Letter: Transport gridlock: political chicanery, CrossRail, the American way

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The Independent Online
Sir: There have been many examples of the negative effects of introducing the profit motive into the provision of services. Some are gross, for instance the NHS expenditure on cars for managers. Some are subtle, such as the politics of school inspections and the transfer of costs from one pocket to another with the attendant concealed budget cut and degradation of service. All introduce opportunities for chicanery and dissimulation.

None to date has been quite so farcical as the prospect of one quango, British Rail, paying another quango, Railtrack, compensation for politically engineered strife with its workforce. The signalmen are being deliberately cornered so that they can take the blame for the privatisation shambles.

The compensation will not be a private sector corporate liability, it will come straight from the Treasury, where you and I put it. If there's money floating around, it should go to the signalmen, who have certainly made a decent case for it.

Yours sincerely,


Bath, Avon

14 June