Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Unpicking the legacy

I’m a regular user of the railway between Carmarthen and Swansea.  But for the last two weeks I’ve been unable to use that rail service due to work taking place to redouble the track at Gowerton.  (MH at Syniadau has a nice picture of the new bridge here).  Today, for the first time, I’m back on the railway using the new bridge and track.  The timing is somehow appropriate.

It was in 1986 in an act of short-sighted vandalism that the government of the day decided to rip up the other track on that particular route.  I’m pretty certain that Margaret Thatcher never actually did say the words attributed to her in 1986 namely “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure”, but it was certainly a reflection of the attitude of the government of the day towards public transport .

It is easy though, far too easy in fact, to blame one individual for taking particular decisions that we don’t like.  It seems to me that the real “triumph” of Margaret Thatcher, if such it can be called, was not so much in what she and her government did, but in the shift in the political climate which they brought about.  The wholesale adoption of many of the Thatcher government’s policies by Tony Blair and the rest of new Labour's 'modernisers' in the pursuit of power ensured that her legacy long outlasted her reign.

It has taken 27 years to unpick one small part of the legacy of that particular era.  How much more there is still to do. 


G Horton-Jones said...

Can you update me on the tracking that has been installed as it would seem that the line remains in single track mode between the new Llwchwr bridge and a point east of Waunarlwydd en route to Swansea and in the westward direction from the new bridge to the junction with the relief route into Swansea which you have mentioned before in dispatches on the outskirts of Llanelli

John Dixon said...

There are now two tracks all the way. But the number and frequency of services hasn't yet been boosted; merely 'facilitated'.

G Horton-Jones said...

Thanks for the info
Having done Swansea (Victoria) via Blackpill, Killay and Gowerton to the Shrewsbury Flower Show in glorious steam
Perhaps we should facilitate reopening this line
ie Gowerton to Singleton Hospital and University campus
Ps Dont forget that the West Wales line is also a freight carrier

Spirit of BME said...

I agree with you, while the enemy of our Welsh cause, the greatest legacy is the creation that is now the Labour Party, who killed off socialism (exit clause 4) and is now a non-descript grey Liberal Party as is the Tory Party