Thursday, 19 June 2008

Not fit for purpose

Chris Bolt today announced that the Office of Rail Regulation would produce its own strategy for the railways.

Predicting record growth and growing role for the railways Bolt declared "At present, the industry lacks a clear vision of how it will meet that challenge. It does not have in place longer-term plans to transform the railways to meet increasing demand and service expectations. It needs to start to address this now, working in partnership.

"For our part, as the safety and economic regulator of Britain's railways, we will be reviewing how we can better contribute to the necessary transformation, and publishing our own strategy later this year." said Chris Bolt.

What a depressing day. The industry's economic and safety regulator has to tell DafT, NR and ATOC that they're not up to the job of planning for our future!

Pillow talk

It is well known that the Welsh Assembly Government and Arriva Trains Wales work closely together. But it took the press to discover quite how closely.

The Western Mail reports today that Tim Bell, MD of Arriva Trains Wales lives with a certain Alison Teague.

Ms Teague, when not living with Mr Bell, is tasked by the Welsh Assembly Government with monitoring the finance and performance of Mr Bell's franchise (ATW).

Defending the slightly unusual arrangement the TOC said “Arriva Trains Wales understands that the Welsh Assembly Government was made aware of this matter when Tim Bell was appointed managing director and has put processes into place to avoid potential conflict of interest.”.

So that's all right then.

The Fact Compiler understands that Ms Teague continues to be satisfied by Mr Bell's performance.