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Trains, Planes and AutoTories

Guido pointed out writing about Sir Alfred Sherman R.I.P.
After doing an economic analysis of British Rail Sherman concluded that the best thing to do would be to tarmac over the railways and turn them into private autobahns. Mrs Thatcher found it a teensy bit too radical. Unacceptable politically, but practical and right because it would have saved billions in subsidies.

As the independent Transport Watch proves that is still the only sensible policy, so it is no surprise that the Tories are doing the opposite..

Telegraph Blogs: UK: David Millward: September 2006: Margaret Thatcher never loved trains

Politicians seem to be falling in love with the railways.

High-speed trains: the politician's friend
Earlier this week the Conservatives sent out a press release announcing that not only Chris Grayling, the party’s transport spokesman, but also George Osborne had taken a train journey.....
the party now seems to have gone full circle. Chris Grayling is making his mark as a huge supporter of the industry, lambasting the Government not for spending too much on the railways but for what he sees as its inability to cope with growing demand.

In many ways the Conservatives appear more excited by the whole concept of high speed rail travel than Labour
Perhaps the bottom line is that trains are an ideal backdrop for a photocall for any politician.

But then William Huskisson, MP for Liverpool, also thought it a good idea to be seen on the railways. Unfortunately he was killed when he was run over by George Stephenson’s rocket.


As I remember he advocated replacing railways in London with roads. I thought that sounded like lunacy and funnily enough I never saw an article by him in a newspaper again. This was in 1987.

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