The Regulated Sponger

“How we are funded. We’re a public sector company that operates as a regulated monopoly. Our income is a mix of direct grants from the UK and Scottish Governments, charges levied on train operators that use our network, and income, mainly from our commercial property estate.

In 2009 Ormskirk’s eco-friendly station was officially opened following a comprehensive £1.8m refurbishment.

The project led by Lancashire County Council also involved the Railway Heritage Trust, Merseytravel, West Lancashire Borough Council, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

And, without a by-your-leave, the funding breakdown was DfT £135k, LCC £289k, Merseytravel £200k, Network Rail £700k [see above], NWDA £350k, RHT £101k, and WLBC £25k.

Councillor Martin Forshaw, then portfolio holder for planning and transportation, West Lancashire Borough Council said “I am pleased that the Borough Council has been able to contribute towards the refurbishment of the station, which will assist towards the wider regeneration of the historic market town of Ormskirk and will be of great benefit to local residents and businesses alike”. What he didn’t say was no elderly or disabled West Lancastrian receives the free off-peak travel on the Merseytravel available to Merseysiders, but our £25,000 of council tax disappeared into the coffers of rail operators Merseyrail/Merseytravel and ultimately paid to the Serco/Arbellio shareholders as dividends.

It was a scam by any other name! But try to obtain flood-free culverts trackside in Burscough and there is always a silence. 

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