Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Beggy bites Tory peer. What Next?

This from Yes to High Speed Rail...

The Campaign for High Speed Rail today condemned plans by Lord (Simon) Wolfson, a key mover in the opposition to high-speed rail, for a new motorway linking the southern cities of Cambridge and Oxford, as well as emergency measures to create a new “tech city” on nearby agricultural land.

Professor David Begg, Director of the Campaign for High Speed Rail, said:

"Lord Wolfson - the leader of the campaign against high-speed rail - has just given away the real agenda of those who oppose the project. They have no interest in regenerating our great Northern cities. They just want better motorways for the prosperous south so that, for instance, professors and businesspeople can shuttle between two prosperous university towns more quickly.

Wolfson, of course, is also Chief Executive of retailing giant Next.

Let us hope this overt southern bias doesn't impact on the company's sales amongst UK consumers in the Midlands and North?

UPDATE: This from Lobby Fodder...

This could get interesting.

Beggy has impeccable New Labour credentials.

Wolfson meanwhile is close to Cameron.

When plain old Simon Wolfson he backed iDave's party leadership bid, and as of July last year had donated almost £300,000 to the Tories.

In return for this loyalty Call-me-Dave elevated him to the House of Lords.

Such a personal attack on one of iDave's mates by Yes to High Speed Rail could make for an uncomfortable time for Petrol-head in Cabinet.

Pointless signs - Doncaster seat waiting area

DfT spins a line on new carriages for Leeds

Whilst governments change the misinformation generated by their officials continues.

This from the Hammond Organs...

Leeds commuters are to benefit from more than 2,000 extra seats each day after Transport Secretary Philip Hammond announced today that twenty additional rail carriages are to be deployed on routes serving the city.

The extra carriages will be used to run more trains at busy times – on the lines from Skipton, Ilkley and Doncaster via Wakefield into Leeds – and to lengthen other existing services operated by Northern Rail.

They form part of the 650 additional carriages the Government will introduce onto the UK’s rail network by 2014.

Part of the 650 additional carriages eh?

So presumably these aren't the twenty year old 322s currently in Scotland and previously on National Express East Anglia?

Good old DafT - never letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

UPDATE: This from The Archer...

In the same release Hammond said:

“Even at a time of severe pressure on public spending we cannot afford not to invest in Britain’s future – and that’s why we are investing more than £10m in providing these extra carriages for Yorkshire commuters. These extra trains will ease crowding and provide passengers with more comfortable journeys.

“The tough decisions the Government has taken on rail fares allow us to continue to deliver this sort of much needed improvement to the railways. We are investing in 2,100 extra carriages to increase capacity across the rail network and in the longer term we have plans for a high speed rail network which will ease overcrowding and make our railways fit for the 21st century.”

It must be comforting for regional railway passengers to know that if they were to be beneficiaries of a High Speed Line they would be 'overcrowded', but as they only travel on local lines they are merely 'crowded'.

Perhaps Petrol-head can explain what metric he uses to draw this interesting and novel distinction?

UPDATE: This from Our Man by the Photocopier...

I may be able to explain how moving five 21-year old Class 322s from the North Berwick line to bring a moderate amount of joy to the lucky people of West Yorkshire has cost £10 million -- that's £500,000 a vehicle.

This Friday afternoon press release from Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Run makes it all so much clearer ...

International law firm Eversheds has advised the Department for Transport on a £10m investment to provide 20 additional rail carriages on commuter trains in Leeds.

From December 2011, commuters in the Leeds area will benefit from more than 2,000 extra seats each day as more trains will run at peak times, improving the service in the region. This project forms part of the 650 additional carriages the Government will introduce on to the UK’s rail network by 2014.

The extra carriages will allow a total of six additional trains per day (three in the morning peak and three in the evening peak) operating on the Leeds - Skipton, Leeds - Ilkley and Leeds – Doncaster routes. In addition, three morning peak trains will be lengthened on the Leeds - Manchester Victoria and Bradford Forster Square - Leeds routes.

The Eversheds team advising the Department for Transport was led by Partner Peter McCormack.

Peter McCormack said:

This investment in transport in Leeds and surrounding area will improve the services that commuters use on a daily basis. Rail services are an important part of the growth of British economy and we are pleased to continue to assist the Department for Transport with its plans to increase capacity across the rail network.

Trebles all round, m'lud!

UKTI launches pre-emptive strike?

This from Ithuriel...

I spotted this in the Derby Evening Telegraph:

DERBYSHIRE rail companies are to be given a helping hand to break into overseas markets thanks to a new rail export partnership.

Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum, which represents about 100 rail firms across the county, has linked up with UK Trade and Investment, a government-backed organisation which helps British firms export.

The two organisations have agreed to establish a dedicated rail-export partnership.

UKTI international trade director Peter Hogarth said: "By working closely with the forum, we can help local rail supply chain companies develop their export business.

Presumably the aim is to keep Derby factories busy with exports when Hitachi's hostage plant in Geordieland sweeps up all the UK train orders.

An excellent example of joined up government, allowing UKTI to give with one hand whilst DafT takes away with the other.