Monday, 15 October 2012

DfT - Mind the credibility Gap!

Good to see that the Department for Transport remains at the very top of its game!

Eye understands that late last night Marsham Street was desperate to speak to Tim O'Toole.

So naturally they rang London Underground to try to get hold of him... 

Great Minster House - all change please ladies and gentlemen. All change!

Virgin set to get extension as DOR deactivated

This from the Department for Transport...

Department for Transport to negotiate with Virgin on temporary operation of West Coast rail services

The Department for Transport will negotiate with Virgin Rail Group for them to continue providing rail services on the West Coast Main Line for a temporary period.

The current franchise is due to expire on 9 December after which it is the government’s intention that Virgin remain as operator for a short period – expected to be between 9 and 13 months – while a competition is run for an interim franchise agreement. This interim agreement, which would be open to any bidders, will then run until the new long term West Coast franchise is ready to commence.

The government believes that this is the best way to ensure services are maintained and that there is no impact on passengers.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

    “The cancellation of the InterCity West Coast franchise is deeply regrettable and I apologise to the bidders involved and the taxpayer who have a right to expect better.

    “My priority now is to fix the problem and the first step is to take urgent action to ensure that on the 9 December services continue to run to the same standard and passengers are not affected.

    “I believe Virgin remaining as operator for a short period of time is the best way to do this and my officials and I will be working flat out to make this happen.”

On 3 October the previous competition to run trains on this line was cancelled following the discovery of significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted.

The department also paused the on-going franchise programme including live competitions on Essex Thameside, Great Western and Thameslink and set up two independent reviews into what went wrong with the West Coast competition and the wider DfT rail franchise programme.

Notes to editors

  • The Transport Secretary has ordered two independent reviews:
  • The first will be an urgent independent examination into the lessons to be learned from the department’s handling of West Coast competition. Conducted by independent advisers and overseen by Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and former PricewaterhouseCoopers strategy chairman Ed Smith, both DfT non-executive directors, this review will look as soon as possible at what happened and why with a view to delivering an initial report by the end of October.
  • The second independent review will be undertaken by Eurostar chairman Richard Brown CBE, and examine the wider rail franchising programme. It will look in detail at whether changes are needed to the way risk is assessed and to the bidding and evaluation processes, and at how to get the other franchise competitions back on track as soon as possible. This will report back by the end of December.

UPDATE: This from Directly Operated Railways...

Taxpayers will be relieved to know that we are not so much deactivated, as waiting in the wings! 

Railway Garden Competition - Charing Cross

This with a bowler tip to @EliotAnderson...

Not strictly a railway garden, the Charing Cross hotel having been sold off many years ago.

None the less, too good to leave out of this year's competition.

In fact astonishingly good!

Where are they now - Adrian Lyons

Another in an occasional series designed to assist Patrick McLoughlin and Richard Brown determine the way forward for contracted passenger services

Inviting the onetime Director General of the Railway Forum and a former Master of the Worshipful Company of Drapers to support Richard Brown's review would be welcomed by many on the railway and in the City.

Adrian Lyons, was last seen here.

That is all.

UPDATE: This from Sidney Sneak!...


Wasn't the Fact Compiler most recently seen with General Lyons at the Midland Hotel, in Derby, last Thursday night?

The Fact Compiler, respectfully, pleads the Fifth...