Tuesday, 9 November 2010

ATOC's response to PAC report on overcrowding

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
What a pusillanimous lot the train operators are.

Here they are responding to today's Public Accounts Committee report on rail overcrowding.

The delay in tackling capacity has coincided with the growing involvement of civil servants in buying new trains. The best way to get value for money and ensure extra capacity is delivered when and where it is needed would be to return to a situation where train operators take a greater role in ordering new rolling stock. In the early days of privatisation, train operators successfully ordered nearly £5 billion of new trains.

Who can forget Michael Roberts' impassioned conference speeches denouncing DfT's malign influence over train procurement, the ATOC paper standing up for the role of the ROSCOs against the 'Linnard Terror' and the clinical dissection of the technical weaknesses in the Intercity Express Programme.

Meanwhile, back in the reality based community...

Eye recalls a near total silence from the organisation which, like its members, will only now deliver a kicking to DfT Rail after it has been brought down and hogtied by the new Secretary of State for Transport.

On the plus side - there shall be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents...

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

How perverse that the Public Accounts Committee should be economically illiterate.

In its report on train overcrowding it says that there is no incentive for the rail industry to supply extra capacity without additional public subsidy.

Then the report adds 'The Department should in future franchises require operators to take measures themselves to avoid overcrowding and to meet the costs of doing so.'

But as Bowker's Law points out, there are only two sources of money for the railway: the taxpayer and the fare payer.

So is the PAC now calling for higher fares?

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Perhaps the PAC is suggesting that royalties from Sir Moir's lovely book might pay the lease rental on the odd Pacer?

UPDATE: This from Routemaster...

Or perhaps, more seriously, cross subsidy from Stagecoach's lucrative bus business?

UPDATE: This from a Mr Robert Wright of the Pink 'un...

Railway Eye might want to direct readers towards the one newspaper report that made the point about how it wouldn't be economic for franchises to have an obligation to meet an overcrowding target. It's here.

I should warn readers of a nervous disposition, however, that the DfT doesn't approve of the piece's reference to 1,300 new carriages (they're additional, not all new), nor to our claim that "barely any" has been ordered.

They claim that orders have been placed for around a quarter and that's not barely any. Otherwise, it may prove edifying reading, however.