A Manchester P.S in the interests of even handed reporting.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Transport And Politics (1) Scotland
What Andy says is plausible and in an ideal world deliverable but the so-called "success" of London is at a huge cost to the council tax payers. He also talks about "levelling up" (he means "down") Manchester's £2.50 fare to London's £1.55. A more likely scenario would be for London's £1.55 to level UP £2.50. Beware of what you ask for, Andy, me lad!
And his Mayorship has no finance for his bus take-over plan. He will demand that HMG funds it. A Conservative Government bank-rolling a very very expensive plan by a Labour Mayor (and a stroppy one at that!) seems somewhat unlikely.
And So To Scotland
We now know that the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 50 seats in last Thursday's election, just one seat short of an absolute majority. But, to all intents and purposes, the Sturgeon and her chums are back in charge for the next five years.
In the run-up to polling day, the SNP put out a whole range of policy "intentions" many of which would seem to be very costly to implement.
Mrs S has said she will concentrate on the recovery from Covid, then comes the battle for the referendum ...
It is worth remembering that Transport for Scotland is forging ahead with electrification; the next in line being the East Kilbride branch.
East Kilbride is already a work in progress, but others are planned; Glasgow to Anniesland via Maryhill, the Borders line from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, the Levenmouth branch (which is proposed for reopening) and discrete sections in Fife as a precursor to a fully electrified route. Design and development work will also be progressed this year for the route from Dunblane to Perth.
The aim by 2035 is to have fully electrified routes from the central belt to both Aberdeen and Inverness. The Aberdeen to Inverness route is slated for full electrification but it is suggested this may be unachievable by 2035, with an initial focus on providing local cross-Aberdeen electric services and use of bi-mode traction across to Inverness. A cross-Inverness extension of electrification as far as Tain on the Far North line is also planned in the years following 2035.
In south west Scotland the route between Glasgow and Carlisle via Gretna is proposed for full electrification by 2035, providing strategic capacity for rail freight and a diversionary route when the West Coast main line is closed.
Only the lines to Kyler of Lochalsh and the far north run to Thurso would remain without wires possibly run by battery trains or, indeed, hydrogen powered.
It is also worth remembering that, in Scotland, your old crocks free bus pass is valid throughout the Citylink long distance network.
But as for Andy Burnham in Manchester, the crunch question is how can all of this generosity be funded. Aunty Nicola says that it has all been "costed", but declines to reveal the details.
Mrs fbb is a fully committed Scot despite marrying an Englishman (!!!) but she is most definitely NOT a fan of The Sturgeon and NOT a fan of independence which, she opines, with throw Alba into poverty and bankruptcy.
The goodies of the life north of Mr Hadrian's barrier are palpable and "guid", but not sustainable without the existing substantial input from the UK coffers.
fbb respects and agrees with his dear wife's views.
With respect to the Daily Mail cartoonist, Mac ...
Lights In The Loo
The ex Tri-ang building will be able to be removed for further work on its interior, which in turn will require fbb to find a better way of cutting out the underside.
One string of lights to go! But where should they go?
Next Cambridge and Politics blog : ??? Thursday 13th May ???