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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:04 pm 
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"Despite his stupidity Jeremy Hunt is no hero of mine"


Quite often get the mindset in the usage/choices of words,particularly from those of the Tory persuasion.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Hopefully there'll be the knock on with buses in Wolverhampton if more people are travelling to the station. But too often stuff like that doesn't happen, and it brings the big project like HS2 in to disrepute when it doesn't. It's one thing I like about the big projects that they create pressure for better local services to link up with them.

I don't know if it's possible to stick in an extra station on the outskirts of Wolverhampton on the way to Stafford.



There is a metrolink to Birmingham but it doesn't extend to the NE part of the town and that project has been well and truly kicked out

We have a lot of problems in the UK with public transport

It invariably takes longer than the car and so people default to the car as it is cheaper (the main car expense is the capital investment - when you have it you use it and Governments are sensitive to keeping car driving pretty cheap)

There is a societal snobbery about people who take public transport - those of us who do are often seen as 'failures' - this is not the case in the bigger cities but in provincial UK the car is definitely king

Unless we can get people to use public transport then there will be no investment - and with a poor outlook for the future then we will struggle to see capital investment in the infrastructure. Then we have the view that all the costs should be piled on to us poor users with only a small amount of subsidy so in the end - if you have access to a car you would be daft not to use it

The issue as always is no long term strategic plan to deal with all this - the same as the discussion we have had about education.

We need to understand what transport will look like in the future an less and less will it involve cars that are idle for 90% of the time - even if we move away from petrol then we will still have the environmental impact of construction and the need for electricity infrastructure. Then we need to start putting in place plans to gradually move people over to the use of alternatives - and efficient, well managed public transport will have to be central to that

There may be some disruptors as autonomous vehicles have to be taken into he equation but this is one of the key roles of Government to think about the future and how we can look to influence how society develops

This is a 20-30 year task but it can start now


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Fortunate here with good buses etc.With knowledge of links with buses,train etc.timing admittedly a bit of running.I can beat a car driver to places,certainly if finding car park/parking is taken into consideration.I don't know what the price of petrol etc is but £13 for a week for anywhere I need to go(a fair few miles)must be price/cost comparable.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:28 pm 
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The Wolverhampton Interchange looks promising. But clearly, there's a lot of work to do.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:43 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
Pricing should be done on the commercial basis airlines operate on. Rail has moved towards that, but there are still too many regulated parts of the system preventing that (eg the 'off-peak' cliff edge).


I'm not sure. The big achievement has been to have much more frequent trains running. We've now got a system in lots of places where you don't have to worry about checking a timetable before you go to the station. Whenever you're ready, you could turn up to the station at your convenience and wait not all that long. But you have to buy a ticket ages in advance. That doesn't make sense.


Why do you think that differs from, say, flying from Heathrow to New York?

If you want to do so, there are over 30 flights tomorrow.

But, the way to maximise revenue is to price as the flight fills. You want to have the flight (or the carriages) full, or as full as possible, to maximise revenue. That means if you turn up hours before, you can get a flight but it will cost you.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:48 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
howsillyofme1 wrote:
I find this 'who don't do the travelling to pay through taxation for those that do' argument nauseating to be honest

If we start looking at the funding of society being transactional then we become a very unpleasant and petty place - this is Thatcherite thinking at its most appalling


It is depressing that some centre-leftists (in think tanks and so on) have been beguiled by this sort of thinking.

Similar to the debate over universal benefits v means testing - the former is right in principle for all major welfare provision. Moreover, it has been shown to work.



There are two reasons parties of the left shouldn't be supporting this.

1) It is distributively unfair. A lucky few get the benefit, and all pay (in this regard it is completely different from universal benefits).

2) It is regressive (this is a different point). The largest number of journeys, by far, are by commuters in the south east. A rich class. We shouldn't be subsidising the rich.

3) It creates distortions. It becomes cheaper to live further away from the centers of big cities, creating more traffic, which isn't green.

Subsidising rail, like free university education, is a good example of how 'traditional' (ie unthinking) parts of the left endiorse regressive policies that are actually middle class sops (ie actually rightwing).


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 6:56 pm 
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An interesting question is WHY does the left still perceive these (objectively) rightwing policies that are distributively unfair, as somehow "leftwing".

