Thursday, 28 June 2012

HS2 new appointments

Exciting news from HS2!

Transport Secretary Justine Greening today announced the appointment of four Non-Executive Directors to the Board of HS2 Ltd, completing a recruitment process which started in January.
  • Richard Brown has held high level positions in and around the rail sector. 
  • Godric Smith is currently Director of Government Communications for London 2012. From 2006 to 2011 he was Director of Communications for the Olympic Delivery Authority. 
  • Duncan Sutherland has undertaken a number of senior development roles working with Local Authorities; as Director of City Development in Coventry, and as Chief Executive of the property and investment arm of the City of Edinburgh Council. 
  • Mike Welton has been re-appointed to the Board. 
Presumably Godric is busy with Richard Brown at this very moment, discussing the precise dimensions for his new HS2 Broom Cupboard?

Hard times are here again - Official

Perhaps Eye readers can help identify the following...

Which hungry hack raced off to an important early morning appointment this week, leaving a lately arrived orange juice sipping PR to pick up his breakfast tab?

And what was the name of the gallant PR who, having been presented with the eye watering bill, discovered he didn't have enough cash to cover the transaction?

Finally can you identify the venue that kindly agreed to await the preoccupied hack's return so the account could be settled?

Evidently local businesses in this part of SW1 are well used to such occurrences, since the demise of once generous 'allowances' given to regular patrons!

Open Data - Network Rail steals a march on HMG

On the day that the government published its Open Data white paper, Network Rail launched its own transparency portal.

According to the infrastructure controller...

Network Rail underlined its commitment to greater transparency today with the unveiling of a new information portal on its website. For the first time people will have easy access to a range of information about Britain’s rail infrastructure operator. Categories of information include:
  • Budget and costs of high-profile projects
  • Assessments for 50 high risk level crossings scored on the rail industry's level crossing risk model
  • Real-time train running data
  • Agendas and minutes of meetings of the board
  • Executive directors’ expenses
  • Number of high earners by £25k band
David Higgins, Network Rail’s chief executive said: “I believe in transparency. It helps improve decision making and can drive culture change in an organisation. Given the amount of money that taxpayers put into the rail industry, it is only correct they are given the right to scrutinise what their money is paying for. I believe Network Rail has to take the lead in opening up the industry to new levels of transparency and I hope others will soon follow that lead.”

The transparency site can be found here.

Software developers can also download information about real time train running data feeds here.

Good effort.

RMT welcomes increased Olympic rail services!

Good to see the brothers standing up for the industry that employs its members!

Not content with stinging train operators for additional payments over the Olympics the increasingly shrill RMT is now scaremongering about rolling stock.

According to Crow Bar Bob...

"The truth is now out. Every unit of unreliable and unsafe rolling stock will be hauled out of the sidings and sheds to try and cope with the Olympics demand as transport chiefs hit the panic button.

"RMT will not agree to any suspension or dilution of safety procedures as a consequence of this desperate measure and we will fight to protect passenger and staff safety. "

Ever get the impression that the RMT is happiest when it's pissing down someone's leg? 

East Coast consultation - is anyone listening?

On Tuesday the DfT launched its consultation on the new East Coast franchise.

According to the press release:

Launching the InterCity East Coast franchise consultation today, Rail Minister Theresa Villiers invited passengers, local councils and anyone with an interest in improved services on the East Coast Main Line to send in their views on what they want from the next franchise.

Theresa Villiers said: “There are exciting changes on the horizon for the East Coast Main Line. It is set to receive a brand new fleet of InterCity Express trains. The next franchise will be up to 12 years in length giving the operator greater opportunities to invest in improvements that will benefit passengers".

Eye suggests those responding to the consultation might want to start their responses with: 'Junk the IEP!'. 

TSC finally confirms NR part of DfT

The Transport Select Committee is asking the public to suggest topics for future inquiries.

And, in the spirit of open government and democratic accountability, quite right too!

But what's this?

Has the NAO been told?

Railway Garden Competition - Brundall Scarecrow


UPDATE: This from The Major... 

As natty as the Fat Controller looks, he is woefully under-dressed for his role 'on or near the line'. 

No matter! He can simply exchange his topper for a white safety helmet (assuming he is no longer a probationary PTS), don some safety glasses and swap his spongebag trousers for a nice pair in orange. 

Oh, and don't forget the gloves. 

And he'd better swap his mini hi-viz vest for a full-sized version.

Smart as a carrot! And looking like one too...