die belebende Bedenkung

This year’s (broken) model

with one comment

In yesterday’s “update” to Parliament on the East Coast, West Coast and East Midlands rail franchises, transport secretary Chris Grayling claimed that “other countries are now adopting Britain’s model for running the railways”.

But what is the “model”?

Do his recent statements not signal that “the model” is being changed (again)?

Chris Grayling, update on the East Coast, West Coast, and East Midlands rail franchises, 5 Feb 2018

In 2012 the ‘Brown review‘ noted that “confidence in franchising and the rail sector have been severely damaged by the problems that came to light on the ICWC competition” but claimed, “There is no credible case for major structural change”.

A year earlier, the Commons Public Accounts Committee concluded that the Department for Transport “did not undertake sufficient due diligence on the bid by National Express for the East Coast franchise. Crucially, the Department did not test any of the bids against the impact of an economic downturn.”

[PAC, 2011]

In future the Department must make clear to [train] companies that failure to deliver on their obligations will have serious lasting consequences.

Propellerheads ft Shirley Bassey, 'History Repeating'

Written by beleben

February 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

One Response

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  1. Can’t even get his facts right on WCML either – we have 2 trains per hour between Euston and Glasgow/Edinburgh throughout the day, and a service which will deliver you in to Euston by 09.15, & take you home at 19.30 providing a full working day in London, or most places in the Home Counties.

    As to the ‘story’ being spun, all praise to Martin Griffiths and the Stagecoach Group media team for a measured and frankly more credible explanation of the position, noting that Stagecoach has already gone beyond the agreed limit set in the original franchise, after which the DfT would be required to cover shortfalls, that Stagecoach’s provision had been set to cover. at 4’30” onwards.

    Frankly from aspects I’m aware of on ECML outputs that Network Rail should have delivered we have a mess which I suspect links to under resourced engineering, and stop-go on key decisions. I and many others will be seriously inconvenienced by the lack of an extra platform at Stevenage, which has resulted in the local connection to Hertford being cut in order to deliver ECML paths. Level Crossing elimination between Kings Cross and Doncaster has stalled, blocking line speed enhancements, and the potnetial for 140mph running which IC225 was built to deliver (the clue is in the name!) with this and ditching the slow meander via Wakefield the journey times from Kings Cross will match or even better those for going via Birmingham Airport at around twice the top speed. Add in also that the grade separted junction at Werrington won’t be in place, and the freight traffic crossing the main line at grade here to loop via Lincoln Northwards will limit the line capacity.

    With the West Coast essentially a concession, and a directly operated East Coast the same, why the dfT doesn’t just take the lesson from TfL and ease the whole railway over to the concession model, all revenues to the Treasury, eliminating the need for and cost of running Rail Settlement Plan Ltd, and the clearly higher cost for ‘All Services’ fares, which have to be divvied up between operators. The GNTL Only fare for Peterborough is roughly half the fare you have to pay to user the faster Virgin EC service.

    A national railway with operating concessions should make it easier to have a resilient railway, with easier switching between routes when it is called for, ORCATS-permitting?

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    February 7, 2018 at 8:20 am

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