Tuesday, 29 June 2010

NatEx - learns lessons from East Coast debacle

Just how far is Dean 'Long-tongue' Finch prepared to go, to ingratiate himself with Petrol-head and Cruella de Villiers?

This toe curling piece of National Express arslikan from the Gruaniad:

Dean Finch, chief executive of the firm, said the Department for Transport was right to warn passengers that it may scrap a fares cap that limits price increases to 1% above inflation.

"It is absolutely legitimate for anybody to look at, in terms of raising revenues," said Finch.

"Everybody complains about rail fares being awful, but we have more than 1bn journeys on the railways every year. That tells you that in the overall scheme of things the railway is an effective form of travel and is an integral part of peoples' lives."

Of course National Express knows all about 'raising revenues'.

Why less than a year ago the Bus Bandit group was banned from bidding for new franchises by former Secretary of State Lord Adonis.

The reason?

Whilst its East Coast franchise may have been an "integral part of peoples lives" it certainly wasn't that integral to National Excess, who threatened to dump the operation unless they paid a lot less lovely lolly to the tax-payer.

Sadly it was not to be and the group not only forfeited the premier East Coast franchise but its then Chief Exec as well.

No matter. National Express have obviously learnt their lesson.

No doubt NatEx will continue to focus on 'raising revenues', but this time at the expense of the poor bloody passenger.

NR GSMR project disconnected?

Exciting news from Network Rail's GSMR project!

Those are the chaps constructing telephone masts up and down the network.

At least that was the plan.

Sadly word reaches Eye that 200 of them have just been told that they will be 'released' in September to save cash.

With the project rumoured to be millions over budget this is perhaps no surprise.

Happily, in a further saving, the project plans to use 02 infrastructure on freight lines to save the construction costs of building dedicated masts.

If you've ever tried to use the 02 network aboard a train you will know that the savings in call costs can also be considerable...

UPDATE: This from Billy Connections...

From around March 2012 the radio frequencies used by existing cab to shore radios have been given to broadcasters in time for the massive number of radio microphone channels required for the London 2012 Olympics.

Of course - this does open up the possibility of the Olympic Games starting late due to "overrunning engineering work"!