Thursday, 24 October 2013

New improved RDG fails to fall at first hurdle!

Much disappointment amongst the curmudgeons of the rail industry!

Eye understands from a number of RDG Associate Members that they actually received an email from the new Director General, containing a letter from RDG Chairman Tim O'Toole, explaining today's changes!

Okay, it might have arrived after the press release... but any direct communication is a big step in the right direction!

Labour responds to changes at RDG

This from Lilian Greenwood MP, Labour’s Shadow Rail Minister...

This announcement underlines the case for further reform. The Rail Delivery Group is not fully representative of the wider rail industry and it is lacking in transparency, despite its increasing influence over Government policy.

Ministers must now ensure essential decisions that affect passengers are subject to proper levels of scrutiny, not hidden away behind a cloak of commercial confidentiality.

Looks like the new RDG communications and policy teams will be busy...

RDG beefed up by ATOC 'merger' but supply chain out in the cold.

This from the Rail Delivery Group...


Network Rail, train operating companies and freight operating companies have agreed the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will assume responsibility for policy formulation and communications on behalf of the rail industry.

To advance this objective, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) will combine its communications and policy functions with complementary resources from Network Rail and support from other RDG members, to operate in future for the RDG as a whole.  Michael Roberts, ATOC’s chief executive, becomes the director general of the RDG, succeeding Graham Smith who has stepped down from the role.

The creation of an expanded executive team will strengthen the RDG’s capabilities to develop policies which benefit rail users and taxpayers, and enable it to provide the railway with a unified voice. 

The combination of resources from ATOC and Network Rail also signals the RDG’s intent to work increasingly in partnership and with common purpose, mirroring developments elsewhere in the industry.

Commenting on the changes, Tim O’Toole, RDG chairman and chief executive of FirstGroup plc, said: “Britain's railways have been transformed over the past 20 years, delivering record levels of growth and performance.  Greater coordination among the train operators, freight companies and Network Rail is the next logical step for the industry to evolve to the next stage of capability. The combination of ATOC resources with Network Rail will provide clear, unified leadership for the industry and ensure it is best placed to build on its unmatched record of success."

Sir David Higgins, RDG deputy chairman and Network Rail chief executive, said: “A better railway brings significant economic and social benefits to passengers, taxpayers and the public. The industry's commitment to work more closely is delivering real improvements to safety, service quality and efficiency. A more effective, better resourced, RDG will help us achieve more for those we serve."

Michael Roberts, RDG director general, said: “The new arrangements are an exciting opportunity to work even more closely with colleagues across the industry.  The team and I very much look forward to supporting group members in their passion to drive forward solutions that benefit passengers, freight users and taxpayers.”

Notes to editors:
1.    The RDG was established in May 2011 to lead the industry in delivering a higher performing, more cost effective and sustainable rail network for Britain's rail users and taxpayers.  Formation of the RDG was a specific recommendation in Sir Roy McNulty’s rail value for money study, published in May 2011.

2.    The RDG brings together the chief executives of passenger operator owning groups, freight operator owning groups and Network Rail. The RDG develops policies, strategies and plans for the coherent management of the rail industry and advances the provision of a safe, efficient, high quality rail service for users and taxpayers.

3.    ATOC’s corporate affairs and policy teams will no longer work solely on behalf of train operating companies but, combined with staff seconded from Network Rail and support from other RDG members, will operate in future on behalf of the RDG as a whole.  The two teams will consist of 18 people in total and will be based at 200 Aldersgate Street, London, EC1A 4HD (ATOC’s existing offices).

4.    The current ATOC business services teams will continue under Michael Roberts to run National Rail Enquiries, Rail Settlement Plan, Rail Staff Travel and the Commercial, Operations and Engineering schemes. The governance arrangements and bodies for the individual schemes will remain unchanged: they will be complemented by ATOC Board which will continue but change its main focus from policy to ensuring a co-ordinated approach to business service provision.  Tom Smith will step down as independent chairman of the ATOC Board by the end of the year.


And about the Supply Chain? Not a word!