Thursday, 7 July 2011

DafT dithers as SWT commuters suffer

This from Pontius Pilate...

Can I say how encouraged I am to see that hand washing over major issues is now this government's official transport policy, as this written answer shows?

Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from train operating companies on the use of the Class 460 Gatwick Express electrical multiple units which had been expected to be without an operator from 22 May 2011.

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State Rail and Aviation)
Southern Railway continues to operate a number of Class 460 electric multiple units beyond the previously intended end date.

The use of these units, once they are no longer needed on this route, is a matter for the rolling stock company to agree with train operating companies.

In fact ROSCO Porterbrook had agreed a deal for the future use of its Class 460 fleet as part of SWT's proposals to introduce 10 car trains to relieve severe over-crowding .

But DfT took so long havering over the terms of the deal that the tender validity ran out.

So now SWT has had to restate the ITT and has got updated offers from the original bidders which are now being evaluated and will go to the DfT who will no doubt start a new interminable analysis.

My friend Dante reckons that DfT's Rolling Stock non-policy has become a new circle of hell in its own right.

UPDATE: This from the Grim Reaper...

In fact, Network Rail, in a brilliant price of coordinated timing with DafT, has already started extending the relevant SWT platforms, all due to be completed for the December 2012 timetable.

No doubt DafT will still be getting round to opening the envelopes in December next year, while cosily-packed SWT commuters (if they can actually see out of the window) look upon the new platform extensions vying for the top spot in the Railway Gardens competition.