Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nice bit of comment from James Moore .

There is a nice bit of comment today from James Moore in the Business section of the Independent newspaper, take it away James...

The failure's the same on the trains, the buses and the planes.

There are two major problems with the transport industry. One is having quarterly results fixated private companies providing essential services that usually require long-term strategic thinking and lots of investment. That's not easy to fix given that it requires action from politicians with both vision and a degree of common sense (good luck).

The other problem – and it applies to the railways, the airlines and airports, and even bus and coach operators – is that those companies treat their customers not as valued commodities, but as an inconvenience.

The most egregious example of this is the way passengers have been kept on planes and warned that they will be arrested under terrorism laws if they attempt to disembark. Or the bus companies which shrug their shoulders when their drivers treat people with small children and prams with a quite astonishing level of rudeness.

All of these examples – and there are many others – stem from the same root cause. That is, a complete lack of any incentive to do better. The structure of each industry means it is the company, not the consumer, that holds the whip hand. If you don't like the treatment you get at Tesco, you can probably find a Sainsbury's nearby, or an Asda, or a Waitrose or a Morrison's. But with transport companies, this is all but impossible.

...Nice one James! You sure know your sector and the reality of choice for passengers! If anyone working in the transport industry were to write this opinion on the internet then their line manager would promptly call them into the office to stop them writing about the industry's problems again. Thank goodness we still have a free press in the UK - even if the workers are not allowed to publish their opinions on the internet for passengers to be better informed.
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