Monday, 4 November 2013

TSSA Exec ushers in austerity Christmas

Here's a tale to warm the heart of every industry Scrooge.

The TSSA's Executive Committee Report for October records the following sad news...

In the light of the serious financial reductions that will need to be introduced over the next few months the EC set an early example by:
•    Not accepting an invitation to send a delegates to the International Transport Workers Federation Women’s conference in Delhi in January 2014
•    Cancelling its Christmas dinner

Such selflessness will no doubt be welcomed by members whose subs previously funded the Yuletide jolly.

UPDATE: This from Oliver Cromwell...

They've obviously gone for cheaper printers this year too...

UPDATE: This from Pendolino Warrior...

Saddened the TSSA is "Not accepting an invitation to send a delegates to the International Transport Workers Federation Women’s conference in Delhi in January 2014".

I wonder what their former president Harriet Yeo would have to say? 

Perhaps something along these lines...

Sun rises on talking shop as Ministers dodge talking tough!

A quite extra-ordinary release from DfT on Friday!

It began:

Strengthening Britain’s train-building industry
The creation of a new forum to strengthen the British rail industry at home and abroad has been announced by ministers during a visit to the site of Britain’s newest train factory.

The Rail Industry Supply Chain Forum was announced by both Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, when they visited the site of Hitachi’s new £82 million manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, in County Durham, home of the new Intercity Express Trains.

It continued by outlining the following benefits of the new Rail Industry Supply Chain Forum as follows:

  • providing the government with a better understanding of the capability of UK suppliers to inform our rail investment plans and identify where support or intervention is required
  • building the capability of UK suppliers so that they are more likely to win work both here and abroad
  • reducing the risk of UK suppliers facing “feast and famine” in their order books and providing early warning of potential problems to the industry
  • improving how government and industry promote UK capability overseas

Ministers and Whitehall officials could do a whole heap more for 'UK suppliers' by telling our Japanese friends that if they don't open their domestic market to UK rail suppliers with immediate effect, then HMG will not hesitate to cancel the Ninky Nonk train.

Sadly, iDave's preference for 'chugging down sake' means you can be quite sure this won't happen.

Treasury Committee appoints Herod to advise on childcare

This really is just too good.

The Treasury Select Committee, chaired by Andrew Tyrie MP, has launched an inquiry into “The Economics of HS2".

And quite right too.

But what's this!

Tyrie has appointed, as a specialist adviser on transport economics, one Stephen Glaister.

Glaister, readers will recall, is of course the widely respected Professor of Transport and Infrastructure in the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London.

He also just happens to be the director of the RAC Foundation; an organisation which, as any fule kno, is implacably opposed to new railways.

Here is Prof Glaister, in full modally agnostic flow, in a 2010 piece for the Gruan's Comment is free:

The brutal truth is that for all the attention lavished on the railways, not least by politicians, it is a niche activity and will remain so – even if capacity is increased by a quarter, or a half, or even doubled. Anyway, significant expansion of the rail network is out of the question. Or at least it should be.

Good news indeed for those looking for a balanced study into the economics of HS2.

Eye wonders what on earth could have induced HS2 denier Andrew Tyrie MP to appoint Glaister to such an important role?

No matter.

The select committee's first session on Tuesday 5 November will hear evidence from a range of witnesses both pro and anti the new North-South railway.

Eye will be listening with particular interest to the views of the last witness, who also hails from Imperial College...

Silver Stump Watch - Leeds

This from Northern Spirit...

Nicely placed, just where people might want to walk.

Pointless sign - East Croydon

This from Payroll No 1144...

 After a decade it still lingers on.

Now that the government has flogged off the Royal Mail perhaps time to resurrect?

Although getting agreement from 24 train operating companies as well as Network Rail managed stations might be something of a challenge!