Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Potato Bob: On Safety - Exciting New Eye Feature!

Time for an exciting new Eye feature!

Potato Bob speaks!

This from

Goodwill spent many years working on his family farm, which, at its height, delivered and produced 1,000 tonnes of potatoes a year to the McCain chip factory in Scarbrough. The family became involved in the sulphuric acid desiccation of potatoes and, he admits, it was a bit of a slog having to travel up to Teesside to get his Hazardous Chemicals Certificates so he could drive the truck.

One of his more excruciating journeys came on his way to Scarborough. While driving his Volvo F10, the flexible exhaust pipe joining the main exhaust silencer box to the engine ruptured, and the hot exhaust gases went on to the clutch slave cylinder. Very soon, the clutch stopped working, completely.

Goodwill says he was unsure how to deal with the problem: "I thought OK, well I'll just keep going. So I drove all the way to Scarbrough without a clutch, just using the engine speed. Fortunately, I didn't have to stop because the lights were in my favour. I decided that if I did have to stop, I'd start it again in a very low gear. It was a 30-mile trip, though".

Good to see that Potato Bob, the minister charged with 'road safety and standards', has such a grip on his brief!

Ministerial responsibilities - the right Hammond finally gets rail!

Is there a worse website in the world than

No matter. 

Thank God for twitter!

With a bowler tip to @wmtucker, who pointed Eye to the pages giving the new ministerial transport team's responsibilities:

Baroness Kramer

Baroness Kramer was appointed Minister of State for Transport in October 2013.

The minister is responsible for:

  • HS2 – Phase Two
  • rail – funding and futures (including RIS, SOFA, ORR, stations policy)
  • cities and urban renewal (including growth deals and Heseltine Review)
  • localism and devolution
  • local connectivity (including smart ticketing, buses, taxis, light rail and trams)
  • accessibility and equalities
  • future transport (including ULEV)
  • natural environnent (including biofuels)
  • SMEs
  • international
Stephen Hammond MP

Stephen Hammond was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport on 4 September 2012.

The minister is responsible for:

  • rail – (including operational issues, major projects, fares and ticketing, Rail Delivery Group reform, franchising)
  • London (including Crossrail)
  • maritime
  • Better Regulation
  • corporate
Robert Goodwill MP

Robert Goodwill was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport in October 2013

The minister is responsible for:

  • aviation
  • strategic roads and Highways Agency
  • motoring agencies
  • road safety and standards
  • freight and logistics – including lorry road user charging
  • local roads
  • cycling
  • HS2 Phase One
  • Europe
Eye congratulates Stephen Hammond, the minister for rail. It's about time!

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

I think there may be a stiff contender for the worst website in the world.

The website of Eye favourite, the Soi Disant Veteran Observer, continues to feature a twice failed candidate for London's Mayor and a still very much dead Madam Chair of the Transport Select Committee!

Perhaps the 'Soi Disant' played a role in designing the 'award winning' portal?

Higgins before TSC on 14th October

This from the Transport Select Committee...

Oral evidence SESSION – Work of Network Rail
Sir David Higgins, chief executive of Network Rail, has been called to appear before the Transport Committee.
Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, has said:

“We have a wide range of issues to raise with Sir David Higgins including Network Rail’s problems in meeting its performance targets; the funding settlement for the next 5-year control period; and the work of the Rail Delivery Group, of which Sir David is deputy chair. We will also want to ask about how Sir David intends to tackle his important new role as chair of HS2 Ltd”.

Monday 14 October 2013


4.15 pm
· Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive, Network Rail


Committee Membership is as follows:

Mrs Louise Ellman (Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool Riverside) (Chair); Sarah Champion (Labour, Rotherham); Jim Dobbin (Labour/Co-operative, Heywood and Middleton); Karen Lumley (Conservative, Redditch); Jason McCartney (Conservative, Colne Valley); Karl McCartney (Conservative, Lincoln); Lucy Powell (Labour/Co-operative, Manchester Central); Adrian Sanders (Lib Dem, Torbay); Iain Stewart (Conservative, Milton Keynes South); Graham Stringer (Labour, Blackley and Broughton); Martin Vickers (Conservative, Cleethorpes).