One answer is that the party of the working class needs to capture some midddle class votes in order to win. So, subsidising commuters in the south east, or university places for the better off does that.

The other is producer capture. Labour is the party of the unions, and rail is still strongly unionised. The decline of unions in the private sector means that there is less of a call from Labour to go and subsidise call centers (or whatever).


Last edited by SpinningHugo on Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:04 pm 
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On reflection, I think a third factor is even more important.

That is the view that ALL state spending is somehow leftwing.

So even if a particular example of it benefits the richest disproportionately, and results in environmental damage, it is still, somehow, "lefwing."

And because somehow "leftwing", those who see politics as a game, still support it.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:16 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
AnatolyKasparov wrote:
howsillyofme1 wrote:
I find this 'who don't do the travelling to pay through taxation for those that do' argument nauseating to be honest

If we start looking at the funding of society being transactional then we become a very unpleasant and petty place - this is Thatcherite thinking at its most appalling


It is depressing that some centre-leftists (in think tanks and so on) have been beguiled by this sort of thinking.

Similar to the debate over universal benefits v means testing - the former is right in principle for all major welfare provision. Moreover, it has been shown to work.



There are two reasons parties of the left shouldn't be supporting this.

1) It is distributively unfair. A lucky few get the benefit, and all pay (in this regard it is completely different from universal benefits).

2) It is regressive (this is a different point). The largest number of journeys, by far, are by commuters in the south east. A rich class. We shouldn't be subsidising the rich.

3) It creates distortions. It becomes cheaper to live further away from the centers of big cities, creating more traffic, which isn't green.

Subsidising rail, like free university education, is a good example of how 'traditional' (ie unthinking) parts of the left endiorse regressive policies that are actually middle class sops (ie actually rightwing).

But living in cities (particularly London) is becoming ever more expensive and is pricing more and more people out. Do you really think ~£5k for a season ticket from Brighton to London, or ~£8k for Bristol to Reading (a journey my mother did for several years after they moved her job) are reasonable?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:18 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
Pricing should be done on the commercial basis airlines operate on. Rail has moved towards that, but there are still too many regulated parts of the system preventing that (eg the 'off-peak' cliff edge).


I'm not sure. The big achievement has been to have much more frequent trains running. We've now got a system in lots of places where you don't have to worry about checking a timetable before you go to the station. Whenever you're ready, you could turn up to the station at your convenience and wait not all that long. But you have to buy a ticket ages in advance. That doesn't make sense.


Why do you think that differs from, say, flying from Heathrow to New York?

If you want to do so, there are over 30 flights tomorrow.

But, the way to maximise revenue is to price as the flight fills. You want to have the flight (or the carriages) full, or as full as possible, to maximise revenue. That means if you turn up hours before, you can get a flight but it will cost you.


30 isn't very many. That's not a turn up and go frequency.

With the capacity now, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more than double number of trains between London and eg Manchester. That's turn up any time (with peak restrictions obviously) and know there'll be a train in 20 minutes.


Last edited by Tubby Isaacs on Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:19 pm 
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And, talking about "environmental damage", it surely can't be right that it is cheaper to get flight across our (relatively) small country then a rail ticket. Rail is better environmentally, but we are making it easier for people to fly or drive.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:22 pm 
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refitman wrote:
But living in cities (particularly London) is becoming ever more expensive and is pricing more and more people out. Do you really think ~£5k for a season ticket from Brighton to London, or ~£8k for Bristol to Reading (a journey my mother did for several years after they moved her job) are reasonable?



If that is what it costs to deliver the service, then yes of course it is reasonable, Actually it costs more. What is unreasonable is that these (rich) commuters are being subsidised like this. This is suppressing wages in places like London, and causing London to overheat, at the expense of other parts of the UK. Stop it.

No party will, as they want the votes of rich commuters in Reading. A democratic failure.

Somebody has to pay for these subsidies, it isn't free. It means that money better spent elsewhere (eg on the poor) isn't being. A terrible ongoing opportunity cost.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:23 pm 
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refitman wrote:
And, talking about "environmental damage", it surely can't be right that it is cheaper to get flight across our (relatively) small country then a rail ticket. Rail is better environmentally, but we are making it easier for people to fly or drive.


