Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Virgin, 1st Group and the G4S effect

Watching this a couple of thing struck me.

Against Virgin getting a review

  • Virgin shafted Wrexham and Shropshire. If they were for really for fair and open competition, they would not have demanded an enforcement of the bar on W&S stopping at Wolverhampton.
  • The trains out of Euston have too many 1st class carriages, so a large number of people end up standing in cattle class if you can't see that, you probably should be doing something else. 
  • The sleeper service to Scotland is just great. I know it is run as Scotrail, but if this could be expanded it would make be great for some of us.
and why is does need a proper review.

  • 1st Group have walked away from the tail end of contract twice before. They either they should be barred from further work or have to commit to a contract they can't walk away from without putting serious collateral up 1st.
  • What will the effect of West Coast coming to Shrewsbury be on the trains in Wales
  • The G4S effect. We should have learned by now that putting responsibility in the hands of 1 private sector supplier is a highly irresponsible act for a government. I guess that more than 60% of rail services outside London commuter trains will  be 1st group. This alone should exclude them from the West Coast.
I have little sympathy with Branson, some of their train managers behaved like thugs in a tie. However, the process has been far from transparent and the government is talking a huge gamble on our behalf
that 1st group will not repeat their past form and walk away from the last 3 years and paying 3 billion pounds. 

I don't suspect backhanders, unlike the health bill, I just suspect bad governance.

At least it is not Arriva taking it over.

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