Thursday, 23 December 2010

ATOC car crash on Radio 4

This from Sir Humphrey Beeching...

I suspect many of your readers will have delighted in this morning's media performance by ATOC on the Today programme (2.10 in).

Certainly it is the talk of my former colleagues in Marsham Street.

In the new spirit of constructive dialogue between the Department and the train operators I have been asked to discreetly convey the views of senior officials as to how ATOC might have improved its on-air performance.

With ATOC's core message in mind perhaps it would have been best for all concerned if their own Corporate Affairs Director had not 'got through'.

UPDATE: This from SN Barnes...

With their obvious attention to detail in delivery of rail information it took until the early hours of Thursday morning for ATOC's National Rail site to wake up to the fact that they should be including London Midland services on their Journey Planning database ... whilst London Midland had spent previous 24 hours having to tell punters that NRES had yet to correct their system.

Is this what is meant by 24 hour (and 7 day?) railway - the time it takes to convey information to the passengers?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Loughton...

The Humphrey Beeching story is nonsense - the ATOC guy was given the standard Humphrys beating.

So what?

The DfT today are far more interested in Norman Baker's indiscretions, telling the Telegraph that Villiers gets LibDem policy while Hammond is oddly immune.

UPDATE: The Fact Compiler observes...

Does anyone really care whether 'Villiers gets LibDem policy' if the Sectretary of State remains immune?

If either DafT and/or the LibDems think this is important then they seriously need to retune their political antennae.

UPDATE: This from Sir Humphrey Beeching...

The Fact Compiler is quite wrong.

The views of the Minister of State for Transport are extremely important to my erstwhile colleagues in the Department.

Why at least once a month she has a one-to-one, lasting almost twenty minutes, with the Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary's Permanent Secretary.

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

I fear Mr Loughton may be talking nonsense.

Humphrys could have been pinned back with a few well chosen statistics backing up Robin Gisby's interview of yesterday.

For example, how many trains ran compared with the normal service, how many hundreds of thousands of commuters were got to and from work, etc.

If ATOC could not put someone up with the knowledge and media training to survive the inquisitors of the Today programme then it should have declined the invitation rather than make things worse.

It was hiding behind the sofa embarrassing and an insult to the efforts of railwaymen and women who have battled to keep the railway running.