Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ellman is first transport casualty of GE2017?

An early casualty of Theresa May's general election is likely to be the Chair of the Transport Select Committee.

Commons rules say that an MP can chair a select committee for eight years or two parliaments, whichever is the longer.

Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, was first elected chair of the Transport Select Committee in 2008, following the untimely death of 'Madam Chairman' Gwyneth Dunwoody MP.

Louise has served on the Transport Select Committee for twenty years, since she was first elected to Parliament in 1997.

Although held by a Labour MP over many years, the chairmanship of the Transport Select Committee (and indeed the party affiliations of all the select committee chairs) will be dependent on the share of seats held by each party in the new Parliament.

Ellman has presided over an increasingly influential Transport Committee, and it is be hoped (voters willing) that her experience will not be entirely lost to TSC after June.

Southern's 'Turn up and go' turns out to have gone?

Good news for fans of accessibility!

This written answer from Lord Ahmad given on the 24th April...

Baroness Randerson: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have been officially informed by Southern Rail that they have withdrawn "turn up and go" access for disabled passengers from 33 stations; and if so, whether they intend to intervene to ensure that this service is restored.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have advised the Department for Transport that passengers do not have to book assistance before travelling with them; GTR only recommend this to ensure they have staff prepared with ramps or that alternative travel is in place if a station is not accessible.

We take the issue of accessibility on our railways extremely seriously. It is vital that all passengers, including disabled passengers, are able to use public transport and we look to train operators to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate unbooked assistance.

In other words; you don't have to book ahead, unless you actually want to get on the train.

UPDATE: Courtesy of @LeeRender...

Eye's 'Rule of Railway Trials' has always been that this is how we hardcode customer benefits into daily service!

Alas, apparently it is now more advantageous to inconvenience the passenger by removing, rather than retaining and enhancing, the status quo.

But this is Southern, the franchise that slaughters customer service on a daily basis.

No matter.

Virgin and Stagecoach partner with SNCF

This from StockMarketWire.com...

Stagecoach Group and Virgin Group are joining forces with France high speed operator SNCF to bid for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

The government has announced that the West Coast Partnership franchise would run from 2019. 

It would include current West Coast services and the first few years of operation of High Speed 2 (HS2) services.

Stagecoach had a 50% share in the bid vehicle, West Coast Partnership Ltd, with a 30% share held by SNCF and the remaining 20% owned by Virgin. 

"It is envisaged that services under a successful bid would carry the Virgin brand," the companies said in a statement.

Let's parlez Franchise, indeed!