Episode 4

DfTs humiliation and the great ticket office U turn

Episode Overview

Some 700,000 respondents objected to the DfT and train companies proposals to close some 1000 ticket offices. Transport Focus rejected all the proposals. The result is a humiliating climbdown and U Turn for the Government.
On this week’s Green Signals, we welcome THE expert when it comes to Fares & Ticketing Policy, Mark Smith aka the Man in Seat 61. Mark is a career railwayman but he was also head of the Fares & Ticketing team at the DfT. There is literally no-one with more experience and knowledge.

Mark, Richard and Nigel discuss the issues surrounding fares and ticketing on Britain’s railway, agree that it was absolutely right that the proposals were rejected as the Government and the train companies had done everything in completely the wrong order. We also discuss what could and indeed should now be done to sort out the mess.

Richard explains why this latest debacle provides irrefutable evidence, if any were needed, that the 20 year experiment, started when the SRA was abolished, to bring increasing micro management of the railway into the heart of central Government has completely and utterly failed. He calls for the industry to grow a spine and to now say, and do, what is right instead of meekly parroting the latest ‘line to take’ from government.

We also have a lighthearted chat about favourite railway journeys and the fact that Green Signals was mentioned in dispatches in Transport questions in the House of Commons no less!