to apportion: verdelen.
...

to apportion: verdelen. congestion charge scheme: letterlijk: belasting op de files, wie in het centrum van Londen met de auto rijdt moet een extra belasting betalen die wordt gebruikt voor milieu en de uitbouw van publiek transport. former/latter: eerstgenoemde/laatstgenoemde. a matter of: een zaak van. wedded: verbonden. Should transport services be in private or public hands? The argument in favour of the former says it is just another transaction, another payment by an individual for a service, and that anyway private transport companies are more efficient. The argument for the latter says transport services affect the whole state and nature of society and are therefore inherently public. The 'public' argument is most convincing when a system involves mass transport in a city. The London Underground, for example, provides millions of journeys every day. London simply couldn't function without it. Nobody would deny that its organisation is a matter of public importance. However, the British government is still so wedded to the doctrine of privatisation that it cannot bring itself to allow the system to be wholly public-owned and run. Instead, it operates under a Public-Private Partnership between the mayor's office and businesses. And it's a complete mess. The Northern Line provides nearly three-quarters of a million journeys every day. That is, it does when it's working. But for most of this autumn, it hasn't. Failures of the braking and signalling systems have resulted in day after day of a reduced service or no service at all. The problems are difficult to fix because it is not clear what the procedure for fixing them should be. Nor is it clear whose problems they are in the first place. The public sector sells the tickets and employs the drivers, but one private company manages the track and another company manages trains that run on them. The contracts describing the relationship between these partners and the apportioning of responsibilities comprise 135 documents totalling 28,000 pages and 2 million words. The only people enjoying the fights about who is to blame for the chaos and what is to be done, and by whom, are the lawyers. There appears to be nothing efficient about private-sector involvement in London's transport system. The success of the congestion charge scheme for private vehicles and other projects organised by the mayor's office alone (including securing the Olympic Games for 2012) suggest that the system would be more efficient in entirely public hands. to affect: raken, beïnvloeden.