Wednesday, 13 December 2017

DfT outsources data collection to Labour

What are we to make of this response?

East Coast Rail Franchise

Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough): To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2017 to Question 116801, how much Virgin Trains East Coast paid in premium payments (a) from the commencement of the franchise in 2015 to date and (b) will pay in each year until 2023-2024.

Paul Maynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys): The current East Coast franchise operated by Virgin Trains East Coast commenced 1st March 2015. An announcement of the expected premium over the duration of the contract was made at franchise award. All premiums due to date under the contract have been paid. Payments by franchised operators are published by ORR annually and can be found on their website. We have set out our plans to end the operational divide between track and train, and from 2020 we are establishing the East Coast Partnership, one of the first of a new generation of integrated regional rail operations. This will be subject to a competitive process, and will include appropriate premiums paid from the private partner to the Government.

This is unhelpful to the point of wilfull obstruction.

DfT has a spreadsheet of premium payments year by year on its website so why not simply provide a link?

Perhaps because the subsidy spreadsheet on the DfT website stops at 2015-16. The next update (for 2016-17) was due in August 2017 but it ain't there.

No doubt the DfT is hoping McDonald can find the information on the ORR website and pass it on to New Minster House?