Tuesday, 18 April 2017

New DG Rail - Who should it be?

Time for an Exciting New Eye Poll!

With Bernadette Kelly elevated to role of Permanent Secretary the search is on for a new Director General, Rail at the DfT.

In the spirit of open-government Eye has offered to crowd source a suitable candidate!

Despite one of the candidates being somewhat busy with elections, editing the Standard, making huge amounts of money and stuff,  this is your chance to influence the future of our industry! (It really isn't. Ed).

Use your skill and judgement to select from our candidates on the righthand menu bar...

Remember, vote early - vote often!

Kelly appointed as new DfT Permanent Secretary

This from the DfT...

Bernadette Kelly has been appointed as the new Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport. This follows Philip Rutnam’s recent move to the Home Office which was announced in February. The appointment has been made by the Cabinet Secretary with the approval of the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport.

A win for the continuity candidate...

Periodic Review 18 v Corporate Memory 0

This from Gilbert Ratchett...

Now that the Office of Rail Regulation has published the Initiation Notice for Periodic Review 2018, the phoney war of consultation documents is over and the Government has to say what it wants (the High Level Output Specification) and how much money it can scrape together to pay for what it wants (the Statement of Funds Available).

And there is now a firm deadline for delivery of these documents - better known as the HLOS and SoFA . And that date is 20 July.

Which, from past experience of Periodic Reviews, is when the infighting between the railway industry and its political and regulatory overlords gets serious. And talking of experience, Eye can't help but notice that not one member of the Network Rail Executive Board which over-saw the 2013 Periodic Review remains in post.

As the Periodic Review is all about Network Rail's funding, this total loss of corporate memory in five years means raw recruits are being thrown into the battle that will determine the railways' future.

Year Zero and trebles all round!

General Election 2017 and Purdah

Currently we are in Purdah for the 4th May local elections.

If the PM secures her two thirds majority tomorrow for a General Election then Parliament will be dissolved on the 3rd of May.

Purdah for the General Election will begin on the 4th May (same day as the local elections) and run through to the 8th of June.

A reminder about Purdah...

From the House of Commons Library:

"The term ‘purdah’ is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The terms ‘pre-election period’ and ‘period of sensitivity’ are also used."

This means that we are unlikely to see the Gibb Report on Southern (or any other significant government announcements) until after the General Election.

This may suit one or two people in Marsham Street...

General Election - 8th June 2017

Subject to securing a two thirds majority in the Commons tomorrow, the PM proposes going to the country on the 8th June.

Some quick thoughts on implications for the railway.

1. The Franchising Process is presumably now stalled?

2. Fast tracking a bi-mode fleet for the Midland Main Line in advance of PRM compliance, ditto?

3. What happens to the PR18/CP6 preparations?

Interesting times!