Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Come on ICE, take the lead on the rail issue


In many years of association with the Institution, I can never remember having found its response to events so inadequate as at the present time.

We are currently reaping the whirlwind for the crass scheme of railway privatisation - patently crass at the time to other than politicians, whether in Westminster of Brussels. At another time, with the current bungling and panic reaction, the ICE would be providing a lead in public or to Government, setting out the essential features to reform the management of so vital a system.

Instead there is silence from the President and an anodyne letter from the Secretary (NCE last week), pleading for more funding, only notable for its inconsequence.

As an ex-railwayman myself, it may seem all the more obvious that, as with management of construction projects, the operation of a railway demands attention to the system with engineering and management melded into a single purposeful function.

Of course, the present dismal physical state was to some extent inevitable following the years of deliberate starvation of investment - revealing in itself an extraordinary ignorance of basic economics. It will be remembered that both main political parties share responsibility for the debacle of privatisation, one for ineptitude, the other for unreal threats of renationalisation which contributed to the meagre sale price and subsequent fortunes made by selling on.

The voice of the Institution at this time could surely be better applied in such constructive ways rather than in introducing utter confusion between Chartered and Incorporated engineers.

Sir Alan Muir Wood, Past President, Franklands, Bere Court Road, Pangbourne, Berks RG8 8JY

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.