What has Captain Deltic got his pistons in a twist about now?
@ClareMoriarty. @ philiprutnam @holdmch @eastcoastuk When a Transport Minister gets it totally wrong on access charges who fed him duff gen?Eye thinks we should be told!
— Roger Ford (@Captain_Deltic) February 4, 2014
UPDATE: This from the latest edition of Rail Business Intelligence, in in-boxes across the industry this very afternoon...
The minister later appeared to suggest that the publicly-operated ICEC franchise had been made to look more successful than it actually was.
"We all know that despite a lot of talk about DOR, frankly their punctuality was the worst of the long-distance operators, we can talk about the access charge costs where they got a considerable benefit when they took over, so we’ve got to be careful about comparison from line to line’, he said.
"Once one starts to examine certain figures that people are quoting they don’t always bear up in quite the same way".
When RBI pointed out that East Coast was currently meeting its punctuality targets unlike NR on the ECML (RBI454 p4), Hammond replied
"although East Coast’s satisfaction rating has gone up in terms of sheer punctuality numbers against the other long-distance operators, it is a simple matter of fact that it’s the worst-performing at the moment.
"There may be all sorts of reasons for that but it is also true that their access charges, for one reason and another, are lower than others.’
"All I’m saying is that you’ve got to be very careful about comparisons and you’ve got to remember that when it was set up it was deliberately set up to stabilise the railway, to provide a service and to make sure that we did our statutory duty. It was never intended to be a long-term operation".
Does the ORR know that it has been gifting the nationalised operator preferential track access charges?
Or is the minister perhaps talking through his hat?