Friday, 3 April 2009

A muesli muncher writes...

This just in from a frustrated reader...

The Fact Compiler is quite right to have a go at the Lib Dems and their whining about Britain's (actually rather good) railways.

But at least one can simply ignore their press releases.

The Tories are far worse.

Barely a day goes by without a Jeremiad from Theresa Villiers about some cooked-up railway scandal, often based on utterly misleading newspaper stories.

It obscures their two half-decent points - that the government is micro-managing the railways and Network Rail needs better governance. It also makes them look like they want more micro-management, not less.

Now it's also dragging in the government - I saw the DfT put out a pointless press release today on a £2.5m study which will examine whether to redouble the Swindon-Gloucester route.

All this hysteria creates the deceptive impression that the railways are still the shambles they were five years ago.

It also prevents sensible debate about real issues such as safety standards, capacity, the proportion of farebox and freight customer revenue funding for the railway versus the proportion of government support and many others.

All that said, there's nothing wrong with eating muesli. I have it for breakfast every day.

Norman wisdom...

Are the LibDem's Transport Team clutching at straws?

The muesli munchers have been bombarding anyone foolish enough to give them an email address with a growing number of loopy press releases screeching about how utterly piss-poor the railways are.

In their latest effort the flip-flop wearers moan about the number of unstaffed stations on the network.

While train companies are announcing staffing cuts across the network, the Liberal Democrats have released new research showing that one third of stations are totally unstaffed.

No shit, Sherlock!

Perhaps when the LibDem's take power (the week after hell freezes over) stations like Loch Eil Outward Bound and Coombe Junction will be staffed for the very first time! Ensuring unparalleled levels of customer service for the one man and his dog who actually use these wayside halts.

So come on Norman Baker - without demonstrating the economics of the madhouse, what is your solution?

Meanwhile this sort of PR poppycock masquerading as 'news' is just plain silly. Please stop it now.

Yet more fiscal imprecision

Telegrammed by J Arthur Prufrock
DfT says the 120 Electrostar vehicles will cost £160 million.
BREL, sorry, Bombardier tells the local press it is £155 million.
The Canucks who own Litchurch Lane say it's £180 million including maintenance.
Any better offers from the putative owners, the inspiringly  named  Lloyds TSB General Leasing (No.8) Limited?
(PS I am not a number, I'm a free ROSCO)