Monday, 16 April 2012

ATOC kicks ConDems up the backside

That's the way to do it!

This from a frustrated Association of Train Operating Companies...

The Government’s commitment to reforming rail franchises has “barely begun to be turned into reality”, the Chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) will say this evening.

Speaking at a lecture at the Institution of Civil Engineers in central London later today, Tom Smith will say... "I call on the government to live up to its promises and make franchise reform a reality. The moment is now - there is an unprecedented series of franchises to be let and the time is opportune to introduce meaningful change to the terms of this contract".
No doubt a cri de cœur that will pass straight over the head of the seemingly blasé Captain of Netball.

No matter, it's only about franchising after all.

But if ATOC feel they have to put the boot into Marsham Street then the Treasury had better start worrying...

Meacher on 'How not to run a railway'

Labour's Michael Meacher MP has been reflecting on the role of 'an activist state' in relation to the railways on the Left Future blog.

He writes...

As the wealthy businessman Lord McNulty admits, privatisation has brought fragmentation when an efficient rail system requires a single linked entity. So what does the report recommend, and what are the Tories about to implement? Even more fragmentation. The maintenance of the track and signalling is now to be fragmented and put into the market, and indeed fragmented further into small companies like mini-Railtracks.

The Fact Compiler has tried to steer the MP for Oldham West and Royton onto the right path in the comments section.

Others may wish to make their own contributions?

Ticket retail site tries to get in on Eye action

The Fact Compiler has received an excited missive from RedSpottedHankey's Blogger Community Developer, whatever that may be?

He writes:

I’m writing on behalf of redspottedhanky, who have included you in their list of the best train and railway blogs in the UK, which you can read here.


The note continues:

We were wondering if you might be interested in an official redspottedhanky Blogger of Choice badge for the site?

Actually, probably not.

Any chance of RedSpottedSnotter buying some adspace on Eye instead?

Railway weekend must reads

A quick round up of stories from this weekend's press...

Sir Richard Branson letter in Saturday's Daily Telegraph defending Virgin Care - also refers to the company's West Coast franchise. Sir Richard claims "Virgin took on British Rail’s dilapidated trains and part of its dreadful service and turned it into an innovative, much improved line."

Arriva Cross Country is mentioned in a Saturday Guardian feature on Rip Off Britain. The Guardian's Consumer Affairs team ask Cross Country why it can't set cheap fares from St Austell to Macclesfield. Cross Country's Head of Communications says "I don't think it would be useful for customers to put a section on our website to explain how the fare system works. I think it's providing a level of complication."

David Cameron defended last week's trip to Asia in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph. "So this week I loaded up a plane with the biggest and most high-powered British business delegation ever to visit the region and we set off to put things right" he said. As Eye previously noted, the delegation contained no representative from the UK's railway industry.

Stagecoach's Sir Brian Souter support for the SNP mentioned in the Sunday Times (£) in an article on party political donations. "The Rich List figures reveal Salmond’s party also received the second-largest individual donation: £570,000 from Sir Brian Souter, the Stagecoach company tycoon".

That's all folks!