Thursday, 15 May 2008

Tom can't count

Despite Gordon having to borrow a whopping £2bn to make good his disastrous abolition of the 10p tax rate there still appear to be funds sloshing round Whitehall for good causes.

Just in time for this weekend's Community Rail celebrations a DafT press release gushed: "Passengers on rural and regional rail services across the country are set to benefit from a £60,000 fund for Community Rail Partnerships, Rail Minister Tom Harris announced today."

Continuing in similar vein the release enthuses that each of the 23 Community Rail Partnerships can apply for individuals grants of up to £5,000 per route.

Railway Eye wonders if the innumerate Treasury Wonk who helped draw up Gordon's last budget is now advising Tom Harris at the DfT?

As our American cousins might say - do the math:

Tom, 23 x 5k = £115k.

Transport Security Bill - devil in the detail

The new Transport Security Bill, as announced in yesterday's Les Majeste style Queens Speech, will:

establish new arrangements for airport security and implement the UK's international obligations to combat terrorist acts at sea."

There appears to be no mention of railways - this despite the fact that DafT has previously made great noise about increasing security at our railway stations.

Is this oversight or belated recognition that by adding scanners, barriers and numerous other impedimenta to free movement at railway stations our creaking and congested rail system mighty finally collapse in on itself?

Railway Eye sought clarification from the British Transport Police - who appeared not to know either...

We shall await further announcements with interest...