Cost implications of Shaw Report not addressed

‘When you reorganise you bleed’ is an old adage well known to generations of long-suffering railwaymen (and women). They have seen many different schemes come and go, all with different outcomes and the Shaw Report proposals would appear to be the latest in a long, long line.

How will the Shaw recommendations impact the railway if implemented, and more importantly, what will the cost be, both to the railway and the taxpayer?

Re-organisation invariably entails upheaval. Costs are normally incurred as they happen – along with the disruption – but the benefits (if any) are not immediately felt.

The report has little to say on this aspect: Devolution is the big idea; but devolving management to each route level will mean appointing nine CEOs, nine route management boards and setting up nine different administrations, etc.

The report says the transition costs of setting up the new Northern route will be in ‘single figure millions’ but this may turn out to be a conservative estimate. One hopes that these proposed changes will be properly costed before they are put into place.


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