Does anyone apart from junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga still think privatising public transport actually benefits anyone other than the private companies and their shareholders?
Even though the EU has made it perfectly clear that Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht do not have to privatise their public transport services, Huizinga still seems to be determined to go ahead.
MPs, local residents and the city councils are totally opposed to privatisation but Huizinga – a ChristenUnie minister who has never had a job outside politics – appears to know better.
She has told MPs that they should stick to the (pro-privatisation) decision they took in July 2006 – conveniently ignoring the fact that there has been a general election since then.
This week’s bankruptcy of one of the firms maintaining the London underground since its controversial privatisation is a warning to us all. And the string of fines handed out to Connexxion and Arriva, who run regional bus services here also shows not everything in the privatised public transport sector is rosy.
The big cities have perfectly integrated public transport systems. They get you from A to B cheaply with the minimum of fuss. If Huizenga thinks a private company motivated by profit is going to do it any better she is quite mad.
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