After reading the devastating analysis of public transport provision in the UK by John Burn-Murdoch a few weeks ago, particularly the graphs below, it’s quite clear we in the UK are a case of how not to do public transport in the developed world.
It is not just the result of 13 years of Tory government but also 40 years of neoliberal thinking which much of the developed world has seen fit not to adopt in their transport sector like rail privatisation. This as we mark 30 years of the privatisation of the UK’s railways on the 30th anniversary of the 1993 Railways Act.
The first chart shows clearly we have the worts provision of trams, tubes and light rail in our cities in the developed world including the USA with their over reliance on the automobile.
This is further reinforced with the abnormally high costs of building transport infrastructure in the UK from bridges and roads to high speed rail and its electrification. And finally our cities outside London, have both poor public transport and poor road infrastructure as well.
So its reassuring to see the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool reaffirmed its support for to renationalise rail and whilst supporting like public investment like HS2, in a forthcoming Labour government.
As the returning of rail into public ownership along with water and energy has been shown to be publicly supported by the majority of the population in polls and surveys. The neo-liberal capitalism experiment with rail in the UK since the 1990s has failed with expensive disjointed pricing of rail across the country today, record low investment and a fast deteriorating services whilst the ROC’s have been making plenty of money.