The speakers and chair have various views on the matters discussed at webinar. Below are some of them.
Extracts taken from his December 2021 newsletter, a month before this webinar.
This has been a shift in society long before the pandemic in so many ways. Take, for example, the development of the individualised entertainment system represented by the television compared with the collective notion of going to the cinema. Moreover, with the ability to download whole box sets and the amazing proliferation of channels, this has become even more of a personalised experience compared with the great days of watching the denouement of a popular series. There are countless other examples throughout society.
I struggle to see how public transport is going to recover from the pandemic unless there is an intelligent government in charge aware of the wider benefits of having a good public transport system. I get so bored with having to argue, yet again that buses and trains are a public good whose benefits far exceed the amount of money captured at the fare box. Providers of public transport often fail to set out the argument for public subsidies for transport.
It would take a series of coherent and focussed measure to restore the numbers using the railway to pre-Covid levels. There is, sadly, no sign of that happening. Instead we have the highest fares rises for a decade, cutbacks in timetabled frequencies, reduced quality of service both on board and at stations, and precisely the kind of attitude for which British Rail was rightly criticitised — though as now, decisions were made by the Treasury.
Replying to a webinar attendee, who wrote "I enjoyed the webinar, especially Stewart's brilliant analysis. I have been waiting eight months since the Williams-Schapps Review to hear such words", Stewart wrote: "I am glad you liked it! It was deliberately designed to stir it up a bit. Railfuture have very good relationships with many TOCs but we do like to be a "critical friend". We are all very pro-rail. I spent 38 years in the industry, but we have to call it like it is. There is too much spin and not enough emphasis on getting the core product right at present in terms of reliability, frequency, punctuality, customer service and all at the right price. We will never get people back on trains if the "offering" in total is not good enough.
"My personal view on Williams Shapps is that it will achieve nothing (except employ a lot of expensive consultants) unless the incentives that drive the behaviour of the management and the workforce are genuinely aligned to rail users needs and priorities."
Click HERE to return to previous page.