Air is not cheaper when you compare like with like. Car travel though that is cheaper and should cost more.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:24 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
refitman wrote:
But living in cities (particularly London) is becoming ever more expensive and is pricing more and more people out. Do you really think ~£5k for a season ticket from Brighton to London, or ~£8k for Bristol to Reading (a journey my mother did for several years after they moved her job) are reasonable?



If that is what it costs to deliver the service, then yes of course it is reasonable, Actually it costs more. What is unreasonable is that these (rich) commuters are being subsidised like this. This is suppressing wages in places like London, and causing London to overheat, at the expense of other parts of the UK. Stop it.

No party will, as they want the votes of rich commuters in Reading. A democratic failure.

Somebody has to pay for these subsidies, it isn't free. It means that money better spent elsewhere (eg on the poor) isn't being. A terrible ongoing opportunity cost.

Or, and here's a radical idea, we take the trains back into public ownership and then all the profits will be directed back into the running of the rails. Not having to provide a profit should bring prices down (see East Coast)?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:29 pm 
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If it is the only practical option it is beyond the middle class subsidy drivel thing.Appears class obsessed,unsurprisingly I view other factors more important,not least the lack of social awareness,and attitude that wants to put up more barriers/deny others basic freedoms/opportunities.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:32 pm 
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refitman wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
refitman wrote:
But living in cities (particularly London) is becoming ever more expensive and is pricing more and more people out. Do you really think ~£5k for a season ticket from Brighton to London, or ~£8k for Bristol to Reading (a journey my mother did for several years after they moved her job) are reasonable?



If that is what it costs to deliver the service, then yes of course it is reasonable, Actually it costs more. What is unreasonable is that these (rich) commuters are being subsidised like this. This is suppressing wages in places like London, and causing London to overheat, at the expense of other parts of the UK. Stop it.

No party will, as they want the votes of rich commuters in Reading. A democratic failure.

Somebody has to pay for these subsidies, it isn't free. It means that money better spent elsewhere (eg on the poor) isn't being. A terrible ongoing opportunity cost.

Or, and here's a radical idea, we take the trains back into public ownership and then all the profits will be directed back into the running of the rails. Not having to provide a profit should bring prices down (see East Coast)?



The ownership is a distraction, a quite separate issue from the level of subsidy. I'm not all that fussed about who owns it. The present system introduced by Labour seems to work well, with the infrastructure (the big bit) long since nationalised. The East Coast mainline (the usual example) now returns far more money to the treasury than it did when publicly run.

What I really object to is the subsidy.

Would we say, really, that buying a house in Brighton or Reading is now really expensive, and so people in those expensive places should be given money?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:32 pm 
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The profits of train companies are trivial in terms of the overall costs. Something like 1.4% now. Plus the private companies have raised revenue a lot, by being incredibly ruthless with especially business fares which the government wouldn't have done. That releases money we wouldn't have for investment.

Nationalizations can be done, and could be more efficient, but to get cheap fares you need to subsidize them with far more money.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
refitman wrote:
And, talking about "environmental damage", it surely can't be right that it is cheaper to get flight across our (relatively) small country then a rail ticket. Rail is better environmentally, but we are making it easier for people to fly or drive.


Air is not cheaper when you compare like with like. Car travel though that is cheaper and should cost more.

Could rail not cost less?

Rail/air can be comparable. Manchester to London ~£150.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:33 pm 
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refitman wrote:
And, talking about "environmental damage", it surely can't be right that it is cheaper to get flight across our (relatively) small country then a rail ticket. Rail is better environmentally, but we are making it easier for people to fly or drive.



ALL travel is environmentally damaging. We shouldn't be subsidising any of it., GBH is less serious than murder or manslaughter, but we shouldn't be encouraging any of them.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:34 pm 
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I also didn't realise that rail is a preserve of the middle class. The more you know.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Right, that's it. Nobody go anywhere, the poor especially. Moving home to get a better job? Tough luck, unless you can carry a lot on your back, on your bike.

Also, you're restricted to the food produced locally.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:37 pm 
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refitman wrote:
Right, that's it. Nobody go anywhere, the poor especially. Moving home to get a better job? Tough luck, unless you can carry a lot on your back, on your bike.

Also, you're restricted to the food produced locally.

And if you want a holiday, you can go as far as you can walk.


