Even in more recent years there was a call, well supported by the local borough council, for a "Ruislip Chord" enabling some Central Line services to run to Uxbridge (details on much earlier threads and NOT to be re-examined here, nor are new maps invited).
However, in the last couple of years, (seems to coincide with Boris becoming their MP), this one seems to have gone quiet too.
You've answered your own question there. The reasons for Alex Johnson being parachuted in are not for this place, but his predecessor (of the same party) at least lived and worked in the constituency. As far as I'm aware Alex Johnson does neither. To be fair to John Randall, I suspect he knew many many years ago that the idea was a non-starter. Not because its without merit, or impossible, but the relevant decision makers do not want to do it. And, as has been alluded to many times before, its often easier to change the people than it is to change the decision.
But remember, these "planners" built the southern end of the M1 with just two lanes, didn't think the M25 was necessary and so on. There is quite a long list of theses "planners" legacies which still haunt us today
I'm reminded of Gaiman and Pratchett's comments about planners (and the M25) in Good Omens (soon to be a movie, apparently). The same sort of planners who build San Francisco's BART to a broad gauge (5'6") in the 1960's(!), and didn't build in enough cross-overs, etc etc.
Yes, from what I remember about Marples, it was his missus who came with the road-building portfolio
Ruth Marples had been Ernest's secretary before she became his second wife. She became the owner of his shares in the company Marples Ridgeway when he had to sell them on becoming Minister of Transport.
Going slightly off the original topic but relevant, my son got me a book a couple of years ago about Beeching, was he right or wrong. A very factual read; basically without some cuts the railways would have gone broke. He had some good ideas like freightliner trains and block trains like the MGR coal trains. But as we all know far too much was closed. It is this short-sightedness in this country that has stymied growth over the years. the Northern Heights is a good case, especially the bit through Crouch end to Ally Pally. the book is worth a red if you see a copy around, published by Ian Allan I think.
The short-sightedness of LT in the early 1970s reducing the District Line trains from 8 to 7 cars, thereby scrapping ali bodied R stock that was only about 12 years old. Similarly on BR in the 1980s cutting early morning and late night services due to staff shortages, meaning staff who relied on those service to get to and from work couldn't...and so the merry-go-round continued.
Probably the only person who deserved a knighthood for services to public transport in the recent past was Peter Hendy.
This country was bankrupt after the second world war and there were bomb sites all over London which did not start to disappear until the early seventies; 25 years after the war. Housing was the priority for the MacMillan government, not railways. Plymouth had to be rebuilt as did many cities. America was investing in Germany.
TV film series such as Gideon's Way (police series) which had a lot of location filming in London feature the devastation and poverty in London. Danger Man hourly series (spy series) often reflected the Wilson government obsession with exports which became the new priority.
It is ironic as bankrupt as the country was the NHS was created and we put on the 1948 Olympics despite food rationing continuing into the fifties.
It amazes me nowadays how our businesses are creating so many jobs in the current economic climate which is acting as a magnet for the unemployed of the world creating pressure on the railways, housing (thousands of houses being built in the South West to cope with white flight from the big cities), and the NHS.
in the early 1970s reducing the District Line trains from 8 to 7 cars, thereby scrapping ali bodied R stock that was only about 12 years old.
The R stock consisted of 51 4-car units and 87 two car units, enough to form 36 eight car trains and 15 six car. The reshuffle in 1971 formed 51 seven car trains. The 21 surplus cars were all NDMs of R47 stock, steel bodied (unlike the later R49 and R59) and well into their third decade.
Dr Beeching was asked the wrong question. For the previous century or so and for at least a couple of decades after Beeching, the policy assumption was that there was a profitable core to the railway system (and indeed to the bus and tube networks throughout the country). Indeed, the accounts of many operators (including BR) were in the black for some years after the War. With the benefit of hindsight, we know now that all these businesses were failing to renew their assets and were running the businesses down, but accounting practices then failed to show this. The railways were an acute case as most of the capital had been written off years before when the pre-Big four acquired lots of country branch line companies for a shilling in the pound with local shareholders taking the hit. This capital was never replaced so even the modest returns (3-4% pa) on the postgrouping system were based on the wrong numbers. The easy assumption was that this would continue after nationalisation. When the even the modest returns failed to materialise, the government had no alternative policy to hand - it still thought that efficiency savings could be found and the returns return, as it were.
You will notice that the state had, actually, no idea what the railways were for, and until it could answer that question, it was impossible to make the case for subsidy. The only reason the Beeching closures came to an end was that Ministers could no longer stand the continual political pain daily served to them by the constant drizzle of closures. ..They were forced shortly afterwards to start paying subsidies, but they still had no idea why (other than as the price of avoiding pain). The notion that subsidy is buying some quantifiable public good such as planning gain is a very recent one indeed so far as the national railway system is concerned. LT, of course, had spotted the problem back in GLC days and evolved a robust intellectual basis for subsidy. DTp resisted the extension of those processes to BR, still clinging to the belief that somewhwere there was a sunny uplands of self-sufficiency. Even sectorisation (and the subsequent development of O4Q) was intended to corral and expose the lossmaking services; unfortunately for the politicians, this had precisely the opposite effect as it showed the lossmaking services were concentrated away from the south east in marginal constituencies.
En passant, I might add that even if Beeching had been asked the right question "why do we have the railway system?", he would have , in the early '60s, not had any analytic tools to such as CBA or GVA to answer the question.
It is an open question as to whether the franchising system actually answers the question either. My money is on "no", as evidenced by the range of negotiated outcomes on fares and "improvements" that goes on after award - if there was a good or justifiable level of subsidy in mind, these things would have been fixed at the time of tendering.
The problem often overlooked is that considering the railways in isolation hides many of the societal profits. For example every person travelling by train to work, even if individually loss-making for the railway, is someone who is not contributing to wear of the road surface, etc. saving the exchequer money that could be (but is not) offset towards the subsidy on their rail journey. They are also enabling at least one other part of the economy to make money, and most likely several (the company they work for, that company's suppliers, any companies that company supplies, the company the employee purchases lunch from, etc). These benefits are taken for granted when it comes to the economics of roads (which are not regarded as loss-making) but (generally) not for railways.
The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart. --Antoine de St. Exupery
@chris M -and therein lies the recent (ie in the last 40 years) difference between LT and BR. It's only since about the mid-90s that DfT has begun to pay any attention to the use of CBA embracing all those things you mention, and then not consistently.
The next "station", if you can call it a station, will be Castlebar Park which was a nice place until 1935. Now, only leave the train here if you wish to use the "shelter" to pee in. Everyone else seems to.