Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Burns Lite - Don't know, don't care

Burns Lite - an occasional series highlighting the breadth and depth of knowledge held by officials in the Department for Transport.

This from Simon Burns, Minister of Transport, given in the House of Commons yesterday (with a bowler tip to Ithuriel)...

Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the level of public subsidy was for each year of the West Coast Mainline franchise when operated by Virgin Trains; what the level was of fare box revenue in each year of that franchise when operated by Virgin Trains; and what the at-risk investment was from Virgin Trains for the duration of that franchise.

Simon Burns (Chelmsford, Conservative)

All of this information will be contained in Virgin Rail Group's statutory accounts, which can be obtained from Companies House at:

Once Eye would have castigated DfT for such a shockingly lazy answer.  

Now we assume that either DfT just doesn't know or worse still, doesn't even care.

UPDATE: This from Chartist Bob...

Burns Lite seems a very good title for Eye's new feature.

You may also be interested to know that the Minister of State's academic prowess has already been honoured by the awarding of the sobriquet: 'Third Degree Burns'.

Update: This from the Haywain...

Before I dash off to buy umpteen years of Annual accounts for Virgin Rail Group Limited, I note that the press release put out by Virgin on 28th August clearly states that: "Virgin Trains Limited commences proceedings in respect of West Coast Mainline franchise award".

So which of the two company's accounts are the details in?

Unless of course they are in those for Virgin Rail Group Holdings Ltd?