Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Richard P-J confirmed as NR Chairman choice

This from Network Rail...


Network Rail today confirmed the appointment of its chairman-designate, Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE.

The confirmation of his appointment follows a meeting with Network Rail's members.

Professor Parry-Jones will start with the company on 28 March 2012 as a non-executive director, taking up his position as chairman if his appointment is ratified by members at the company’s AGM in July when Rick Haythornthwaite steps down.

A big Eye welcome to Prof Ricky Jim-Jams!

Cameron burnt by King's Place finest

Oh dear.

Looks like Network Rail will be off iDave's Christmas Card list.

The Prime Minister, keen to get back on the front foot over Gideon's disastrous Pie-Tax, offered the Beeb the following wibble:

The PM continued: "I am a pasty eater myself, I go to Cornwall on holiday, I love a hot pasty.

"I think the last one I bought was from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. I seem to remember I was in Leeds station at the time and the choice was whether to have one of their small ones or large ones, and I have a feeling I opted for the large one and very good it was too."


@NetworkRailPR was obliged to point out:

For the record: West Cornwall Pasty Co vacated Leeds Stn 31/3/2007. However, Cornish Bakehouse was open there until last week (23/3/2012)

Either way, both retail outlets have now closed.

Back to the VAT free Caviar, eh Dave?

Eurostar offers quality product for Olympics

This from the Sleeper...

Eurostar's fleet is looking increasingly tired.

Indeed some vehicles now have rusty holes adorning their body sides.

Happily necessity is the mother of invention, leading to this wonderful solution.

Stick a lavatory out of order sticker over the hole!

Now that's really is taking the p*ss!

Railway Garden Competition - Ryde Pier

This illuminating contribution from Rock Sniffer...

Pampas grass on the Up platform at Ryde Pier, Isle of Wight.

I'm informed by a learned source that in the 1970's a crop of this in the front garden signified the owners of the property were into 'swinging'.

This frowned upon practice apparently having something to do with fastening a vehicle to the end of a train without the benefit of continuous brake.

Command Paper - Executive remuneration

This from Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road...

From the Command Paper

Executive remuneration has been the focus of public debate.

As a private sector company, Network Rail sets performance pay levels for its senior staff. In response to questions from the wider public about bonus awards that have been perceived as excessive in relation to Network Rail performance levels, Network Rail has worked with the ORR under the terms of its licence to adapt its remuneration approach.

The ORR has made clear throughout this review that its objective is to ensure that Network Rail’s executive bonus payouts are simple, transparent and clearly aligned with performance, meeting long-term taxpayer objectives by rewarding only sustained out performance of long-term financial targets, notably efficiency, while also reinforcing the need to hit overall non-financial regulatory targets, including safety and reliability.

So why was Ms Greening prepared to vote down the Annual Incentive Plan which Network Rail and ORR had worked together to adapt and ORR had cleared?

I ask only out of curiosity.

Command Paper - Industry members

This from Ithuriel...

From the Command Paper:

Government believes that these principles can best be delivered within the current Company Limited by Guarantee structure. We therefore welcome the governance proposals that Network Rail is announcing, including:

  • reducing the number of members to a more sensible level, thereby improving the quality of decision-making. This could include removing industry members, who are prevented by conflict of interest from playing a substantial role;
Conflict of interest or being unwilling to bite the DfT hand that feeds them?

Chair of PAC on HS1

This from the Public Accounts Committee...

NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE: The completion and sale of High Speed 1

A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:

I am yet to be convinced that HS1 will prove to be value for money. Yet again we hear that value for money will depend on uncertain benefits which have not been quantified. We will want the department to do all it can to realise the benefits and turn this sorry story round.

Compared to the staggering mismanagement of the West Coast Mainline upgrade, the department did relatively well with the construction of HS1. But that is damning with very faint praise indeed. It’s a sad state of affairs when it comes as no surprise that HS1 was based on dodgy assumptions and bad planning.

Don't be so coy Margaret, tell us what you really think!