Saturday, 29 November 2008

Economic news

This courtesy of The Crown Blogspot via Iain Dale.

Railway Eye's latest poll refers.

A bridge too far?

Richard Bowker, as Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, played a significant role in helping to deliver a much needed new footbridge, directly linking York station and the National Railway Museum for the first time.

The SRA's intervention removed layers of red tape and ensured that the £500k footbridge could be be built in time for the NRM's high profile 2004 RailFest - showing that todays industry could rise above narrow self interest when required.

As well as shaving 10 minutes off the pedestrian journey between York station and the NRM the footbridge also means passengers and local residents can avoid the deeply unpleasent Leeman Road tunnel - which is possibly the world's longest latrine.

Alas, the direct link to the NRM is now under threat as National Express East Coast have announced their intention to gate York station.

An unintended consequence of which will be the loss of pedestrian access through the station to the National Railway Museum when the barriers are introduced next year.

Interestingly the proprieter of National Express East Coast is one Richard Bowker.

Any chance of coming to the rescue again Richard?

UPDATE: A contributor writes...

"Very interested to see your piece on York, the 'NRM' footbridge and the dreaded gates.

"First of all, a great gag at the time that the bridge was opened by RB was that the bridge was, in fact, 'the East Coast Upgrade'!

"The other interesting point, of course, is that Grand Central sell tickets on their trains... but now their passengers will be denied access to said trains without... a ticket!!

"Surely this didn't play a part in NX's thinking..."

Surely not!

Houston we have a problem

Good to see Transport Scotland setting the very highest standards of public probity.

This from The Herald

"Opposition politicians and unions last night called for an inquiry after a report raised questions of conflict of interest in the award of Scotland's £2.5bn railway franchise.

"Concerns arose after Guy Houston quit as finance and corporate services director of Transport Scotland following publication of a report by Audit Scotland.

"Mr Houston, thought to earn £90,000 a year, stepped down on Thursday night after it emerged he held shares and share options in FirstGroup, which will receive the £2.5bn in government subsidies over the next 10 years."

Frankly unbelievable. This stinks.