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Horse trams on the wrong track

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10 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

That is nearer the truth.

there was a window of very peculiar interpretation of pension rights. 

Dont diss the firefighters at the airport though. Personally I would integrate it with IOMFRS and rotate staff through, but you can’t have an airport without them.

 

well actually you can, but you aren’t allowed aeroplanes.

No , My figure was more accurate.

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The man is a complete arse who is just a fall guy for the DOI's arrogance-fuelled incompetence. The losses have soared since the Corpy offloaded the horse trams. But then again they ARE incapable of turning a profit as they don't have enough passenger revenue to offset the expenditure. 

Incidentally, check out another article on the same link about Govt payoffs....

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"Mr Harmer says the idea the trams are there to turn a profit is a misconception"

great so we have a doi or whatever it's called deliberately running things at a loss! Presumably the bigger the loss the betters. Grr!

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I'm sceptical about the number of passengers alleged to have travelled on the trams during TT fortnight. I cycled up and down the prom 3 times a day during the fortnight and very rarely saw more than a couple of people on it. Yes, it's possible that they were packed when I wasn't there but somehow I don't think so.

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1 hour ago, NoTail said:

"Mr Harmer says the idea the trams are there to turn a profit is a misconception"

great so we have a doi or whatever it's called deliberately running things at a loss! Presumably the bigger the loss the betters. Grr!

I don't think you heard what he said, or you just don't understand Heritage stuff and how it works.

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I didn't hear what he said.  The quote is from the linked paper article. 

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Posted (edited)

Mr Harmer is another Minister who tells us that our opinions are misconceptions but is utterly unable to give a convincing explanation of why. Apparently we just don't understand that running loss-making "services" is actually beneficial. Now, I could understand that running the trams at whatever their annual loss is, actually brings more money into the economy by attracting x number of tourists, spending x amount of money IF these facts were made available. But I suspect that there is actually no survey of visitors that identifies the main reason, or at least a significant reason for their stay is heritage transport and no data to demonstrate the "attraction" of heritage transport actually exists. As such, no data will exist to support the contention that the loss is balanced by additional visitor spend. Nevertheless, we are expected to believe that maintaining taxpayer support of these losses is worth it.  I suppose that Mr Harmer is right in one regard; why are we making a fuss about a £700 loss over 2 weeks? This is utterly insignificant in comparison to the ongoing waste across Government during these 2 weeks and the remaining 50, each year.

Edited by joebean

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21 minutes ago, Dave Hedgehog said:

Of course they had no “extra” costs as it was specified and costed into the contract. Duuh! Talk about spin!

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They must be "making a loss" during the whole promenade works though.

They're not running to make any revenue. But the horsetram staff are presumably still employed (somewhere)? The horses still need to be fed and cared for. All that is outgoing expense without any income.

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2 hours ago, Dave Hedgehog said:

Probably the reason it is costing so feckin much is that they have budgeted for laying/digging up/re-laying the road surface. Idiots the lot of them

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

Have you ever read such bollox?

https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/all-heritage-railways-make-a-loss-says-doi-minister/

More like a loss of £500k AND £700.

The only 'misconception' here was Harmer's about 50 years ago .

He is right in a way. I think the idea that everything is run at a "loss" or a "profit" is a problem. We don't talk about schools and hospitals running at a "loss".

Some things are run at "cost" because we believe that they are worthwhile. My last holiday (flight, hotel, concert tickets etc.) cost about a grand, but I did win $50 for a short story I wrote on the plane - so that's a loss of over £950, right? But I don't look at it that way because going on holiday is a positive thing for me to do.

What I need to think of is did I get value for money, could I reduce costs (cheaper hotel, visit UK rather abroad) and still enjoy myself, could I have monetised the story better or written more whilst on holiday? Would it be good for me not to have a holiday and avoid all the costs. 

So, yeah, obviously all heritage railways cost money to run, otherwise they wouldn't be heritage! That's why most are run by volunteers. But the question that need asking are really - 

Is it worthwhile having these railways?

Then you look at issues of how much it costs to run the railways and how much revenue they can generate. Then ask ...

Is it still worthwhile having these railways?

Then if the answer is NO because the government have more worthwhile projects to spend their money on see if there is someone (a volunteer group, charity) for whom the answer is YES. 

 

Edited by Declan
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Are the horsetrams worth a loss of @ £400k a year?

Do we have any data to indicate their part in the "pull" of tourists to the IoM (no pun intended :lol: )?

Without that data it's impossible to say, but that data doesn't seem to be available, collated or exist. But given the size of the annual losses not many tourists appear to be using them. In which case they are an expensive spectator attraction.

It would be very easy to say therefore, "No, they're not worth the losses". Because no evidence is forthcoming to support any sort of a case for their continuing.

Other than massive expenditure on a DOI project.

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1 hour ago, Non-Believer said:

Are the horsetrams worth a loss of @ £400k a year?

Do we have any data to indicate their part in the "pull" of tourists to the IoM (no pun intended :lol: )?

Without that data it's impossible to say, but that data doesn't seem to be available, collated or exist. But given the size of the annual losses not many tourists appear to be using them. In which case they are an expensive spectator attraction.

It just doesn't make sense to look at the horse trams in isolation - they form part of a wider heritage transport network, which in turn forms part of the whole Isle of Man as a tourist destination offering.

Wouldn't it be better to take a top down approach and look at overall government accounts. What % of our total tax income are we as a community prepared to spend on attractions which support making the Isle of Man a tourist destination. This maximum % should then be allocated across all heritage/tourism assets - 10%? 

To go into the minutiae of the profit/loss of individual "tourist" assets is missing the broader picture.

Do the entry fees for Castle Rushen cover the staffing/upkeep/maintenance of the Castle? - sure as hell not
Do the fares for the heritage railways (incl. horsetram) cover their costs - sure as hell not
Do the entry fees for the House of Mannanan cover the running costs - sure as hell not
Who picks up the tab for running the Manx Museum?

All tourist assets will have cost. So my back of a fag packet calculations based on  blue book 17/18 -  £233m was collected in Income Tax (not NI, not VAT or any other Govt income) by IOMG.

£4.4m of net spending was made on Manx Museum and National Trust (MNH)
£4.9m of net spending on Motorsport (within DfE accounts)
£0.5m of net spending on Villa/Gaiety (within DfE)
£1.3m of net spend on Tourist development/tourist events (within DfE)
£0.4m of net spend on Wildlife Park (within DEFA)
£17.1m of net spend on Transport Services (within DOI) - but this must include the buses & horse trams - it is not broken down further, but that must be most ££ due to number of bus staff.
(£10.0) buses net spend cost guess. 

total £18.6m = approx. 8% of Income Tax receipts spent on tourist economy. - is that  reasonable?

Clearly, I've not considered the relatively high capital costs in maintaining the railways, but all other tourist attractions must also incur capital expense.

 

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