Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Screw the passenger

This just in from Gareth Marston, Chairman of SARPA

"Passengers hoping to catch the 16:24 Arriva Trains Wales service from Birmingham New St to Aberystwyth on Tuesday 23rd December discovered the truth of Tim Bells admission to the Welsh Select Committee that his franchise doesn't have enough trains

"Despite being a four car class 158 passengers struggled to board the train resulting in a departure 23 minutes late.

"NRES helpfully explained the cause of the late running as "an unusually large passenger flow"."

This obviously came as something of a surprise - what with Christmas coming round annually and all.

No matter.

Whilst the chaos at New Street unfolded a half empty Wrexham and Shropshire service from Marylebone to Wrexham meandered its way via Tame Bridge Parkway.

Of course to protect Beardie Rail profits WSMR services are barred from Birmingham New Street and so were unable to assist with the pre-Christmas "unusually large passsenger flow" to Shropshire & mid-Wales."

Thank goodness for moderation of competition which protects profits rather than the interests of pesky passengers.

String 'em up!

It's time for the annual round of recriminations over who is responsible for the Christmas shutdown.

This from the Independent:

"Train operating companies said yesterday that they would be ready to introduce services from next year but blamed the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) for not co-ordinating an agreement.

"Atoc, however, said it was prepared to take part in meetings with Network Rail and the Government to discuss a new Christmas timetable, but it blamed the Government for failing to co-ordinate talks.

"Meanwhile, the Government has laid the blame at the door of individual operators, which it says are the only ones who can act to introduce the services."

What a complete and utter shower.

Proof positive that the structure of the industry remains deeply dysfunctional (Tories please note).

ATOC & NR directors please get a grip and sort this - now.

It's not as if resolving this is above your over generous pay grades!


The Fact Compiler missed this story in the Sunday Times.

Fortunately it was picked up by Tom Harris.

On this issue Tom is spot on...