Tuesday, 4 December 2012

West Coast franchise agreement reached?

Sources suggesting that Virgin and DfT have reached agreement on the ICWC franchise.

Believed to be an extension for 13 months.

No information on contractual details.

Expect an announcement shortly...

UPDATE: This from @Captain_Deltic, via twitter...

Taking a punt, look for Virgin to get a 2 year extension with DfT's bonkers idea of bidding for an interim 2 year ICWC franchise binned.

Interesting! Anymore for anymore?

DfT appoints David Prout to be DG HS2

This from the DfT...

Full speed ahead as Government appoints new Director General to oversee HS2

The Government’s commitment to delivering a new national high speed rail network has been underlined by the appointment of a new Director General to oversee the crucial project.

David Prout, currently a Director General at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will join the Department for Transport (DfT) in the New Year in a newly-created post taking charge of the delivery of HS2.

HS2 is a national high speed rail network linking London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, the East Midlands, with each other and cities beyond it, to drive regional growth, improve connectivity and create extra space and capacity on our railways and roads.

In his current role, David Prout has been at DCLG since 2009, with responsibility for localism, and additional responsibility as deputy for Sir Bob Kerslake given the latter’s role as Head of the Civil Service.

Philip Rutnam, DfT Permanent Secretary, said:

“HS2 is a hugely important programme for the future of the UK. I am very pleased that David Prout will be taking charge at such an exciting time. He will be leading a team which is already hard at work delivering this project, as well as liaising closely with HS2 Ltd, as we work together to introduce the legislation into Parliament on time next year that will make HS2 a reality.”

David Prout said:

“Making HS2 a reality is absolutely crucial to our country’s future prosperity and I am very pleased to have been asked to take leadership of this much-needed programme at this time. I look forward to helping to take the project through Parliament and continuing to demonstrate the very real need for more capacity for people and freight on our railways, which will help make Britain a more prosperous and less congested country.”

Notes to Editors

1. Prior to his current role at DCLG, David was Executive Director for Planning and Borough Development at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Before that he was Director of Local Government Policy in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

2. David has held a range of high profile civil service positions including Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister in the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Cabinet Office and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

3. From 1995 to 1998 David was environment attaché at the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. Prior to that he held a variety of posts in the Department of the Environment. He also worked in the planning department of Westminster City Council from 1990 to 1993 and for the Victorian Society from 1991 to 1993.


Attlee calls for metal thieves to be shot!

This from the Mother of Parliaments...

Lord West of Spithead (Labour)
My Lords, does the Minister agree that although metal theft is a heinous crime and has caused damage to war memorials and danger to hospitals and railway lines, shooting those involved might be a little over the top?

Earl Attlee (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)
My Lords, in the case of a war memorial, I am sure that the noble Lord and I would have some doubt over whether that would be over the top. Police officers have a range of options. It is important to note that British Transport Police armed officers have not only a firearm but a Taser and other weapons, such as pepper sprays, so they do not need to resort to the firearm immediately.

Errr... up to a point Lord Copper!