Tuesday, 15 November 2011

DfT Command Paper delayed - Shocker


This from Earl Attlee...

My Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Justine Greening) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

Our railways are currently the most expensive in Europe. That is something we can and must tackle. The recent review by Sir Roy McNulty found scope to cut rail costs by 30 per cent - up to £1bn a year. My department is committed to working with the rail industry to develop a strategy to deliver a better value railway for the benefit of passengers, taxpayers and the wider economy.

In furtherance of that strategy, my Department has undertaken to develop and publish detailed proposals on delivering a sustainable railway including reform of Network Rail. I am today announcing my intention to publish a Command Paper that sets out those proposals early next year.

It will allow time for greater consideration of other issues central to the question of rail reform. This will also allow the Command Paper to properly reflect the consequences of my decision following our consultation on a national high speed rail network.

As part of the development of a comprehensive strategy for rail, and alongside the Command Paper, I also plan to consult on the scope to devolve responsibility for some rail passenger services in parts of England to sub-national bodies, and on issues relating to the review of fares and ticketing announced in May. In addition, the ORR expects to consult later this year on possible changes to its role, particularly in respect of future franchises.

Is it not paradoxical that the department of state tasked with ensuring that the trains run on time cannot itself meet any of its own timetables?

Manuel Cortes new General Secretary of TSSA

This from the Transport Salaried Staff's Association...

TSSA's next General Secretary will be Manuel Cortes, the current Assistant General Secretary

TSSA's independent scrutineers met today and confirmed that following those close of nominations yesterday (14/11/11) there was one successfully nominated candidate for the position of General Secretary.

Manuel Cortes will therefore begin a five year term as General Secretary with immediate effect.

- ENDS -

Osborne calls a halt to rolling stock deals?

This from Sir Roderick Orr-Watt...

I was delighted to see in this morning's FT that young Osborne has listened to the concerns of the Treasury Select Committee and the National Audit Office and is launching a 'fundamental review' of the way public projects are funded .

I can only concur with the view of Jesse Norman, a member of the Select committee, who told the FT: 'This is the end of PFI as we know it'.

With the financiers of the Thameslink rolling stock deal demanding high returns for the funding package one can only hope that Osborne will place Thameslink fleet procurement on immediate hold, as well as that for the even more expensive Intercity Express Programme. That is, if Justine Greening, who I mentored during her MBA at the London Business School and who is bringing a welcome breath of Yorkshire common sense to Marsham Street, doesn't do it off her own bat.

As a non-executive director of Angerholt Leasing I am confident that all the rolling stock companies are ready, willing and able to to provide the private funding and take on the risk through conventional operating leases, which have served the rolling stock market so well since privatisation.

Meanwhile, my colleagues and I will of course respond graciously when the new Transport Secretary initiates the long overdue rapprochement with the Roscos.

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Is Eye's contributor above the same as 'Bonkers' Orr-Watt, who as a young finance whiz was responsible for the 'Bidwatch' section in Modern Railways during the early days of passenger rail franchising?

If so, I am not surprised to see that he has subsequently flourished since he brought a refreshingly unstuffy and lightly worn expertise to the interminable pages of Informed Sources.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...

Oh dear.

This won't please politicos in the North West awaiting the wiring of the Manchester - Liverpool route. As they are already due to wait at least 2 years after the wires go live for cascaded rolling stock, a further delay on releasing exThameslink trains will have them up in arms.

Of course an initial fleet of 9 x 4-car Class 317/7 sets is due to become available in February 2012, released by Abellio Greater Anglia. Once these have been put through a heavy overhaul to make them PRM-TSI compliant they will be ready to start work in 2014 for Northern Rail.

As that franchise is 50% owned by Abellio does that mean the Cloggies have already developed their own Rolling Stock Strategy?

Pointless signs - Manchester Piccadilly