverished masses constrained from travelling and thinking, imprisoned for their lives, with occasional and reducing cash bribes from a Chancellor to those still needing to be kept quiet – this policy direction is vile.

    I would prefer vibrant vertical interconnected cities sharing ideas, culture and life between them. Life satisfaction growing through both innovation and the service efficiency that comes through citie, development of social fabric to improve educational outcomes. Cities where one could protest, but there is no need since there is a working electoral system. I would prefer a policy of levelling up rather this Govt’s policy of all out destruction for/of the majority.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      …a working electoral system? Confluent with the litany of horrors reported?

  40. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The destruction of the countryside by HS2 is insane and I have yet to read any convincing benefit. It represents the wrongheaded approach to railways. Why was the car so successful? If railways had been so wonderful why did everyone want to own a car? Why have coach holidays been so successful – I don’t see many run by BR etc. It is C19, inefficient, hostage to Unions and has always been unhygienic.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Just following orders!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      …and now it’s dangerous too – I’m speaking of the burgeoning violent crime, not the odd bug.

  41. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Stop feeding the out of date! Railways are so 19th century!
    HS2 is an abomination because it is an EU construct. Only the very rich can afford it. What is the point?
    We are moving out to the country and depending on our cars now. WfH is more common too. The Victorians did build country stations but these are now closed thanks to Beeching. So more and more people (like me) are simply unable to use the trains.
    Heavy trains take a hundred yards to come to a halt and this means that they are very dangerous in an emergency. Diesel in these XR times anybody?

    How about some light trams? Narrow gauge even.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      HS2 that can only be afforded by the rich is not a criticism of HS2, it is a criticism of the low income economy for the masses. This is brought about by an infinite labour model, a planning sprawl model, misdirection of resources to houses, failed education etc etc. It is the complementary set of HS2 in which successive Govts have failed, and this Govt massively so.

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      The point is, I believe, that it is “an EU construct”. Boris still seems to be compliant in that area and in defence matters too.

    • JohnE
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      You don’t mention tourism as a major component of the leisure use of trains. The lack of tourists is also a major contributor to the death of central London.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Trams surely are surely essentially just large buses but very restricted on routes.

  42. Everhopeful
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Does anyone else think it a little odd that we have received a letter from a gas provider informing us that gas pipes/meters will be renewed…involving workers coming into every house over a 4 month period?? (Do they have right of entry??)
    Soooo…..ummmm…we are in a PANDEMIC.
    The pubs are under curfew…we are all masked…we can only do blah, blah, blah, rubbish, nonsense and magick!

    Covert smart meter enforcement maybe?

    Ooh…they will be digging up the road! How do they know the lurgi isn’t in the soil like anthrax??

    The govt. apparently knows b***er all about the illness it is so intent on preserving us from…so how can it be certain?

  43. glen cullen
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Its all academic, our future railway is dependent on what instructions Boris receives from the EU

  44. Mark
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Surely it is time to replace 19th century railways with 21st century technology? The main asset for rail is the routes laid out in Victorian times that often go right to the heart of our cities, and which also attracted many businesses to set up alongside with sidings to take and make deliveries. The sidings have fallen into disuse because truck haulage offers much greater flexibility and frequency, not least inside factories and warehouses, where the truck can park close to where the goods are needed or are available.

    Replace the rails with roadways for the exclusive use of automated vehicles, and at once we become able to divert much freight traffic from main roads. Automated buses can be inserted into the mix of traffic. Fuel economies can be secured because automation will allow close drafting of individual vehicles in road trains, without the inconvenience of requiring that the whole convoy stop at the same destinations. Sidings can reopen.

    Where it us efficient to do so, a driver can be added at either end for last mile journeys on regular roads where automation would be very complex to achieve with good safety., at least initially.

  45. my vision
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I can see MPs, all digging a new rail track for free, as punishment for this latest hoax.

  46. a bad dream
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I am scared of what this dictatorship will do, scared of the future of the UK, scared as the dictatorship bins the Enlightenment.

  47. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Chatting to a businessman friend of mine last night. He really misses the ‘creative spark’ of working in his London office and is desperate to get back to his pre-COVID working week routine of four days in London and one day WFH. Near me, a business that had planned on maintaining WFH until January is already gravitating back to the office, with 50% of employees in at any one time. I wonder what’s happening to the divorce rate?

  48. a-tracy
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you think the government should concentrate on finishing the lines you’ve already started such as Crossrail in London and the Pennine run?

    If the taxpayer is putting in £5bn pa from our taxes then we each want a free ticket to ride, you can state the days and times we can travel and our ticket allowance can be transferrable to anyone we choose to give it to. How much is the subsidy to rail per person per annum? That would fill your subsidised train routes, give the staff some work to do with extra receipts for food, drinks, station purchases and parking like a loss leader.

