Media picks up on transport disparity between London and "the North"

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by AndrewE, 8 Jun 2019.

  1. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    They found the opposite with the ONS move.
     
  2. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Unfortunately I don't have the time to do so today but will do a detailed post with links and references in the next few days, in which case I hope you will read it with an open mind...
     
  3. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    Good luck to you but I think you're wasting your time.
     
  4. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    I will indeed. Incidentally, I’m well aware of the private investment in Crossrail, but if it was purely that there wouldn’t be such a fuss at the moment about the amount of money being wasted by Crossrail delays, so the picture is more complex than that.
     
  5. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Surely this is well documented? Poor reliability, slow journey times, high fares and poor integration with other routes and other modes. If they were "attractive", then car users would use buses a lot.
     
  6. Greybeard33

    Greybeard33 Established Member

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    Why do you keep having a dig at Warrington's Own Buses? Naff branding, but a modern fleet and an efficient, integrated network in my experience. Head and shoulders above the mishmash of operators in Greater Manchester.
     
  7. option

    option Member

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    Paywall so can't see the article, but are you sure your comparing like for like?

    eg. the DWP etc employ large numbers of people in Newcastle, but the highest earners in those departments are all in London, where they are therefore paying more income tax & NI, & likely council tax. They are also unlikely to be getting any in-work benefits.
    So if the DWP choose not to pay staff a living wage, & they then have to get state top-ups, where should that be counted? Where the person is employed, or where the employers HQ is?

    Or take VAT. If you go into a Sainsburys in Cornwall, is that a VAT credit in Cornwall or London, where the HQ is?
     
  8. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    Far too generalised and sweeping a statement. Which specific examples?
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    People actually don't mind slow journey times if the connectivity is good. Merseyrail is hugely popular (though not as popular as it was planned to be due to buses competing rather than complementing) and it is a very slow service indeed. That's why my view, in cities, is towards simplified connectional timetables on a pure clockface pattern with trains generally calling at all stations and good capacity.

    Regarding buses, everywhere else needs to copy London and go for touch-in (and touch-out if necessary) contactless and dual door and stop taking cash. Slow running times are probably unavoidable, but spending 5 minutes at busy stops is utterly unnecessary when a London bus can board 30 people in about a minute easily.
     
  10. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    You'll have to explain the relevance of that comment I'm afraid.
     
  11. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Just wasn't the done thing then. And does a day at a carefully staged event really tell you much?
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think it was worth going to mine (this is in the 1990s) but there's really no need for parents to go. I went to a couple of them with school, anyway, they arranged coach trips.
     
  13. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    If we specifically focus on fare integration, single fares usually do not allow change of vehicle. So a single journey involving a change of vehicle can often cost as much as a day ticket.

    Government statistics show low per capita usage outside London.

    From 91/92 to 17/18, annual per capita usage in England outside London went down from 68 to 46, and in London went up from 168 to 252.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Of course it took London long enough to solve that even with a fuly regulated system, and you're still penalised if your journey involves bus and Tube.
     
  15. DanDaDriver

    DanDaDriver Member

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    When you’re paying several tens of thousands of pounds for something and incurring half a lifetime of debt, it’s a good idea to make sure you like it.

    However if the government is just going to give it you gratis, then it won’t hurt to just turn up and see if you like it when you start.
     
  16. underbank

    underbank Member

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    So what do you do until things change? Happy to sacrifice your childrens' future? We have to deal with the here and now, not what some perfect system would look like!!
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Well, you can either choose to pay the cost of transporting them to other schools, or you put up with it.

    In my observation it's much easier to fix bad schools (the academisation programme, while I have issues with it, is doing quite well with some of them) than sort out the national issue of poor public transport.
     
  18. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Because there's so much choice these days - there are far more uni's than ever before.

    Costs are extortionate, not just the tuition fees, but also accommodation which can be up to £200 per week on campus in some Unis. The quality of some of the accommodation we've seen is pretty horrendous - you really want to know which to avoid, especially when paying so much for it.

    If you don't like your chosen course/uni, you havn't just wasted a year, you still have to pay the fees, accommodation for the full year, etc., so it's important to get it right as it may have just cost you £15-£20k if you give up mid-year.

    Some uni's openly state that attendance at one of their open days "may" help your application and "may" increase your chances of an offer. Registrations of those attending is taken on the day.

    The schools are heavily recommending attending as many open days as possible.
     
  19. option

    option Member

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    It's easier to persuade people to give you money when you already have a decent track record on spending/investment.

    London didn't give itself TfL, it was given it by central government. The TfL 'brand' has also existed for a lot longer, & on a lot more things, than the regional equivalents.
    They also are of a size where they can have staff dedicated to arranging funding for projects etc. That makes a massive difference.
    So, again, it's easier for TfL to raise funding.


    As for Crossrail;
    • Transport for London
    • Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (a local tax charged on property developments across Greater London, with different charging rates for each London borough)
    • Crossrail Business Rate Supplement (additional business rates)
    • Section 106 Agreement payments
    • Over-site development opportunities
    • UK Government
    • City of London Corporation
    • Major landowners Canary Wharf Group, Heathrow Airport Holdings, and Berkeley Homes.

    TfL - has massive fares income, & future income from Crossrail, that it can borrow against. Nowhere else comes close.
    CIL - nicely overheated London property market
    Business Rate Supplement - all those HQs paying it out of income earned elsewhere in the UK
     
  20. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    I travel from Wigan via Castlefield to South Manchester for work, have done for 25 years.

