Thursday, 7 February 2013

Burns Lite - on Waterloo International

An occasional series celebrating the genius that is Simon Burns MP, the Minister of State for Transport...

This from the 4th of February:

Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made on re-opening the platforms at the former Waterloo International Terminal for domestic commuter services; and if he will make a statement.

Simon Burns (Chelmsford, Conservative)
The Government is committed to bringing the former International platforms at Waterloo station into domestic use, commencing with platform 20 being brought back into use by 2014 to assist South West Trains in delivering additional capacity into this busy station. In advance of this, work to refurbish the roof is already under way.

With regard to the other four former international platforms, previous plans to bring these back into use have now been subject to detailed evaluation which has shown them to be too short-term in respect of the efficient overall expansion of Waterloo station. A more comprehensive and longer term plan is required. On 16 July 2012 the Secretary of State published the High Level Output Specification (HLOS), which included recognition that major works are likely to be required at London Waterloo and made provision for this as part of a wider rail strategy for Control Period 5 (2014-19).

Network Rail published its Strategic Business Plan (SBP) in January 2013 setting out how the rail industry proposes to deliver the Government's HLOS rail strategy for 2014-19. The SBP proposes a £300 million investment to increase capacity into London Waterloo in CP5 as part of a longer term enhancement programme that will deliver significant capacity improvements into CP6 and beyond. During CP5, improvements will focus on suburban routes into London with platform extensions to accommodate longer 10 car trains and the integration of the former Waterloo International Terminal and its platforms to increase capacity within the station.

What on earth does Third Degree Burns mean when he says the four other platforms at Waterloo International station are "too short-term in respect of the efficient overall expansion of Waterloo station"?

Does he think these platforms are planning to move somewhere in the near future? 

Or perhaps, at over a quarter of a mile in length, they will be unable to handle whatever trains SWT can throw at them?

Almost completely meaningless - Cruella would have been proud of him.