    When you’re talking of building new out of area hospitals why aren’t monorail type systems put in place first to ensure people can get on and off a regular driverless train to and from the hospital and City Centres? The trouble is the big hospitals like Leighton are in the middle of nowhere with little public transport especially for family visiting at night, its catchment area is getting bigger and bigger and parking is poor. The Royal Stoke is a nightmare to park in and nowhere near Stoke railway station. There is absolutely no joined up thinking and poor connections throughout Cheshire and failing services have to be propped up at all costs even redirecting trains from Chester to Manchester via Stockport adding ages on to the journey for no purpose. You can’t get straight into Manchester without going South to go North and only once per hour.

    If you truly want to make this happen then you need to look again at the whole network, unused lines that still exist for freight to make them mixed use, low cost and lots of it parking near big stations, instead of just milking people who have to use the train.

  49. ian
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Anything under gov control is untouchable, railways costing an extra 3.5 billion a year due to pandemic. Unions rule with Labour party.

  50. Hugh Rose
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    It is a pity the Government did not think of this earlier and are blinding ahead on HS2 which is increasingly likely to turn into a very expensive white elephant.

    It is obvious the pandemic is going to change many aspects of business and leisure yet there seems to be a belief in either it is all somehow going to end or that a vaccine will allow us to return to exactly how we were.

    More thought ought to be given to planning the “new normal” and expenditure and subsidies made according to a proper plan.

  51. John Hatfield
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    While face-masks are a requirement, travelling by train will not be a first choice.

  52. anon
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Should they be enabled to allow individual vehicles to use them and join effective roadtrains in autonomous mode until exit node?

    Maybe rolling stock should allow cars to drive securely on and off, for longer journeys. This would reduce range problems on battery/hybrid cars and allow charging, more comfort and door to door. This would assume you rent/own a compatible car for the journey.

    Small autonomous electric aircraft may well make railways irrelevant for passengers.

    HS2 spend should be re-directed to electrical infrastructure, and charge as you drive technology.

  53. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like the fact that modern trains feel like tombs. You can’t open windows and, if the train stops for a while, they seem to get hotter and hotter. And the toilets have electric locks – what if something goes wrong with the lock. You really are in something the size of a coffin then. No thanks. I’ll stick to driving my car.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I am in total agreement.
      Claustrophobia on wheels!
      They care about all disabilities except the one of aversion to small, enclosed spaces!

  54. Elli Ron
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    It now looks as if HS2 is “make work” project, it was never financially viable, it is probably one of the worst ideas for the countryside and is an energy “pig”
    Did you know that it uses at LEAST 10 times the energy used by the same size train going the same distance, what a comment on this government’s green policy, all for the sake of a maybe 20 minutes “saved” on a 2-3 hour point to point journey.
    BTW I live in Surrey, so this isn’t personal, well, accept the tax money wasted.

  55. margaret howard
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Daily Mail 3/10/20

    “A Ford Fiesta may cost £1,000 more and a Golf £1,400 extra: Car buyers urged to bring forward purchases as makers plan Brexit price increases

    Without a deal between the UK and EU, 10% tariffs on cars would be incurred
    Which? has asked car makers is they will absorb these costs or push prices up
    Ford, Vauxhall, Mercedes and Peugeot say the prices of their models will rise
    Below is the impact on prices of popular new cars, like Ford’s Fiesta and Focus

    Brexit keeps on giving.

    • beresford
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      In fact the EU manufacturers will be forced to absorb these tariffs in order to keep their products competitive to those we will be able to import from elsewhere under FTAs. The tariffs will go to our Exchequer rather than the EU.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Oops, I should have read this before saying same.

      • anon
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        The future for cars
        EU imports 10%.
        ROW imports 10% until a WTO compliant “trade” agreement is struck and some have been.

        So trade with ROW goes up, trade with EU goes down.

        Lets remove absolutely and unequivocally, the primacy of any EU laws including any treaty which seeks to bind a government from democratic mandates. In fact make that a UK law which makes these legalistic coups void.

        We need to start executing countermeasures to all the potential dirty dealing the EU is likely to try.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      But not cars made in the UK.
      Bonus for our own home made vehicles.
      And their employees.
      Plenty of choice of companies.

      • Andy
        Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Alas – not true.

        Because cars made in the UK contain components made in the EU which will also be subject to tariffs.

        So those prices go up too. Shame.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The tariff is just 10%
          The currency has varied more than that inside a year.

          Car companies can easilt switch to components made outside the EU or buy them inside the UK.

          Your lack of automotive industry knowledge is showing.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          Components are not subject to tariffs.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Buy something else! Then the Continental manufacturers will have to absorb the extra cost if they want to sell a car into our market.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 4, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        EU car sales to UK have plunged in the last year. There is every chance buyers will look to other countries in 2021 and are likely to be higher cost cars from the standard EU mass production models.
        EU willing to shoot itself in the foot.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          In the head!

