Monday, 9 March 2009

Crossrail to champion UK PLC?

The dead tree media appears convinced that the Crossrail Project Management concession will go to the Septics.

The Eye is less pessimistic - confident that the OESI will help TfL make the right decision, creating genuine British Jobs for British Workers, rather than exporting them across the Pond.

So The Fact Compiler has a pony on the nose for the homegrown Laing O'Rourke and Atkins team.

A sure fire winner...

Unless of course the Treasury defers tomorrow's decision for reasons of "affordability".

UPDATE: This from John B who gives a ringing endorsement to the North American family firm...

Odd use of 'pessimistic' there - given that Bechtel are the only people with a track record that indicates the slightest hope in hell of delivering, I hope to God the deal goes to them.

Fortunately, as God is an Englishman, He may have other ideas...

T-cup lassoed

The proposal to extend Circle line services to Hammersmith is known within London Underground as the 'T-cup' service.

Announced to Londoners last week it received a surprisingly warm welcome, even earning a new popular sobriquet as the 'Lasso line' in the process .

Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be a lynch mob's noose...

NX introduces Push technology

Good news for penny conscious travellers.

National Express has introduced further cost saving measures.

Let's see them do the same at Kings Cross...

Resounding victory?

***Derek Simpson wins Unite leadership poll. With a Bowler tip to Guido***

Alice in Regulation-land

As the recession continues to bite it is not only the Train Operating Companies who are feeling the pain.

ATOC is believed to be looking to reduce headcount by 15% - a move which has been welcomed by its cash strapped TOC members.

Of course whilst thousands of jobs are being shed by the passenger facing railway the paper-pushers of Whitehall sleep safe in their beds.

Despite costing the industry many millions of pounds there are no equivalent headcount reductions planned by the Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation.


Such a head in the sand approach to economic realities resulted in stormy scenes at a recent meeting between owner groups and the ORR.

When pressed on when it might reduce its bloated headcount the ORR made a half hearted offer to reduce staff numbers by 5%... over five years!

Unfortunately, for reasons of taste, it is not possible to print the industry's response to this generous offer.

Retraction or expansion?

You pays your money you takes your choice.

The RMT is convinced that Network Rail's deferral of maintenance works will lead to significant job losses throughout the industry.

Meanwhile The Mirror believes that 1,000 jobs will be created by the infrastructure owner.

The Eye would welcome evidence that proves the case either way.

PassengerFocus takes to the air

Passenger Focus goes from strength to strength if this story from the BBC is anything to go by.

Geoff Hoon has suggested (that)... Passenger Focus will be the advocate for air passengers' interests - it currently does so for bus and rail.

This of course means one of two things.

Either Passenger Focus has proven a doughty defender of rail passengers and is fearless at holding the rail industry and Department for Transport to account.

Or its a toothless old windbag that ministers can happily ignore.

The Fact Compiler can't imagine which is closer to Geoff Hoon's view.

UPDATE: This from The City Insider...

Out of curiosity I went to the DafT website to read the “consultation” paper on this.

And I happened to notice who manages DafT’s publications for them (see page 2).

Why it’s none other than Nu Labour’s favourite outsourcing companies, our old friends Crapita!