Friday, 28 June 2013

Juicing the network whilst the lights dim...

This from the PM's spokesman in today's Lobby...

"The clear view of the Government is that the lights are not going out.

"We are confident there are adequate supplies available. Power is not going to be rationed. Lights are not going to be turned off.

"The fundamental questions here are: are the lights going to go out? No.

"Will power be rationed? No."

What an excellent time to be embarking on a major programme of electrication, eh?

Reports of the demise of diesel trains appear somewhat exaggerated!

A reminder of Ministerial double speak

Time to compare and contrast.

This from the Earl Attlee on the 25th April...

Earl Attlee (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)
Rolling stock deployment is a matter for the train operators with the Government's role primarily focused on ensuring that this represents value for money when the taxpayer's interest is involved. It is therefore for franchise bidders to determine the rolling stock requirements for routes within the franchise area and to work with the rolling stock owning groups to make decisions on investment in both new and existing rolling stock.

The Department for Transport is currently investing in rolling stock for the Thameslink and Inter City Express programmes. These procurements will significantly increase the national fleet size, enabling the department's investment strategy requirements to be met.

Existing rolling stock procurement programmes (including Thameslink and InterCity Express), and potential cascades of trains to other lines will not be delayed by the franchise schedule announced in March 2013, including during periods of direct awards contracts. The department will be working with both the train operators and rolling stock owning companies to understand any further rolling stock needs identified by them during the direct award periods.

Quite so and quite right!

Let the market decide!

Alas, here is the Earl Attlee on the 26th June...

Earl Attlee (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)
Bidders for the East Coast franchise will be required to enter into arrangements for the use of trains procured through the InterCity Express Programme for use on East Coast in any agreements finalised by Her Majesty's Government.

So My Lord, it is not really 'for franchise bidders to determine rolling stock requirements' at all then?