Thursday, May 30, 2002

91/440 or bust. Or both.

Natalie Solent (who thinks I’m an amoral sweetie-pie) asks whether the current mess on the seperation of train and track has anything to do with the European Commission. Well, Natalie, yes it does.

I will point to the wonderful Christina Speight, who writes:

Sometimes one despairs at getting the simplest facts about the EU across even to those who write about it! For instance take the Sunday Telegraph of 22 October where, in writing about the Hatfield rail crash, the journalists write on page 24 "Perhaps the industry should now ... revert to the pre-1948 model of ... regional private sector rail companies owning their own trains, tracks and stations and controlling their own destinies". All very logical one might well think ... even common sense, BUT (with the EU there’s always a "BUT") on page 18 of the same issue Christopher Booker says "I must once again (draw) attention to the Railway Regulation 1992, the instrument responsible for setting up Railtrack. This clearly states that it was issued under the European Communities Act to bring Britain into compliance with EC Directive 91/440, laying down that track ownership must be separated from that of operating companies. The fact that the Government never explained this at the time, even to the then British Rail Board (one of whose members, Simon Jenkins, once told me that they all thought it was just some daft idea of the Treasury’s) should not stop us from putting the blame for this particular idiocy fairly where it is due" [Could Mr Booker take a short walk of 6 pages to tell his fellow journalists? ..ED] {Sunday Telegraph 22/10/00}

(Unfortunately this column does not appear on the Telegraph site)

And we can then go to the source The Railways Regulations 1992 :

In section 2 (1) it says:

The purpose of these Regulations is to provide for the implementation of Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29th July 1991 on the development of the Community's railways

So there you have it Natalie, it is true.

Not only are they ruining the NHS, but they are ruining the railways. The time to leave is now.


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