How can city compete with transport big boys?
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Plymouth City Airport have handed over a 37,860-signature petition, urging planners to save the airport site from developers.
Petitions are OK as far they go but unless Viable unveils an all-privately funded business plan to re-open and operate the airport, I believe it will remain just paper and talk.
The problem as I see it is much bigger than either Plymouth City Council or Viable. The railways, rightly or wrongly, are where the Government has chosen to invest the big domestic transport money in the 21st century.
Also the railways are operated by the big, rich and powerful mega-transport companies like First Group and Stagecoach, which derive a huge chunk of their income now from Government spending on rail. So I believe they have a vested interest in seeing business minnows like Viable not succeed.
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What chance does Viable, or indeed anyone else, have trying to compete from a small, unsubsidised regional airport like Plymouth against a massive taxpayer-subsidised railway machine backed by the transport industry big boys?
As I see it, that unfortunately is the reality of the situation now – and all the petitions and council debates in the world won't change that.
In these increasingly austere times, we are where we are in Plymouth; that's somewhere between "a rock and a hard place" transport-wise in the 21st century.