Of course, we don’t know the answer to the question posed by the title of this item. But two things have struck us recently. Firstly, there’s the rapid growth of entrepreneurship in the UK – as discussed in the following (lengthy) newspaper cutting from the Daily Telegraph. In particular, note the comment “you can reach a global market from a bedroom in Liverpool in a way that you never could before”.
Now, it seems highly unlikely to us that 55+ year olds are going to set up businesses that require them to spend hours on station platforms and in commuter trains. They’ll find other ways of operating.
The second factor to strike us is that Network Rail’s forecast of the demand for rail capacity in future seems to take no account of the growth in on-line communication and technology. Will there really be no alternative to spending an hour or more battling into main line stations? Yet the word ‘internet’ does not appear even once in Network Rail’s 30 year look-ahead; its ‘Long term Planning Process’.