Eye is delighted to announce an exciting new feature!
Introducing everyone's favourite Agony Aunt - Uncle Roger...
Our first question to Uncle Roger comes from a gentleman who lives in both Tatton and Whitehall...
Dear Uncle Roger
My friend has published an Autumn Statement.
I... sorry he... refers to £80 million in support of the Southern Rail franchise’s procurement of 130 new carriages.
Can you help me to understand what is actually being bought?
Yours Confused & Concerned, Horse Guards.
You should not be ashamed about this, as many have asked the same question.
It is all too easy to think that new trains will arrive on the network unloved, off-lease and unlikely ever to carry passengers.
Happily, the figure of £80m you mention merely represents the DfT's best-estimate, based on experience with the IEP, of the fees consultants and lawyers will charge to specify these new trains.
Be assured that this paltry sum will deliver not one new train, ensuring sidings remain free for the storage of existing train fleets as soon as Theresa's new franchises are signed.
Have you a question for Uncle Roger? Please send to the usual address...