Monday, 15 March 2010

Stobart CEO signs up to Twitter

This from @Andrew_Tinkler, CEO of Stobart Group, via Twitter...

Just starting using Twitter. I think it will be useful to let people know what's going on at Stobart Group.

Would that some railway CEOs and MDs did the same!

UPDATE: This from Steady Eddie...

Isn't it a bit 20th Century using his own name?

Why not two girls' names like the lorries?

Sadiq says...

Nothing yet... this story on Guido's blog:

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan is in hot water this afternoon after it has been revealed that he lied to the press and to the Parliamentary authorities.


UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

Will just one of these bent MPs do the honourable thing and resign?

Haythornthwaite still struggling to reform NR

Does anyone at Network Rail bother listening to their Chairman?

In November Rick Haythornthwaite admitted that he "heard the word 'arrogant' a lot" when listening to views of NR.


So what are we to make of the following?

NR's recently published Great Western RUS contains a suggestion that the former Cheltenham Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon route might be reopened.

Splendid news!

But what is this?


Part of the route has already been reopened and is in regular use!

This from

Volunteers from Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GWR), which operates steam trains on a section of the Honeybourne Line between Cheltenham Racecourse and Toddington, say they were not consulted by Network Rail before the restoration proposals were included in its route utilisation strategy.

Of course NR is not alone in riding rough shod over heritage lines.

ATOC was guilty of the
same offence back in June last year.

Surely basic good manners would have avoided NR falling into the same trap?

UPDATE: This from Richard...

I think you need to look who's asking for this reopening.

If you look through the submissions to the consultation, then the "demand" actually comes from one Rt Hon D. Cameron (MP for Witney, which of course encompasses the eastern end of the Cotswold Line). He appears to have written, at the behest of a constituent, a slightly confused letter suggesting that Honeybourne-Stratford should be considered for reopening.

Network Rail may not think this is a remotely plausible scheme, but I presume self-preservation dictates that when the probable next Prime Minister suggests something, you have to at least pay it lip service.

Adonis eyeballs the brothers

Eye has in the past been a little critical of The Thin Controller.

But this is as nothing to the fury that will be directed against the Noble Lord for having the temerity to criticise UNITE and its members for threatening industrial action over Easter.

On Sunday Lord Adonis opined:

"Let's be absolutely clear the stakes are incredibly high in this strike and I absolutely deplore the strike,"

"It's totally unjustified, this strike, on the merits of the issues at stake, and I do call on the union to engage constructively with the company."

See the 'forces of hell' muster here, here and here.

The next big question is will Adonis dare to open a second front against the brothers by laying into the RMT and TSSA, who are also threatening to paralyse Easter travel on the railways?

UPDATE: This from Lobby Fodder...

It looks as if Adonis is getting his retaliation in first.

The plans for a super new 10 platform HS2 station at Euston will see TSSA's HQ demolished!

UPDATE: This from Sir Humphrey Beeching...

As the Clunking Fist backed Lord Adonis on BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour today, it is pretty safe to assume that the 'forces of hell' have not yet been unleashed.

UPDATE: This from Biggles...

TSSA's head office gets reduced to rubble but ASLEF retains its Branch Office (The Exmouth Arms) which miraculously looks set to escape the bulldozers!

Yet further proof that ASLEF stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Aviation news....

This from the Civil Aviation Authority...

CAA STATISTICS show last year’s fall in passenger numbers was biggest since the Second World War

  • UK airports handled 17 million (7.3 per cent) fewer passengers in 2009 than in 2008, the largest annual decline for sixty-five years.
  • It is the first time numbers have fallen consecutively for two years, reducing passenger numbers to levels not seen since 2004.
  • Traffic declined the most in the first quarter of 2009, with the rate of decline easing as the year progressed.
UK airports handled 218 million passengers during the 2009 calendar year according to figures published today by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a fall of 7.3 percent (17 million) on 2008, the biggest decline in passenger numbers at UK airports since records began.

Yet another nail in the coffin for Heathrow's third runway?

Arriva falls at the first fence

This from the Commuter...

Last year Eye ran a piece about John McCririck helping XC promote their services to the Cheltenham Festival.

Well he's back again.

And this time there is a highly professional video making use of some top quality Powerpoint effects.

Poor old John - he looks as shaky as the franchise he is promoting.

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

Perhaps Arriva should would have been better spending McCririck's fee on installing WiFi across its fleets, as it promised when it won the franchise.

According to the shaky TOC this should have been completed by 11th November 2009 (two years into the franchise).

Good to see that Department for Transport is on the case with this clear breach of a franchise commitment.