Tuesday, 14 July 2009

DafT - As you sow, so shall you reap

There is certain information that voters and taxpayers might reasonably expect a Government department to know.

Or at least have a reasonable stab at.

Such as just how risky NatEx's very aggressive bid for the East Coast franchise was; bearing in mind that the previous operator had failed to deliver with a lesser bid.

Chris Mole (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport):
The Intercity East Coast Franchise was let on 13 August 2007. A January 2007 version of the Franchise Evaluation Process Charts was used in the evaluation process.

National Express East Coast bid was categorised as medium financial risk.

So wide of the mark as to be almost laughable, if it wasn't going to be so damn expensive.

So what does the supine Department for Transport actually know?

Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley, Labour)
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether maintenance work is planned on the West Coast Main Line on the weekend of 28 and 29 August.

Chris Mole (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport)
Maintenance work is planned on the weekend of 28 and 29 August when all lines will be blocked between Watford Junction and Leighton Buzzard between Saturday morning and Monday lunchtime.

I understand that Virgin West Coast is proposing to operate additional services between London and Birmingham via an alternative route.

How re-assuring to know that DafT is at least competent enough to provide MPs with travel information.

Perhaps the Tories might like to consider outsourcing the entire sorry Marsham Street operation to Bombay or Bangalore?