Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Brown Review - Partnership is key

Eye understands that Richard Brown is busy assembling a team to work on his Review.

According to sources they are likely to be absolutely first class.

Is this perchance now the Review of Last Resort?

UPDATE: This from Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road...

So Richard Brown and DOR are recruiting from the same pool of ex-British Rail retreads.  

Will their gangmaster turn a blind eye to possible moonlighting in this overheating market? 

UPDATE: This from Sir Humphrey Beeching 

Allow me to commend my former DfT colleagues on their Value for Money approach.

I quote 

As for longer franchises, the best case for them
is if they are to become the vehicles for
investment - not just rolling stock, but the
infrastructure too. Chiltern’s 20-year franchise is
a great example. Without investment the case for
longer franchises is a lot thinner.

There is also a case for more flexible contracts
for the commercial railway – allowing TOCs to
tailor the timetable more closely with market
requirements. Allowing commercial TOCs to
take the revenue risk is also sensible. Allowing
social TOCs to do so is not so sensible: there the
emphasis should be on service quality and cost
effective delivery

That’s your report written then Richard. Shall we perhaps retire for luncheon?

UPDATE: This, perhaps surprisingly, from the late Simone Mirman...

I 'ave noticed that the leather petit chapeau noir has been seen across Le Town a domain.

From the oh-so chic ABBey all the way to les tres unfashionable TERminus.

C'est magnifique! Mais ce n'est pas la gare. Non?

UPDATE: This from Aristotle...

If you keep asking the same people the same question do not surprised when you keep getting the same wrong answer.

Is there nobody left from OPRAF days who can approach the question of Franchising from a different direction?

Burns Lite - Don't know, don't care

Burns Lite - an occasional series highlighting the breadth and depth of knowledge held by officials in the Department for Transport.

This from Simon Burns, Minister of Transport, given in the House of Commons yesterday (with a bowler tip to Ithuriel)...

Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the level of public subsidy was for each year of the West Coast Mainline franchise when operated by Virgin Trains; what the level was of fare box revenue in each year of that franchise when operated by Virgin Trains; and what the at-risk investment was from Virgin Trains for the duration of that franchise.

Simon Burns (Chelmsford, Conservative)

All of this information will be contained in Virgin Rail Group's statutory accounts, which can be obtained from Companies House at:

Once Eye would have castigated DfT for such a shockingly lazy answer.  

Now we assume that either DfT just doesn't know or worse still, doesn't even care.

UPDATE: This from Chartist Bob...

Burns Lite seems a very good title for Eye's new feature.

You may also be interested to know that the Minister of State's academic prowess has already been honoured by the awarding of the sobriquet: 'Third Degree Burns'.

Update: This from the Haywain...

Before I dash off to buy umpteen years of Annual accounts for Virgin Rail Group Limited, I note that the press release put out by Virgin on 28th August clearly states that: "Virgin Trains Limited commences proceedings in respect of West Coast Mainline franchise award".

So which of the two company's accounts are the details in?

Unless of course they are in those for Virgin Rail Group Holdings Ltd?