Tuesday, 25 November 2008

ITSO out-of-date

***The perils of modern technology explained***

Gerrymander Rail

So Geoff Hoon has decreed that Great Western, Northern and Transpennine will be the beneficiaries of "up to 200 new rail carriages".

In particular the Secretary of State wants to see the new vehicles benefit rail passengers in the "Thames Valley, around Bristol and on longer distance inter-urban services in Northern England".

The Fact Compiler wonders why?

Thames Valley:
Reading West (Lab)
Oxford East (Lab)
Slough (Lab)
Swindon South (Lab)
Swindon North (Lab)

Around Bristol:
Bristol South (Lab)
Bristol East (Lab)
Bristol North West (Lab)
Kingswood (Lab)
Wansdyke (Lab)

Inter-urban services in Northern England
City of Durham (Lab)
Kingston Upon Hull (Lab)
Leeds Central (Lab)
Leeds East (Lab)
Leeds North East (Lab)
Leeds West (Lab)
Liverpool Garston (Lab)
Liverpool Riverside (Lab)
Liverpool Walton (Lab)
Liverpool Wavertree (Lab)
Manchester Central (Lab)
Manchester Blackley (Lab)
Manchester Gorton (Lab)
Middlesborough (Lab)
Newcastle upon Tyne Central (Lab)
Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend (Lab)
Newcastle upon Tyne North (Lab)
Sheffield Central (Lab)
Sheffield Attercliffe (Lab)
Sheffield Brightside (Lab)
Sheffield Heeley (Lab)
Sheffield Hillsborough (Lab)
City of York (Lab)

You get the idea...

Now if TrainSardine.Org could only force a couple of byelections on the Norwich - Liverpool route...


Telegrammed by our man at 222 Marylebone Road
A friendly call to the DafT press office to see if there were any further details on the up to 200 vehicles being brought forward from a never specified delivery date, brought the following reply:

"We don't have details on how they will be allocated to the TOCs".

According to their Master's statement:

"...an additional 200 train carriages to relieve congestion on the Great Western, Northern and Transpennine rail franchises."

And the press release says:

"The delivery of 200 new carriages earlier than originally expected for rail passengers in the Thames Valley, around Bristol and on longer distance inter-urban services in Northern England."

What sort of press office is it that claims not to have information that has been published in the House earlier that day?

Come back Miriam the railways need you more than aviation.

Clarification or more spin?

***Westminster sources saying Geoff Hoon statement at lunchtime today on the "up to 200 new rail carriages"***

UPDATE: Ministerial statement now expected at 15:00

Honourable and a member

Our elected members continue to find it easier to have a pop at TOCs over fares increases rather than hold the Department for Transport to account.

This from Dick Murray in today's Evening Standard.

"AN MP today warned of riots by rail passengers after fares were increased by more than twice the rate of inflation.

"Roger Gale, Tory member for North Thanet, described the increases, due to come into force in January, as "intolerable" and said that with people already suffering the effects of the credit crunch they could "lead to civil disobedience.

"Mr Gale has written to Charles Horton."


Earth to Roger Gale: Talk to the organ grinder rather than the monkey.

I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.

As Lord Kinnock might say:

"A totally and utterly wicked slur has been perpetrated on the literally millions of totally and utterly welsh speakers by denying them the opportunity to hear their native tongue aboard services totally and utterly serving parts of Wales."

Hansard: Written answers 20th November, Railways: Welsh Language

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with First Great Western Trains and Virgin Trains on the use of the Welsh language in respect of (a) rail services provided in Wales and (b) cross-border rail services. [237845]

Paul Clark: The Secretary of State has had no discussions with First Great Western or Virgin Trains on the use of the Welsh language.

Pictured are Sir Beardie and Moir Lockjaw dressed totally and utterly as druids.

Agreeable luncheon

Good news for lawyers.

The Norwich Evening News reports on the campaign to save National Express East Anglia restaurant cars.

'Labour's Sue Whitaker, who raised the issue, said the franchise agreement was riddled with inconsistencies.

It could be a field day for the lawyers,” she said.In one part of the franchise agreement it talks about providing a buffet service, but elsewhere there is reference to a restaurant service on some trains."

Thank goodness one sector of the economy appears recession proof... allegedly!