    With the Ordsall Chord and Trafford Park freight causing daily chaos in Castlefield and the reduction in services from Wigan to Picadilly the service to South Manchester is now worse than it was a few years ago. The stock is exactly the same as it was 25 years ago, I suspect the journey time is longer due to timetable padding, it’s certainly no quicker, punctuality is worse than it’s ever been.

    The only service improvements have been from occasional long distance services stopping at Wigan and Castlefield. These services become overcrowded with commuters and so have been withdrawn. So no, I struggle to see any improvements for my particular daily journey. It’s frustrating as I like railway travel but I’m probably closer than ever to driving to work instead of using the train, although the roads into Manchester are equally horrible.
     
  21. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    So at least 4 of those represent public sector funding in different ways.
     
  22. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    It's quandary that surprisingly was well solved by the Berlin Wall and East and West Germany.
    Think about it modern Germany isn't Berlin centric, Frankfurt for finance, Berlin Culture, Munich for manufacturing, science and innovation, ultimately a well balanced mix across the country!
    It does work, the proof exists so who with me to cause these types of division that'll break a country into more manageable pieces... Anyone... No... Are you sure? Lol

    Realistically making the UK less London centric is now impossible, the infrastructure, the buildings are already there and won't be going or won't become less attractive anytime soon

    So it time to accept London has the biggest contribution to the UK tax pot, has the largest population and will by definition take its fair share back out of the pot for public transport etc... Spend per head maybe higher in London but remember they also put the highest amount in per head as well
     
  23. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Of which 3 are local public sector who fund through additional local tax raising (council tax levy for GLA/TfL (which bill payers see documented to the nearest penny on their bills), business rates increments) not central government funding pass through.
    The DfT non loan contribution (e.g. excluding loans to cover cost overruns) is only 27% of the total current cost estimate.

    Crossrail should be profitable (including covering all debt repayments) about 15-18 months after opening.
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    It also helps to get a feel of the place before opting for one. I fell in love with my University and its location on the open day.
     
  25. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    OK. A fair point but you are speaking of your own experience. What about people using the Chat Moss route? Does no-one travelling towards Victoria from Newton-Le-Willows or even Eccles notice any improvement? I find that very hard to believe.
     
  26. David Emmott

    David Emmott Member

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    As an occasional user of the Chat Moss line between Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows, it has to be said that despite the splendid new station at the latter, the service on that end of the line is lamentable. Two trains an hour of which one is a fast (diesel) TPE and the other, five or so minutes later, is an all-stations EMU. Heading towards Manchester there is also an hourly train (another diesel) coming from Wales via Warrington. Makes you wonder why they bothered to electrify. It would have made much more sense, if it was either/or, to have electrified the CLC line which might have increased the frequency for the local stations between Warrington and Manchester.

    The actual, as opposed to the timetabled, service is by all accounts even worse. The other day a friend was sitting in a train at Lime Street bound for Manchester, for half an hour before the train was cancelled owing to the absence of a driver. The following TPE for Newcastle was cancelled for the same reason.
     
  27. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Well there is some improvement but from an incredibly low base. And having the TOC from hell, Northern, as a lead operator ensures that standards remain incredibly low.

    Mass ongoing cancellations, the Piccadilly 13/4 shouters, the South's cast off trains, half baked Penalty Fare schemes, remote management from the other side of the country, inability to deal with special events.

    Basically it's all cheap and shoddy
     
  28. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    Thank you both for that. The implications from your posts is that the real issue is not London getting preferential treatment but that investment in your area is not done wisely.
     
  29. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Change requires quite a bit of personnel resource to get it done right and in many cases the TOCs don't have the resources to carry out change properly. They are just staffed as leanly as possible for doing the same thing.

    Northern with years of neglect was always going to take while to sort out and the plans to do so (e.g. DfT+ TOCs bid) were soon likely to be outpaced by reality turning out differently.

    Introduction of "new" stock in the shape of 195s, 331s and bimode 769s later this year will make an impact.
     
  30. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I don't really get the notion that some northerners seem to have that everything down south is gold-plated; it really isn't. Round my way (home counties) the only real investment has been the Thameslink Programme, which is mainly an economic way of squeezing the last drop of spare capacity out of the existing network, or to put it another way stuffing as many trains as possible through a Victorian cross-London tunnel. Even this has been done on a shoestring, opening with bare-minimum stabling capacity provided, and schemes like the Stevenage bay platform (essential to making the plan work) deferred with services replaced by buses in the meantime. We still have 43-year-old class 313s in service, and up until the last year many services at my station were provided by 317s - early 1980s and barely refurbished since new, for many commuters their only experience of the train will have been 313s and 317s for many years. Like parts of Northern, my station has had a barely-useable weekend service for as long as can be remembered.

    Meanwhile the A1(M) in one of the most heavily populated parts of the country is just two lanes each way through Hertfordshire, with a widening scheme cancelled by John Prescott in the 1990s - comparing disfavourably to the luxurious section of A1(M) through North Yorkshire - likewise other parts of the A1 have had bypasses built and roundabouts removed, unlike the Cambridgeshire section where there remain five roundabouts south of Peterborough. This means heavy congestion during the peak hours (which down here is 0600-1000 and 1500-1900), and accidents on a regular basis leading to gridlock, today being no exception.

    In London we've seen extra trains for the Jubilee and Northern lines effectively cancelled for budgetary reasons, Piccadilly Line fleet replacement deferred (trains now over 45 years old), meanwhile the Bakerloo Line trains (even older) don't have a definite replacement plan. Elsewhere in my area the Croxley Link is now seemingly dead, again in an area which sees gridlocked roads on a daily basis.

    I do think there's a pretty healthy dose of unrealistic expectations in places on this thread and elsewhere, some people need a bit of a reality check IMO. A certain expression about the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence springs to mind.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2019

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