Monday, 26 March 2012

Passenger Focus - Qui custodiet ipsos custodes?

This from the Metro...

Anthony Smith’s salary as chief executive of Passenger Focus has risen from £95,000 in 2008 to £122,000 last year.

Despite claiming to be independent, the bulk of Passenger Focus’s £6.4million budget last year came from Ms Greening’s department...

Mr Smith denied being influenced by the Department for Transport.

‘At no time during our sponsorship by DfT have they ever tried to control what we do or say,’ he told Metro.

So that's all right then.

In other news the DfT denied micro-managing the railways.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Fieldmouse...

I remember a time when Passenger Focus’ predecessor was sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry to avoid precisely this apparent conflict of interest.

BoJo flounders on driverless Tube

Compare and contrast.

This from the Daily Telegraph on the 28th February 2012:

Boris Johnson pledges to introduce driverless tube trains within two years

This from the BBC today:

Boris Johnson promises driverless Tube trains within 10 years

Better stick to the wiff-waff BoJo!

Doug Oakervee to chair HS2

This from the Department for Transport...

Douglas Oakervee appointed as new chair of HS2 Ltd

Douglas Oakervee has been appointed as the new chair of HS2 Ltd, the independent company set up by the Government to deliver a high speed rail network between London and the North of England. He will commence working with the HS2 Ltd team in April.

Mr Oakervee has had a long and distinguished career, with significant experience of working on major infrastructure projects. Between 2005 and 2009 he was Executive Chairman of Crossrail Ltd during the project's Hybrid Bill phase. He has also been a Project Director at Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong, with responsibility for planning, design procurement and construction.
As Chair of HS2 Ltd, Mr Oakervee's primary responsibilities will be:

  • Formulating the Board's strategy;
  • Ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions across its full remit including the route design and environmental assessment, takes proper account of guidance provided by the Department for Transport or the Secretary of State;
  • Encouraging high standards of regularity and propriety; and,
  • Promoting HS2 to the general public.
The appointment is for a period of 3-5 years, however re-appointment is possible, if mutually agreed, to a maximum of ten years. The salary range for this post is £120,000 - £140,000, with the new Chair expected to spend at least two days per week in HS2 Ltd's offices in central London.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: "HS2 is a railway which will transform the economic shape of the UK, so finding the right person for this role is vital. I am delighted that Doug has agreed to take on this important position, bringing with him decades of experience of working on major infrastructure projects. The next few years include a number of key challenges and milestones for this project and Doug's input will be invaluable as we move forward. I would also like to thank the current Chair, Brian Briscoe, for his invaluable work in leading HS2 Ltd this far."

Doug Oakervee said: "I am excited about my appointment and passionate about the development of UK’s high-speed rail network and HS2 is a great step forward. I believe that HS2 offers a unique chance to address the capacity issues facing the British transport network and to promote growth in our major cities. I will use my experience of the Hybrid Bill process at Crossrail to ensure that HS2 Ltd is best able to efficiently navigate this stage of the project."


Pointless signs - New Cross

This from Pedantic of Purley...

This sign is approximately 60 yards (less than a train length) from the buffer stop at the London Overground bay platform at New Cross.

You cannot see it if the train is leaving the platform because the train itself obscures the sign and on its inward journey the train is traveling at walking pace due to TPWS slow speed control when entering terminus platforms.

If it is logical to put this sign up then presumably logically this ought to apply to all terminus platforms and these signs should decorate the London termini stations?

Needless to say there is no such notice by the track at platform B which is a through line and does have trains passing either way at a much higher speed.