Monday, 13 July 2009

Khan announces end of market forces!

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
A very mixed economy.

Mr. Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby) (Con): National Express got no brownie points at all when it recently introduced a £2.50 each-way seat reservation charge. That discriminates against elderly people who cannot run the risk of standing on the train and families who wish to travel together. Will he prevail on the new interim operating company to reduce this fare rise made by stealth?

Mr. Khan: The hon. Gentleman raises a very good point. That is one of the reasons why Labour Members believe in regulating. When we re-tender the contract, we will ensure that such things do not happen, instead of allowing the market to dictate what happens on trains.

So much for private sector entrepreneurial flair!

DafT slips out electrification announcement

Telegrammed by Leo Pink
Clearly more and more Government decisions are being slipped out without a formal announcement.

Here is Transport Minister Sadiq Khan in a Debate on 1 July:

On the question whether we want to keep the service in Government hands through a holding company or a permanent holding company, or to tender for a new franchise, let us be clear: one reason why we are able to invest record sums in our railway service is the revenues that the franchises bring in and the premiums that they pay; one reason why we are able to do the work on High Speed 2, which will lead to a high-speed link from the south to the north, is the system that we have in place; and one reason why we are able to electrify lines as fast as we possibly can is the investment that we receive from that structure.

Must say I'm impressed by the ability of Network Rail to be already getting the wires up on the MML and GWML with no apparent service disruption and within the CP4 settlement.

TfL - Can't count, won't count

Telegrammed by the Master
Boris launched the first of the London Overground class 378s at Willesden this morning.

Alas, the supporting press release contains a real howler.

It would appear that in TfL-world, adding a 4th car to the 3 car trains will add "50% extra capacity"!

Perhaps unsurprising, therefore, to hear that TfL are having real problems balancing this year's budget.

UPDATE: This, arithmetically, from a Beancounter (Ret'd)...

Obviously numbers are not The Master's strong point.

Old Trains carry 460 passengers (approx).

New Trains (3 car) carry 500 passengers +40 an 8% increase.

New Trains (4 car) carry 700 passengers + 240 on Old Trains - a 50%+ increase (on OLD trains).

With 175 in each car (mainly standing) let's hope the Air Con will be "up to the muster"!