Thursday, 14 January 2010

DafT announces Pope Catholic - Official & Embargoed

Much excitement over tomorrow's press conference to launch Evergreen 3.

For those who can't wait Chiltern have very kindly put up a website which contains all the details.

So not much to announce then.

But what's this?

An Embargoed Press Release reaches The Fact Compiler from the Department for Transport (with a bowler tip to Steve Strong and Charles Yerkes).

As it is embargoed until 00:01 on the 15th January the Eye wouldn't dream of disclosing any details.

Other than pointing out that Chiltern have always had a 20 year franchise so obviously the release can't be re-announcing that.

Can it?

UPDATE: This from the Major...

The Fact Compiler needn't have worried.

ATOC have broken the embargo!

The below, one of their 'five a day', was issued at 16:10 today:


News provides perfect example of what train companies can achieve with smarter franchising

Responding to Chiltern Railways’ announcement of a £250m new line, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said:

“Chiltern Railway’s project to significantly improve services between London and the Midlands is great news for passengers, and a good example of what a private train operating company can achieve under the right conditions.

“Franchises which run for 15 years or more, as with the case of Chiltern Railways, provide incentives for train companies to invest in upgrading their services and to focus ever harder on meeting passengers’ needs.

“We want to move to more widespread use of longer franchises, together with other smart franchise reforms, to free train companies to provide passengers and taxpayers with a better deal.”


Shows scant knowledge of railways and less still of PR.

No doubt DafT will be delighted.

UPDATE: And now the floodgates have opened...

This from the Tories at 18:10

Commenting on the new rail line agreement for Chiltern Railways, Shadow Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers said:

“Chiltern’s innovative investment in new capacity is only possible because of their 20 year franchise. Lord Adonis may pay lip service to longer franchises but until he is willing to make 15-20 year franchises the norm, and not the exception, passengers will lose out on private sector investment in better services, better stations and new trains.

“Only a Conservative Government can..." (cont' p94)

Frankly the Department has only itself to blame - issuing a release and embargoing it for 14 hours is asking for trouble.