The excellent contributions to Debate by Jim Wheeler and Andrew McNaughton widened the discussion way beyond its narrow origins (NCE last week). McNaughton's approach was both predictable and wholly justifiable, coming as it did from a necessarily defensive viewpoint, whereas Mr Wheeler's arguments could encompass both the engineering and philosophical parameters, particularly 'Have we yet heard the full story?'
The Thatcher driven ideological switch from integrated public service to a separated and profit led business ethos has, as Mr Wheeler suggests, produced a rag-tag of conflicting objectives, to the financial and safety detriment of the traveller. It took an appalling series of disasters to bring some sanity to the situation.
In my view, Railtrack had no option but to act as it did, if only to offer some degree of comfort to its customers. The real culprits, as ever, are the politicians whose incompetence and mendacity seem to know no bounds and who could find no response to Railtrack's actions, other than to insist that the work be completed before the election.
JD Mortimer(M) 21 Green Drive, Clitheroe, BB7 2BB