Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Great Western franchise - DOR activated

This from The Brothers...

RAIL UNION RMT revealed today that it has been officially notified of a rescue plan to bring in the publicly owned Directly Operated Railways to run the major Great Western franchise between London, Wales and the South West, fuelling speculation that talks on a contract extension with First Group, due to be announced in the next few weeks, are in trouble.

RMT has received the following notification from DOR:

“GW Railway Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Directly Operated Railways, has today submitted applications to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for a Safety Certificate (Part A and Part B) and Safety Authorisation in respect of undertaking train and station operations on the Great Western Franchise (i.e. the line of route currently operated by First Greater Western), should current negotiations between the Department for Transport and First Group, on a short term extension to the franchise commencing in October 2013, fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion.“


UPDATE: This from First Group...

Our negotiations with the DfT in respect of an extension to the First Great Western franchise are, contrary to claims by the RMT, progressing well.  Our proposal is not due to be submitted to the DfT until next month.

The step taken by DOR to register a safety certificate is usual practice and reflects the fact that the process to achieve a safety certificate takes sixteen weeks.  This process is expected to take place in respect of all potential single tender agreement awards for franchises.

First Great Western has also registered for a safety certificate in respect of an extension to the franchise.

UPDATE: This delightful non-sequitur from Maria the Eagle..

David Cameron and his Ministers must come clean if they are preparing to take over Great Western rail services. Passengers deserve to know the truth about the future of the rail services on which they depend.

The plan to extend existing franchises is collapsing into chaos. This is a direct consequence of the misguided decision by Ministers to prioritise a costly and unnecessary privatisation of rail services on the East Coast ahead of getting the rest of the rail network back on track. 

The Government should accept it has got this wrong and allow East Coast services to continue to be run on a not for private profit basis. It will be a scandal if even more taxpayers’ money is wasted, adding to the £55 million that has already gone down the drain thanks to the franchising fiasco for which David Cameron and his Ministers were responsible.

UPDATE: This from a source close to DOR...

You know of course that DOR went through exactly the same process during the negotiations to extend both the West Coast and Essex Thameside (C2C) franchise?

Still, not like the RMT to let the facts get in the way of a good story...