[Re: It’s time to fight the claim that consumer choice doesn’t improve public services, Wednesday]
Paul Ormerod’s support of train operating companies is laughable. There is almost no true competition: I can wait all day on Greenwich platform, and only Southeastern trains will go by. There is no choice: train operating companies are state-subsidised monopolies, not businesses subject to market forces. Further, to claim that privatisation was the catalyst for a rise in rail journeys belies the huge increase in government investment and considerable demographic changes that have taken place over the period.
[Re: As it cuts its profits forecast, has the success of Ryanair’s “no frills” business model peaked?, Tuesday]
It is clear that Ryanair has temporarily lost its lustre, driving customers towards alternate carriers with its onerous website. But cost discipline continues – passenger costs are still falling and its lower fuel hedged position for 2015 will deliver significant reductions. And it is acting on perceived customer relations problems by introducing allocated seating and a new website. Despite recent turbulence, Ryanair remains one of the best-run companies around.
Paul Sommerville, Sommerville Advisory Markets
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