Thursday, 23 June 2011

Thameslink fleet - Flipflop iDave holds out hope?

Much rejoicing in the East Midlands!

As iDave carries out yet another U turn, this time over Circus Animals, local politicos can already smell blood in their campaign to preserve the UK's last remaining train manufacturing plant.

Regular Eye readers will recollect that last week the Department for Transfer awarded the £2bn contract for new Thameslink trains to Siemens, who will build all 1,500 vehicles in errr... Germany!

Meanwhile, some 3,000 Derby workers employed by unlucky bidder Bombardier face an uncertain future of empty order books and hard times.

Happily, hell hath no fury like a region scorned.

Eye understands that the normally pliant East Midland's business and political communities are furious over this slap in the face, with several leading figures suggesting that the region should now seek to scupper Hammond's pet project - HS2.

HS2, according to Petrol-head, is all about economic benefits.

But with Thameslink decided without reference to local economies, there won't be many left to benefit from HS2. If, and when, it eventually crawls through Derbys' and Nott's'.

Still don't expect miracles. iDave only visits the region for photocalls, whilst Hammond couldn't even be bothered to announce, in person, that over 3,000 skilled UK jobs will vanish overseas.

Warwickshire sets out transport priorities

This from the Birmingham Post...

Conservative-led Warwickshire County Council is set to take its case against HS2 railway plans to the Government...

The county council says it has been working with other councils opposing HS2 along the route, and action groups and HS2 Ltd to “gather data” about HS2.

Would this be the same Warwickshire County Council that is funding opposition to HS2 and at the same time withdrawing support for local bus services after 7pm.

It surely is!

Warwickshire CC’s portfolio holder for transport and highways, Coun Peter Butlin, said the authority was left with little choice but to axe the services once their grant was cut.

The only way we could balance our budgetary responsibility and keep providing services was to target the areas where there are fewer customers,” he added.

It’s unpalatable, but it’s a fact of life".

Indeed it is - unpalatable that is.

Lookalike - Thunderball

With a bowler tip to today's Grauniad...