Thursday, 30 June 2011

Petrol-head puts on the knuckle-duster

Given the lukewarm response of the industry to McNulty it is perhaps not surprising that Cowardly Custard has had to get a bit fierce.

This from a Hammond statement on the McNulty Report and West Coast franchise, made in the House on the 19th June:

Longer franchises and a changed relationship with Network Rail will have a positive impact on the behaviour of train operators and their appetite for investment and risk taking.

However, I want to send a clear message that the new culture of co-operation in the rail industry, and the focus on cost reduction, is here to stay and is mandatory, not optional.

I can announce today that as a matter of policy for all future franchise competitions, a significant part of the assessment of bidders’ capability at the pre-qualification stage will be evidence of success in collaborative working and driving down costs.

Fighting talk indeed!

But is it enough of a stick to bring everyone back to the table, even those who have absolutely nothing left to lose?