Thursday, 5 December 2013

ORR fixes railway's finances in a stroke!

Good news for fans of the bleedin' obvious!

This searing insight from an ORR press release issued today:

Richard Price, Chief Executive of the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), today gave a keynote speech at the Future of Rail Conference in London.

He said: “Spending the right amount of money, in the right place, at the right time, will reduce delays, bring down costs and secure a safe and sustainable railway now, and for the future.

Who'd have thunk it?

DfT - a lesson in being careful what you wish for

This from Ithuriel...

The Invitations to Tender for the new replacement franchises, sees bidders get brownie points for quality improvements. 

One good way to improve quality is to promise new trains, which generates points and, of course, points mean prizes!

But, new trains cost more money.

And the word on the tracks is that DfT is facing the prospect of all the bids for Thameslink Southern Great Northern being of such high quality that they are all unaffordable.

Autumn statement on Fares

This from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement:

Rail Fares
1.272 To help households with living costs the government will further cap the average increase in regulated rail fares for the 2014 calendar year to RPI. This will benefit over a quarter of a million annual season ticket holders who will, on average in 2014, save £25. For instance, an annual season ticket from Chelmsford to London should be around £35 less in 2014 than it would have been without this change whilst an annual season ticket from Oxford to London should be around £45 less. This measure will complement the decision by the Mayor of London to cap the average increase in Transport for London fares at RPI for 2014.

1.273 Autumn Statement 2013 confirms that the permitted 'flex’ above the overall cap on average rail fares will be reduced to 2%. A commuter with a £2,000 season ticket could save up to £60 because of this measure, in a scenario in which the operator had chosen to apply the maximum permitted increase.

1.274 Autumn Statement 2013 also confirms a trial of flexible rail season ticketing that will take place in the South East. The innovative products being tested will benefit those who work flexibly or part-time.


Putting aside the challenge of recalculating every fare before tomorrow, this is good news for passengers.

Note that our Chancellor even has a sense of humour - focusing on fares from Chelmsford, the home to erstwhile rail minister and the notoriously train-shy Simon Burns MP.

Greater Anglia colleagues, therefore, will be best placed to advise whether this particular policy innovation has been a success