Daily Mail

Go­ing off the rails

- United Kingdom · BBC World Service · Chris Grayling · British Rail

IS there any part of Bri­tain’s rail ser­vice that’s truly fit for pur­pose?

The timetable sham­bles has left long­suf­fer­ing pas­sen­gers stranded and fum­ing. Ex­tor­tion­ate and re­lent­lessly ris­ing fares are ex­acted for a Third World ser­vice.

The HS2 project is stalling. There are fresh de­lays over the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Cross­rail. And the unions are pur­su­ing a reck­less and nakedly po­lit­i­cal cam­paign of strikes.

But above all, there is a lam­en­ta­ble lack of lead­er­ship and di­rec­tion across the net­work – not least from Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling. Any­one who re­mem­bers the mis­er­able sham­bles that was Bri­tish Rail knows that state con­trol is not the an­swer.

But as long as the net­work is mired in chaos and chronic mis­man­age­ment, the pres­sure for re­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion – how­ever mis­guided – is cer­tain to grow.

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