Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A small victory

In these politically correct times it is a brave organisation that has a go at the Disability Taliban or those they claim to represent.

Fortunately in the North East they have hearts of oak and are as brave as lions!

Thus Nexus, the operators of the Tyne and Wear Metro, is threatening to sue the driver of a mobility scooter which crashed onto the tracks at Byker station causing massive disruption to the network.

Nexus is considering the move after the scooter's driver, who was not seriously hurt, "broke regulations" by travelling alone on the transport network.

In April Nexus introduced new rules governing Mobility Scooters following a spate of incidents that disrupted passenger services. As a consequence Mobility Scooters are only allowed on the network when 'accompanied and assisted by an appropriate person on foot'.

Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: "This accident demonstrates the importance of the new rule that scooter users only travel with an appropriate companion who can assist with their safety, and that of other passengers, at all times.

"We're exploring the possibility of legal action to recover our own costs associated with the disruption. The point here is that we believe the person involved was in breach of our updated conditions of carriage because they did not have a companion, and that led to an accident.

"If we cannot establish this with all scooter users then the safety risks associated with these vehicles mean we will have no alternative but to ban them." he added.

Nexus is in the middle of a consultation on the future use of mobility scooters on the Metro, a process being carried out by its own advisory body Transport For All.

The Fact Compiler understands that there is no substance to rumours that Guide Dogs found worrying trains risk being shot.

Minister gagged!

At 10:00 this morning Rail Minister Tom Harris announced via his blog that he would be appearing on Thursday night's BBC1 Question Time.

But by mid-day the article had disappeared from view!

Just in case Tom's blog has malfunctioned here is the missing article in full:

Question Time
And another thing...Today at 10:00 AM

I’m to be a panel member on Question Time tomorrow, alongside Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, David Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, LibDem peer Baroness Emma Nicholson and David Mitchell of Peep Show fame.

It’s being broadcast from Musselburgh in East Lothian at 10.35pm on BBC1 on Thursday.

The Fact Compiler wonders whether he will still appear or whether his well earned reputation as a man who knows and speaks his own mind has caused panic amongst the Labour Party Thought Police, who are still reeling following the resignation of Wendy Alexander - Tom's friend and former Scottish Labour leader at Holyrood.

In the land of the blind

***Those who applied to become Network Rail public members should now know whether they have succeeded in getting through to the next stage of the process.***

Worth the wait?

***On Monday DafT revealed that the InterCity Express Programme has spent £9.4m on consultancy fees since 2005***

In case you're reading this whilst delayed by "rolling stock shortages" that figure would have bought two new three-car DMU or EMU trains.