Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Transport Direct - A quid a go

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
Good news for Transport Direct, which after five years has welcomed its "50 millionth user".

No doubt Atos Origin is also celebrating.

The company runs the consortium appointed by the DfT in January 2003 to design, build and operate the widely derided 'portal'.

By 2007 the
project had already racked up costs of £55m.

As the software is now up to version 10.5.1 perhaps soon it will do something useful.

Beardie and NR go head to head

Telegrammed by the Raver
Just when Network Rail is celebrating punctuality at 90% (sic) into the inbox thuds an angry missive from Virgin Trains:

Our customers will be far from satisfied with these figures - and nor is Virgin Trains.

After £9bn was spent on the West Coast Mainline, customers have every right to expect performance to be at least as good as the rest of the country.

That has not happened and sadly it proves that many of our past concerns about Network Rail were correct.

We have complained formally to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and now demand that the regulator holds Network Rail to account, and that Network Rail delivers the performance we and our customers expect.

Interesting that Beardie's mob are so exercised about Network Rail's failings.

Would they, by any chance, be seeking to distract the media from their own failings?

Notably trains that make the average cow shed smell salubrious, cramped luggage space, falling passenger numbers, a ticket pricing that makes no sense given the frequency of its services and a PR boss who will now never be believed because of his failure to invite any knowledgeable journalists to Beardie's ridiculous musings through fear of embarrassing the great man?

Or would that be mischievous?

UPDATE: This just in from our Independent Expert...

Branson may be right!

Two disastrous journeys with late running along the WCML today leading to a missed appointment for this author.

'Signals' apparently to blame.

Or is it coincidence that there are so many anxious-looking orange-clad men trackside a mere day after the Whitsun break?

UPDATE: This from 'Alexander the Great'...

So according to Network Rail's PPM press release today "No credible numbers exist pre1992" for performance.

Meanwhile, on the 2nd April 1985
Hansard said:

"Information on British Rail's punctuality performance is contained in the annual reports of the British Railways Board and the Central Transport Consultative Committee, which are laid before the Houses and copies placed in the Library."

So pray tell what is "not credible" about that system?

Or is the High Court of Parliament now so discredited that Network Rail dares to accuse it of lying?

UPDATE: Captain Deltic notes:

In the final year of what John Major clone Lord Adonis calls a 'national joke in terms of quality and reliability' British Rail's InterCity business achieved 88.1% of trains within time plus 10 minutes on the West Coast Main Line.

Also in 1993 ECML was at 89.2% (today 87.4%).

But congratulations to Mark 'Black Mac' Hopwood for showing the value of old-railway skills with Great Western today at 90.8% compared with 87.2% in 1993.

And back in 1993 across InterCity as a whole, all customer satisfaction scores were at 90% or above with helpfulness of staff on trains at 98%.

Helpfulness of staff at stations was at 93%, satisfaction with information at stations and cleanliness at stations were both at 91%.

Perhaps we could do with more 'jokes' like that to lighten these grim times.

Tesco supports the Railway Children

This from UK Fundraising...

Supermarket Tesco will donate £1 from the sale price of every 'Slumdog Millionaire' DVD and donate the money, expected to reach up to £200,000, to Railway Children, a charity working directly with children on the streets of India.

Good effort.

Remember - every penny counts.