***Some good news for Darlington based fans of the new Peppercorn kettle***
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
The Transport Select Committee certainly isn't what it used to be.
At this afternoon's session MPs were particularly keen to ask questions about the infamous meeting Hoon had with franchisees on the 19th January.
Alas the sharp bus bandits outsmarted Ellman and her team.
None of those sent to represent the TOCs at the TSC had actually attended the Hoon meeting, allowing them to neatly dodge committee member questions without any risk of perjury.
Meanwhile struggling National Express played a particular blinder, fielding Paul Bunting currently MD of their Coach Division; a man who hasn't run a railway for nigh on three years!
It was beautifully done and all the more so because none of those sitting on the TSC appeared to notice!
Democratic accountability 0
Bus Bandits 3
Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
There is a timely article by John Kay, in today's Financial Times, nominally about what he terms Great Leap Forward Syndrome in Government.
The following extract may remind readers of a current railway project:
Great Leap Forward syndrome begins with an aspiration to remedy serious past failure with unprecedented future success.
The plan is not to imitate those who have managed things better, but to implement what they have not yet been able to accomplish.
The goal is never achieved, or is partly reached after extended delays and far more expenditure than initially envisaged.
The problems are aggravated by falsely optimistic reports of progress until, and perhaps even after, the scale of the disaster is evident.
There is much more in the same vein and all disturbingly applicable to the Frankenstein/Zombie/Camel Class train.
This from SWT...
South West Trains today (4 February 2009) announced it is proposing to make a further reduction of 180 posts at the company as part of its ongoing review of its cost base.
The proposals, which are subject to consultation with employees, are in addition to the 480 job reductions announced last month.
Will the last one out please turn off the lights
This from the Sun via Police News...
The BTP detective who keeps the 'Police Reporting UFO Sightings' database is convinced there is life on another planet...
Here's a special Railway Eye tip for any of our enthusiast friends bullied by petty officials whilst taking photos at stations.
Just say you're helping the BTP with their little green men enquiries!
Anyone looking for a spot of light relief this afternoon should head off to the Transport Select Committee.
Representatives of First Group, National Express, Virgin Trains, Southeastern and First Hull Trains will attempt to defend the indefensible by claiming recent fares increases are justified.
And in a dash of pure comedy genius the Committee has also decided to examine the impact of the recession on franchises.
To watch National Express on the ropes click here. The fun begins at 14:45.