Tag Archives: railways

Opinion: nationalising the railways is the only sensible option

With the current scramble by the new coalition to find savings and reduce the size of government, it is perhaps a strange time to be proposing that, in one area at least, the state should expand its remit, but the case for renationalising the railways has never been stronger.

I am certainly not a fan generally of nationalisation of anything, and still think that the coalition should flog the Tote, Channel 4, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link etc, but think that the British Railways must return to public ownership, not for reasons of ideology or sentiment, but simply because there is …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 35 Comments

Opinion: What future for Bombardier?

We’ve begun to see how the cutbacks in the Transport Department’s budget are going to affect Britain’s railways. There were always going to be some projects that would need to be delayed, but we should be careful that Transport Secretary Philip Hammond doesn’t just look at the impact on his own budget but also the impact on the industry and communities that build and maintain Britain’s railway network. He should also look forward beyond the end of this Parliament.

At the moment, after years of cuts and rationalisation by the previous Conservative and Labour regimes, Britain is now down to one …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

The coalition agreement: transport & universities and further education

Welcome to the twentieth and last (phew!) in a series of posts going through the full coalition agreement section by section. You can read the full coalition document here.

Traditionally the transport sections of party manifestos contain commitments to various expensive, long-term public expenditure projects. In the current financial climate it is no surprise that the coalition agreement’s transport section is rather heavy on matters of regulation and bureaucracy and rather light on directly spending money to improve transport.

So we have a promise to “make Network Rail more accountable to its customers”, a commitment to “fair pricing for rail travel”, a …

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Duncan Hames MP’s maiden speech

Back when Cix was the main way of talking to other Lib Dems online, a tradition emerged of posting Lib Dem MPs’ maiden speeches so that people could read them and respond – a tradition LDV would like to continue. Earlier today, we read Simon Wright’s speech, and tomorrow we will bring you David Ward.

Duncan’s speech is also available to view here at the Parliament website until 1 June 2011.

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make my maiden speech so early in this Parliament. I congratulate the hon. Members for Harlow (Robert Halfon) …

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Simon Wright MP’s maiden speech

Back when Cix was the main way of talking to other Lib Dems online, a tradition emerged of posting Lib Dem MPs’ maiden speeches so that people could read them and respond – a tradition LDV would like to continue. Scheduled this weekend are Simon Wright, below, Duncan Hames and David Ward.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to make my maiden speech. I am pleased to follow the maiden speeches of the hon. Members for Walsall South (Valerie Vaz) and for Stroud (Neil Carmichael) and of many other Members who have spoken today with great pride …

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Daily View 2×2: 11 March 2010

Good morning, and welcome to Daily View.

Today is notable as the day before LDV’s fascinating fringe event on how to make authoritarian MPs pay at the ballot box – do join us tomorrow in Birmingham to find out how.

302 years ago today, Queen Anne was the last British monarch to withhold Royal Assent from a bill of Parliament.

In 1864, Sheffield saw a Great Flood when a dam under construction burst. The ensuing inundation wrecked a number of bridges, destroyed 800 houses and killed 270 people.

People born on March 11th include Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Harold Wilson and Douglas Adams; and deaths include Alexander Fleming, John Wyndham and Slobodan Milošević.

2 Big Stories

Parties battle over high speed rail

Will Labour’s Y or the Conservative Reverse-S win the day? Find out in The Times

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Cable: “Liberal Democrats committed to Crossrail”

Not exactly breaking news, but a reaffirming today of the Lib Dems’ backing for Crossrail, with a financial caveat:

Vince Cable has told the Evening Standard that the Liberal Democrats are backing Crossrail, the east-west railway now under construction in London:

The Liberal Democrats are fully committed to the Crossrail project and we certainly have no plans to scrap it.

However, as with all projects involving public sector money it is critical that Crossrail stays within its agreed budget.

Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee told Lib Dem Voice:

The Liberal Democrats have always been fully committed to

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 1 July 2009

2 Big Stories


British economy in worst state in over half a century

Perhaps it’s the sweltering weather, perhaps recession fatigue has set in, but there is little reaction to yesterday’s startling news that the British economy contracted by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009 – the worst decline in more than 50 years. It isn’t the main story for even one of the newspapers, though it led all last night’s TV news programmes. Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable underscored the seriousness of the data:

The biggest three month fall in GDP in more than half a century is a clear

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Opinion: Opposition is only half the fight – we must spell out our plan for Heathrow

What follows is very much not dissent in the ranks or any kind of support for a third runway at Heathrow – if for no other reason than I don’t want to give John McDonnell any excuse to start wielding the Mace again. I fully support and agree with the Lib Dem campaign being ably led by Susan Kramer and Norman Baker against blighting south-west London and surrounding areas with yet more noise, pollution and congestion.

But the Government has now announced its decision on a new runway and Terminal 6 and, while I hope we will be able to …

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