Friday, 3 February 2012

Wibble from Greening on NR bonuses

This from Torquemada..

Is it not time to put the Transport Secretary to the Question?

Justine Greening claims in a Tory Party press release that:

Labour designed a system where Ministers have no powers to block Network Rail executive pay and which in 2008 saw bonuses of over half a million given out to the Chief Executive even when there were serious failures".

But DfT is a Member of Network Rail under the not-for profit corporate structure and as a result has the power to vote at the AGM.

Not only that, it has the right to appoint a Special Member to the Network Rail Remuneration Committee.

So Justine has the powers, but for some reason her officials have failed to pass on this vital piece of intelligence.

So as a Member of Network Rail our Justine could actually put her money where her mouth is and oppose the resolution on executive bonuses at the Annual Meeting.

Pish, you may say, what is one vote among a hundred votes?

But we know that DfT has, shall we say, 'influence' with the train operators, who are also Members and we can be sure that they would follow DfT's lead for fear of gainsaying their paymaster - particularly as franchise replacement approaches

And official intervention would strengthen the will of those Public Members opposed to bonus payments and, combined with some judicious 'persuasion', convert the waverers to the path of righteousness..

As the Captain-General of the Deltics hath tweeted, the killer question for Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle is 'Will the Transport Secretary use her vote to oppose any recommendations on bonus payments at the Network Rail AGM'?

But of course the Captain of Netball will do no such thing.

Presumably because, despite all the huffing and puffing, Greening is terrified that if she does the ONS will add NR debt onto the Treasury's books.

UPDATE: This from

The Transport Secretary is to vote against bonuses for top Network Rail executives at the firm's AGM this week, she revealed.

But Justine Greening told the BBC Sunday Politics programme the Government has only a single vote and cannot compel rail bosses not to pay the bonuses. About 80 members can vote on the board and the result will be advisory only...

Ms Greening told the programme: "I'm going to go to the meeting next Friday, I'm going to vote against them."

Just fancy that!

Bletchley derailment and use of Twitter

This morning Network Rail and the WCML TOCs have been showing how twitter can be an effective passenger communications tool during disruption.

A special plaudit to @NetworkRail who sent out the following photo to show the scale of the recovery work required at Bletchley:

A lesson in effective use of social media.

Meanwhile Eye's thoughts are with the driver of the loco who is in hospital with serious, although apparently not life threatening, injuries.

UPDATE: A further image from NR showing damage to track and OHLE...

Eye understands that the Virgin driver has now been released from hospital.