Last week’s poll: UK rail revamp

Engineer readers believe that proposed changes to the governance of the UK rail sector will improve services, but renationalisation remains popular.

We received 428 votes in last week’s poll on the reforms that transport secretary Chris Grayling announced for the structure of UK rail, with joint management teams from public and private sectors running rail operators and the train operating companies assuming part of the responsibility for maintaining stations and rolling stock. The largest group of respondents, 45%, thought that this approach would overall improve services, but in line with the previous polls on rail matters, a large group, 33%, thought that public ownership of the rail industry was the best way forward. The next group, 12%, declined to pick an option, and the smallest group, 10%, thought the move was a backdoor route to privatisation and could put passengers in danger. This opinion was echoed by one of our commenters, who asked whether Grayling had any memory of the Hatfield rail crash in 2000, which killed four people and injured more than 70, and was found to have been caused by a broken rail due to metal fatigue and blamed on lax safety standards in the privatised Railtrack company, which was subsequently renationalised as National Rail).

Please continue to send us your opinions on the subject.