You have a very interesting perspective of the British system.
For those wondering in the UK the Government took back control of most of the network that was "privatised".
The former British Rail network has never been truly privatised (i.e. deregulated) but only outsourced. Right from when franchising began in the 1990s, the government has been exercising control of the system by the way that it controls the franchise bidding.
How ever the services that are privatised are quite unique. The government allows operators to use their own trains on the lines.
In practice, the 'market' for leasing trains (franchise operators must lease their trains, not own them) is very tight due to the unique requirements of the former British Rail network. Selection of trains is not open, at the least it is subject to government approval during the franchising process and on a number of franchises it is specified as a condition of the franchise bids by the government.
Future operators of the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line franchises, for example, will be stuck with using the InterCity Express Programme units whether they like them or not.
The Government set up timetables and opened them up for private companies to run the service,
Quite the opposite. There is nothing open at all about the British franchising system, as the government grants exclusive rights to each franchise region and specifies what the franchisee is to do in that area.
Open access services are permitted, but only if they are not in competition with services run by the franchise operator for that region. There are only three open access services at the moment - London-Hull, London-Bradford, London-Sunderland.
I don't know how much the Government makes any profit I'm assuming it's from "selling" the service.
The government is not in it for a profit, just like ours will not be either.
Profitable operators pay a portion of their profits to the government. The amount of 'premium' paid is part of the bidding process.
Franchises which are not profitable are tendered on the basis of which bidder can operate that franchise and meet all the requirements with the smallest amount of subsidy. Broadly speaking, this is the model proposed for use in Adelaide.
The sum total of all the premiums and subsidies is still a net subsidy, but the average subsidy per passenger mile is much less than it was under British Rail and the quality of service far higher. This makes it a net improvement compared to the BR days.
Privatising it using this model works because if the private operator want's to keep their services they need to run on time with high customer satisfaction. there was one company that failed so badly that the government took back control of that service and it now runs fine.
Incorrect. The government of the UK controls the franchising process (not customers) and assesses the bids 'blind' on their merits rather than on opinions of previous performance.
A company only loses its franchise if it fails to meet the specified conditions of their contract with the government, not on whether the passengers hate them.
The three open access services mentioned above are different. They don't have any guaranteed deal from the government and can go bust if their parent companies let them.
I don't see exactly how the government will make that much money from privatising the train and tram networks. The only money they will save is not paying the wages of the staff who will be employed by a private company instead of the government.
Outsourcing operations is not about making a profit, but about reducing losses by paying a private company to operate it more efficiently than the public service can.
The way to ensure probity is to require that a publicly-owned bid be included in the competitive tender process, which is common in mainland Europe and was even done in Adelaide with the first two rounds of bus tenders run by the previous Liberal government in 1995 and 2000. If the public bid wins on merit (as it did with Hills Transit, a TransAdelaide owned company) then it stays in public hands, if a private bid wins then operations get transferred to the winning private operator.
The Labour government won't take the trains and trams back? Of course they will, it will fail spectacularly and will cot the Libs the next election.
Labor re-tendered each of the bus areas when they expired, and did away with having a public bid included for each tender. Outside of the transit arena, they also privatised a number of other state agencies.
Why wouldn't they continue their same policy? They just need the Libs to do the dirty work for them and they'll carry on with it.
Whether it works will depend largely on the management who are hired to oversee it - just like a public owned service is not intrinsically good, it is only good if it is operated well. Anyone who remembers the STA era of buses in Adelaide will easily recognise that it is not black and white.