Saturday, 3 February 2007

Why have a dog and bark yourself?

The Department for Transport’s insistence on setting the First Great Western timetable was always bound to result in problems of supply being misaligned to demand. It is simply bad policy to have remote bureaucrats with scant knowledge of the Great Western region dictating a timetable. But there is a further consideration. Why is the government employing, at very great expense, civil servants to do a job that staff at First Great Western and Network Rail are capable of doing? Surely, the whole point of contacting out the running of rail is so that government can remove itself from the operation and make time and resource savings? Apparently not. The Department for Transport, it seems, is more than happy to waste money on having armies of incompetent civil servants undertaking unnecessary tasks.

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