Target poor performers
Should British Rail Return?
The truth is the state-owned railways should never have been privatised in such a fragmented way by the Conservative Government two decades ago.
The total sell-off of The British Rail network, forming numerous private companies, was one of the worst deals done in constitutional history. The British Rail network, infrastructure and rolling stock was priceless.
Since privatised, it has made a number of wealthy millionaires of private company shareholders.
The rail network now has a large number of different operating companies. It’s a complex and fragmented system which often lacks unison and co-operation between operators, especially in the event of a train break down.
As a regular business commuter, I have to say Virgin Trains, overall, run a good West Coast main line service. They offer competitive advance discounted fares and a fair compensation system for excessive journey delays.
Many delays caused to Virgin Train services are often due to main line infrastructure defects or problems inherited due to other train companies experiencing problems. This has a knock-on effect with shared infrastructure.
Would re-nationalising the railways today be a good investment to the tax payer? Probably not. The sheer cost of re-branding, total payouts to the numerous private operating companies and their shareholders would be colossal.
This huge amount of money would better spent elsewhere than making these wealthy train company shareholders even richer.
The best option would be for the Government to kick the poor performing operating companies ‘up the backside’ with a clear aim to improve standards where necessary. Statistics have found the largest profits gained from numerous rail companies are actually from some of the worse performing train companies in the UK.
Finally, I’m in favour of keeping guards on trains, encouraging employment and safety before promoting boardroom profit.
Stephen Pierre via email
End reliance on dirty energy
Fantastic News. The USA and China – the two biggest polluters of our world’s atmosphere – have finally accepted the Paris Agreement agreed on Earth Day, which was in April this year.
One hundred and seventy five countries had already signed the Paris agreement but China and USA refused to, yet between them they produce 40 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
At last they have signed the agreement, and it is now essential they join the worldwide movement to reduce air pollutants and protect the world for future generations without delay. The two countries now need to set in motion quickly the reduction of and the reliance on dirty non-renewable energy, such as coal, gas, oil and nuclear.
Hinckley Point, the Chinese-backed proposed new nuclear power station, should be scrapped. We already have several moth-balled old nuclear sites, surely it’s senseless to build more power stations producing spent fuel which then has to be stored for a thousand years? This fuel can only be described as dirty. Funding should be directed into renewable energy projects.
The British Isles are surrounded by sea, yet we do not harness the energy of the ocean to satisfy our energy needs.
This can and must be done.
Climate change is not a thing that may one day happen. It’s already happening. The world’s climate is already warmer and years of records prove this to be the case. This produces more rain for some areas, with an increase in flooding. Stronger sea defences have to be constructed as the world’s oceans have already risen.
This is a problem that already exists and will increase in severity unless the world alters its reliance to non-polluting renewable energy.
Jack Croysdill via email
Sharing a bite of their Apple
What a coincidence: the world started with an apple and it looks as though an apple is destined to be our undoing again.
The problem looming for Apple, as I see it, rests clearly on their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which must ultimately mean that they are actively avoiding contributing to the security and safety of the countries in which they make their pile.
Armed forces springs to mind, as too does health care, policing and everything else taxation makes possible.
Might the day therefore soon arrive when Apple finds a bill on the mat for the fire service, the police service, the health service and every other service taxpayers support? And one has to ask, would the folks who pay their taxes willingly want to share a bite of their apple with those who don’t?
Joe Dawson, Withnell
Doing more to help refugees
I am writing to raise awareness of the refugee crisis in Great Britain. Most refugees are not in the UK but are in poorer countries which don’t have the resources to look after all of the people who live there.
However, in Britain we have enough resources, houses, and people who will, in fact, welcome them as though they had lived here their whole lives.
Also, the way the media portrays refugees is mainly negative – portraying them as people who want to steal our housing and ‘destroy’ our economy.
This is simply not true.
I believe the UK Government can and must do more.
We should strive to host at least double the number of refugees that the Government has pledged.
Hannah Bosman, Preston
Cup founder was Lancastrian
I note that the Ryder Cup Golf Competition is about to start from September 30 to October 2, in Hazeltine, Minnesota, USA.
The details that the cup was founded by Samuel Ryder are well documented.
However, I think the fact that Samuel Ryder was born in Walton-le-Dale, (March 24, 1858) needs to be acknowledged.
Mike Mackenzie via email