  56. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Some very interesting figures on CV deaths from a FoI request:

    England, Wales and elsewhere
    January February March April May June July August
    2019 53,910 45,795 43,944 44,121 44,389 38,603 42,308 38,843

    2020 56,706 43,653 49,723 88,153 52,374 42,624 40,780 37,187

    Diff. * 2,796 -2,142 5,779 44,032 7,985 4,021 -1,528 -1,656

    Strange that July & August this year saw less deaths even though we still had the virus — but the question has to be asked – Was it worth ruining the economy for so few extra deaths from CV?

    *Additional Because of CV-19

  57. Raymond
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    It is likely that the ‘new normal’ will mean more people working at home and /or travelling to work at different times. The railway travel peak will spread. There is so much uncertainty that it will be difficult to be definitive about future travel patterns for some time; but there is the potential for a more even spread of passengers during the day which will reduce the traditional peak problems. There may also be the opportunity to simplify the fare structure (rather than complicate it). I would suggest trying to do the little things well (clean trains and stations, punctual trains, decent toilet facilities etc) rather than spend £100bn’s on top of the current waste on grandiose projects.

  58. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps we need to look at how businesses make easy access for their staff rather than how they are going to get there .Why do people travel at all ? I questioned this in the 90’s when labour were hell bent on removing all staff onto the road via agencies to get to work . Journeys and permanent positions which had previously been filled with mainly locals were now filled with those coming from different counties on a daily basis. A journey to work which took 15 mins was now fraught with 100 mile journeys in districts unknown.

    People complained about the rise in stress levels , the rise in C F carbons the lack of family time and the break down thereof , the congestion on the roads etc ; and all because labour wanted to do business their way . Many of these agencies now do not exist following removal of monies from the system. This was not democracy in action ,it was despotic dictatorship .There was not a need to enforce this structure which has brought society crashing down as a consequence.

  59. Peter Parsons
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Simon Calder article in the i and on The Independent website “The Mystery of the East Coast Ghost Trains” is worth a read.

    If the government wants to save some money, government-imposed requirements such as those highlighted in this article, would make a good place to start.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      If the government wants to save some money!

      Seems rather unlikely.

  60. steve
    Posted October 3, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink


    Mr Redwood, this is being alleged by the BBC –

    ‘Boris Johnson will send a letter to the EU asking for a Brexit delay if no deal is agreed by 19 October’

    Would you be in position to shed light on this ?

    You must be aware that if Boris does that, it will be the end of the conservative party and they won’t be needing no general election on their way out. We mean it.

    reply Not a good idea!

    • graham1946
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      At the very least, the date will slip as all his dates have so far done – he is not strong enough even with an 80 seat majority to silence his Remoaners who will push for another transition, especially for fish, even though we’ve had a four and a half year transition already. Prepare for the sellout and the Johnson resignation.

  61. Iain Gill
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Some trains being held on the east coast main line today due to lack of signallers.

    This is ridiculous.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Doncaster must have Covid.

  62. Ian
    Posted October 4, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Time to treat this C V 19
    Like flue, we will have to sooner or later.
    Look after your selves be sensible, be responsible for your health.
    We will all be bust if this goes on any longer, people dying with flue every day, yes I am 73.
    To much scare on the TV And this rubbish government, keeping us Feerfull 24/7.
    And another thing, concrete over the rails, been saying that for years, it will be almost self No funding, no subsidies needed by the tax payers, transport paid for by the car or truck owners.
    Get out of the EU , we have all the cards noT them, they can not threaten us one bit
    We buy £90 billion for goods from them than they do with us!

    Has this PM got rid of the Chinese doing 5 G yet , or is it just more lying ?

  63. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 6, 2020 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Sir John, but governments don’t do “the vision thing” and there is little point in expecting ours to do so. We need to privatise the railways in a way that enables them of operate without any taxpayer support. That will involve creating corridor or regional vertically integrated private sector monopolies and allow them to run their businesses with no government interference or taxpayer support whatsoever. Once we get COVID-19 behind us, this will be feasible.

    I have written up a blueprint for this on two sheets of A4 paper and I will send you a copy. It’s perhaps a little bit long for a blog.

  64. Richard Brown
    Posted October 11, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    As the earth warms, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere will increase because gases dissolved in liquids become less soluble with increasing temperature. There are massive amounts of carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans, seas, rivers, swamps etc, the surface waters of our planet, so we should expect a big increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. But is that a bad thing? Carbon dioxide is THE essential plant food and is used in the process known as photosynthesis. That was the first science I was taught as a child.
    There have been five ice ages (cause unexplained) and it follows that there were four “warm ages” in between. Seems we are entering a “warm age”.
    The “green-house effect” is an invention of a politician. An explanation of why it is nonsense requires more space than I have here, but part of my understanding comes from using infra-red spectroscopy which showed me that the OH bond absorbance is much greater than the CO bond. (OH as in water, CO as in carbon dioxide).
    Best regards
    Richard Brown

  • 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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