Last edited by refitman on Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
f for t


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:41 pm 
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refitman wrote:
I also didn't realise that rail is a preserve of the middle class. The more you know.


Disproportionately it is because so much of it is work journeys around London and the South East.

You could have much cheaper fares in other areas. I don't know how much they do that now.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Or self propel.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:43 pm 
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refitman wrote:
I also didn't realise that rail is a preserve of the middle class. The more you know.



Who would say anything so ridiculous?

Just as with University places, of course there are working class beneficiaries.

The point is that *proportionately* it is the better off who get the benefit of this subsidy. The rich in the south east.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Buses really aren't middle class, very clearly. Their fares are too high. Hilarious Boris really went for those when he became mayor, I recall.
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:44 pm 
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refitman wrote:
Right, that's it. Nobody go anywhere, the poor especially. Moving home to get a better job? Tough luck, unless you can carry a lot on your back, on your bike.

Also, you're restricted to the food produced locally.



No. Nobody is suggesting that. But we shouldn't be *encouraging* environmentally damaging things. Not banning.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:46 pm 
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refitman wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
refitman wrote:
And, talking about "environmental damage", it surely can't be right that it is cheaper to get flight across our (relatively) small country then a rail ticket. Rail is better environmentally, but we are making it easier for people to fly or drive.


Air is not cheaper when you compare like with like. Car travel though that is cheaper and should cost more.

Could rail not cost less?

Rail/air can be comparable. Manchester to London ~£150.


The very high fares for rail even in that example are likely peak time and or walk on. But you could definitely increase air passenger duty.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Buses really aren't middle class, very clearly. Their fares are too high. Hilarious Boris really went for those when he became mayor, I recall.
.


But there are two "fairness" arguments in play, not one.

Assume that the subsidy is not regressive in any way. Is it fair that users of this service should be subsidised by those that don't?

(Add in all the other distortions, and it is bad policy as well.)


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:54 pm 
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I think it is fair in terms of taking cars off the road to subsidize buses.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:55 pm 
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I am sorry this particular mode of transport=class thing,is beyond ridiculous,granted I may have a different perspective and am resolutely classless in both senses.I've had chaffeured limousines on occasion I wasn't a Lord or anything.We used taxis regularly when most wouldn't,we had to in practical terms.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Are you saying rail passengers should pay the cost of the infrastructure too?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
I think it is fair in terms of taking cars off the road to subsidize buses.


No. The best way to achieve the former is to tax car usage more, not encourage more travel.

Bus travel is not an inherently good thing in itself that we should be trying to encourage.


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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
I think it is fair in terms of taking cars off the road to subsidize buses.

Subsidising buses is a good thing, IMHO. Especially for rural areas. They are often the only transport links between places and, from what I've read, some routes are now down to 1 bus each way per day.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:01 pm 
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One thing that definitely should be done is that a decent ticket splitting tool could be put on the National Rail site. Rail heads know this can be cheaper and what sort of combinations to look for, but it's unreasonable to expect others to know this. I have no idea about it.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Are you saying rail passengers should pay the cost of the infrastructure too?


Ideally we'd want all the costs reflected in the price.


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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
One thing that definitely should be done is that a decent ticket splitting tool could be put on the National Rail site. Rail heads know this can be cheaper and what sort of combinations to look for, but it's unreasonable to expect others to know this. I have no idea about it.

The general state of rail sites could be better. Just went to GWR, to find the Bristol/Reading cost and it tried to link to the season ticket calculator on the NR site. Went to a 404 not found page. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:04 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
I think it is fair in terms of taking cars off the road to subsidize buses.


No. The best way to achieve the former is to tax car usage more, not encourage more travel.

Bus travel is not an inherently good thing in itself that we should be trying to encourage.


Tax car use, sure. But I don't think we need to worry too much about subsidies creating a load of people who just ride buses for fun. People use them to go somewhere.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:07 pm 
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On the plus side politically, the Tories are likely in a bit of trouble on rail. They certainly promised big but lots of it seems to be happening too slowly. Chloe Smith for one might be trying to forget she kept saying "Norwich in 90" by 2022.


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Hahahaha. Just had a survey pop up on the GWR site. One of the questions is:
Quote:
How likely are you to purchase from Great Western Rail the next time you purchase train tickets?
How the heck to you answer that? I'll just use GWR for a train ride in Scotland?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:08 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Are you saying rail passengers should pay the cost of the infrastructure too?


