Merseytravel and that £1.5m ‘U’ Turn on rail integration

First just a brief recap. It has long been the view of most people who understand railways that the Conservative policy to separate railway infrastructure (for this posting we shall say the rails) from the trains that run on them in the 1980’s was bonkers and that in practice it has probably led to higher operating costs for the railway.

So during the last Government a sensible plan was hatched to try to bring the two back together. Merseyside’s Merseyrail Electrics system was in effect volunteered by Merseytravel, the Transport Authority for the County, as a pilot.

Eventually and after spending £1.5m of public money the pilot was about to be rolled out BUT Merseytravel pulled out at the 11th hour. They have never satisfactorily explained their ‘U’ turn and no report has been presented to Transport Authority members. In effect the members of the Authority voted ‘blind’ to back out and ditch the £1.5m project. We Lib Dems continue to pursue the facts and truth behind their highly surprising move.

One of the most prominent independent experts on railways is Christian Woolmar he wrote a thoughtful piece for RAIL Magazine recently about Merseytravel’s ‘U’ turn.  Like Christian, we have found that getting answers is hard work as Merseytravel are not seemingly going to publish anything, other than propaganda, that details why they ran for the hills when the Coalition Government gave them what they had been campaigning for since as long as most folks, who have taken an interest in railways, can recall. His conclusions probably indicate why Merseytravel are so keen not to publish any real information i.e. the decision did not have any logical coherent facts behind it; it was simply the Labour run Authority being spooked/pressured by the RMT union

However, I can assure Merseytravel’s Labour Leadership that we Lib Dems are still on this case and we are not being put off by the Authority telling us all that it is funding legal action against one of its own Lib Dem members who keeps on asking awkward questions about the Authority’s activities.

A Merseyrail tain at Maghull Station

Here is a link to the Christian Woolmar article:-

http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/2011/07/rail-675-vertical-integration-own-goal-from-unions/

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