At last Thursday’s Sefton Council I again tried to push Merseytravel to publish the background papers and and evidence they used when they made their highly surprising policy ‘U” turn earlier this year on vertical integration of our local Merseyrail network.
Whilst this can be perceived as a complex issue it is all rather straight forward. For years rail experts have been saying that splitting the operator and infrastructure parts of the railways up has led to greater costs and therefore higher ticket prices. They also say that we could run our railways better if the two were joined back up. Most folks who have looked at this, probably with the exception of die hard Conservative privatisers, have agreed that the two parts need joining back up. So a campaign started during the last Labour Government to push them into doing this. By the time the wheels of Whitehall had final got around to it the Government had changed but fortunately the Coalition Government was in agreement. A couple of pilot areas were agreed, one being Merseyside’s Merseyrail network, to see if it could be made to work, what the savings would be etc. All well and good, as Merseytravel had long wanted to be such a case study. However, Labour run Merseytravel then backed out, as I have posted before, for reasons they are far from keen to talk about.
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