Ideally we'd want all the costs reflected in the price.


Why? It's not just fare players who benefit.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Are you saying rail passengers should pay the cost of the infrastructure too?


Ideally we'd want all the costs reflected in the price.


Why? It's not just fare players who benefit.



Not sure I understand. Who benefits from rail infrastructure other than rail users? Employees?

Again, if the answer is we all do because of the reduction of road traffic, that is false. the way to reduce road traffic is to tax it more. There is nothing *inherently* beneficial from people make train journeys (unlike, say, taking more exercise) and so we shouldn't be encouraging it.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Are you saying rail passengers should pay the cost of the infrastructure too?


Ideally we'd want all the costs reflected in the price.


Why? It's not just fare players who benefit.

Ooh, there's a special word for this kind of thing. Begins with "S", ends in "-ism"?


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:19 pm 
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refitman wrote:
Ooh, there's a special word for this kind of thing. Begins with "S", ends in "-ism"?


I thought it was called trickle down theory? That is a rightwing, not a leftwing, idea. Give the rich a benefit, and the rest of us will indirectly benefit. Lucky them.

A fourth reason, why the "traditional" leftt favours this rightwing policy is reflected in HIndleA's comment (if I can understand it) is an outdated view as to who benefits from rail subsidy.

So, it might be supposed that rich people use private transport (cars) while poor ones use public transport (rail).

This just isn't true if you look at who uses rail, and who benefits from the subsidy.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:19 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
SpinningHugo wrote:
Ideally we'd want all the costs reflected in the price.


Why? It's not just fare players who benefit.



Not sure I understand. Who benefits from rail infrastructure other than rail users? Employees?

Again, if the answer is we all do because of the reduction of road traffic, that is false. the way to reduce road traffic is to tax it more. There is nothing *inherently* beneficial from people make train journeys (unlike, say, taking more exercise) and so we shouldn't be encouraging it.

Umm, anyone who buys something that has been transported by rail? People who use businesses where employees have to travel across the country (my work has offices in Rotherham and London and we have to travel between the two). Lower costs for companies should lead to (relatively) lower costs for the customer.

Oh, and people in the country who have to breathe (last I checked, all of us). Transport more people/stuff by rail and less by car - less pollution.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:24 pm 
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People who do business with rail travellers benefit from rail travel for a start.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:26 pm 
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Tubby Isaacs wrote:
People who do business with rail travellers benefit from rail travel for a start.

Certainly one of the dafter statements SH has made. Might as well have suggested privatising the NHS as it only benefits the sick people using it and the people working for it.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:26 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
refitman wrote:
Ooh, there's a special word for this kind of thing. Begins with "S", ends in "-ism"?


I thought it was called trickle down theory? That is a rightwing, not a leftwing, idea. Give the rich a benefit, and the rest of us will indirectly benefit. Lucky them.

A fourth reason, why the "traditional" leftt favours this rightwing policy is reflected in HIndleA's comment (if I can understand it) is an outdated view as to who benefits from rail subsidy.

So, it might be supposed that rich people use private transport (cars) while poor ones use public transport (rail).

This just isn't true if you look at who uses rail, and who benefits from the subsidy.


But who benefits more as a proportion of their income if you lower rail fares? People on lower incomes

And who pays more tax if you subsidise it from taxation instead of rail fares? People with greater income.

You could, to take an extreme example which has never been tried before, raise the top rate of tax.

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Why is Big Ben a thing? FFS.


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PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 8:28 pm 
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refitman wrote:

Oh, and people in the country who have to breathe (last I checked, all of us). Transport more people/stuff by rail and less by car - less pollution.



Giving large amounts of money to the richest will, no doubt, indirectly benefit almost everyone in some small way. That doesn't justify it.

These small indirect benefits are greatly outweighed by the large direct benefits to the immediate beneficiaries. It doesn;t come close to meeting the unfairness argument.

The last is, as I;ve explained, a bad argument.

Rail travel may pollute less than car travel, but there is nothing *inherently* good about it that means we should be encouraging it (unlike exercise, or art, or not dropping litter.) We should seek to discourage car usage by taxing it more, not by subsidising another less bad (but still bad) polluting activity as an alternative.


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