Reading the article below, Michael Baxter does state the obvious about Britain’s transport infrastructure. But why do are politicians, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats not able to see this?
But here are some observations. It is well known that transport systems across most of the developed world are more efficient than those in the UK. You only need to spend a short while on French or German or, indeed, Japanese, railways to see the difference. A couple of years ago, I drove through France – from one end to the other – and didn’t get stuck in a single traffic jam, not one.
Part of the explanation lies with geography. Britain, especially England, is crowded. That explains – at least in part – why it is so much quicker driving through France than through Britain. (But then Japan is pretty crowded too.) But there is another difference. Across much of the developed world there is just an acceptance that infrastructure needs to be subsidised. And the main reason why the transport infrastructure is so superior across much of the developed world is because more money is spent on it. Japanese and French trains do not run faster and more punctually because of some inherent quality. They spend more money, plain and simple. And, on the whole, these obviously superior infrastructures are not outsourced to a coterie of private contractors, either.