Monday, July 15, 2002

Cuttings File

Up to and including 31 August 2002

Transport General

Transport delays cost £1.9bn a year
May madness expected on all routes to West Country
Cherie Blair runs transport seminar at No 10 - more about the constitution than transport
The housing shortage in the South - I link to this letter from the House Builders Federation because transport issues are inextricably linked to those of general development. By the way, most of London's transport boom took place at a time when there were no planning laws.
Britain facing gridlock over transport failures - now get this. The Government's own commission is publishing a report saying how the 10-year transport plan is getting nowhere.
Labour spends less on transport than the Tories - and gets less for it one might add.
Wanted: transport minister - must have brains, courage and cast-iron political clout - excellent article from the ever excellent Neil Collins.
Commuters will still be waiting no matter who takes charge
Critics say problems won't vanish with new minister
Victims of the worst post in Whitehall - history of the Ministry of Transport. By the way, Barbara Castle did not introduce the compulsory wearing of seat belts. That was done under Margaret Thatcher.
A word in your ear about the road ahead, minister
Transport challenge 'will take time' - you bet it will.
What are the challenges facing the new transport secretary?
Blair urged to clarify who runs transport
A transport policy that leaves me at the wheel - Simon Jenkins
Labour's jammed-up thinking - another Telegraph editorial
Moving forward on transport - some special pleading from Beardie.
Trains "cannot solve roads crisis" - Christopher Foster of the RAC Foundation
Delayed report shows Byers is failing to fulfil transport goals
Jeremy Clarkson: To stay alive, you’re better sorry than safe - very good, very funny
Working from home

Alistair Darling

Darling faces daunting in-tray
Darling has at least set off on the right track - Libby Purves in the Times
Are you listening, Mr Darling?
Focus: And for his next trick... - Times analyses Darling's prospects of success.
Travelling hopefully: can Darling's solutions work?
'I'm ready for slings and arrows' - interview with Alistair Darling
Darling had to move over before the disaster - he's got previous form
No 10 corrects Darling over Birt criticism

The Transport Plan

The first year: how the 2010 plan is missing its targets - priceless
Transport plans under fire
MPs condemn transport plan - and boy, do they do it. But one thing bugs me. Why is this news today, a Sunday?
The promises made by Prescott
Transport plan needs early service - same again from the Times. Only the spin has changed.
Critical MPs just don't understand, says Byers - same sort of thing from the Telegraph
Prescott fails his own test
Prescott in a jam over failure to meet promise on car journeys
Rail industry raps 10-year transport plan
UK transport plan has '£15bn hole'

Transport and Politics

Don't shoot the messenger, says defiant Dunwoody - goodness, this story has introduced me to an entirely new experience - agreeing with Gwynneth Dunwoody
Whips attempt to 'silence' key critic Dunwoody
The blossoming of Theresa May - ugh.
No 10 corrects Darling over Birt criticism

The Byers Affair - follow link


General - follow link

Strikes and Unions

New threat to ScotRail services
Rail staff vote on pay dealsMiddle classes add to £100m bill for graffiti - it's times like this that I warm to Christian Michel's ideas on restitutional justice
Rail union calls fresh strikes - at Arriva NOT at Virgin who operate the train in the accompanying picture.
Passengers face 13th rail strike
Rail union 'to cut cash to Labour'
Prescott quits rail union
Rail firm crippled by strike
Now Cook is set to quit RMT
RMT boss wants to force Prescott out of his home
Rail passengers face fresh strike
Why Mr Crow is crowing - Evening Standard Editorial
Tube chiefs hope for strike reprieve
Unions threaten Labour with more strikes on Tube
New Tube pay strike threat
Two-day rail strike under way

Potters Bar Crash - follow link


Blaze cripples Liverpool St
100 left on tracks as train splits in middle
80mph train narrowly misses children
'Near miss' as runaway train is derailed
Eurostar goes on wrong line - but read the last paragraph: A Railtrack spokesman said today: "There was absolutely no safety issue involved here. An error by a signalman sent the train on to the wrong track." The thing that impresses me is that the train was only 25 minutes late.
Train evacuated in fire alert
Several injured as train derails
Nuclear fuel train hits lorry on level crossing
Driver forgets half his train
'Excessive' heat brings rail chaos
Disruption as freight train derails
Rail services face disruption
Teenager loses limbs in train accident
'Crisis over' for Virgin train services
Bid to derail Flying Scotsman - one of these days someone is going to get killed
Engineers start train salvage
Crash driver escapes as freight train hits lorry cab
87-mile train trip is 10 hours late
Train collides with car
Train evacuated in fire alert
Rail worker killed by train
Vandals' bid to kill train driver
Bid to derail Flying Scotsman - one of these days someone is going to get killed
Liverpool Street thrown into chaos
Children filmed blocking rail line
Woman pushed from station platform
Stalled train causes travel chaos
Travel agony after London 'monsoon'
District line hit by body on line

Rail Safety

Rail safety options announced
'Paddington trauma made me kill'
Rail safety system under fire
New £3.5bn rail safety system 'will cost lives'
Rail safety system costs 'soar'
Cellphone 'hazard on trains'
Death on the railways - safety statistics in recent decades.
Will we ever see train seatbelts? - some sense on this issue
UK rail safety 'is improving' - now isn't that strange. Safety has been improving for decades but no minister sought to point that out before Ladbroke Grove or Hatfield. So, what has brought about this sudden change? Couldn't be because the Goverment is now paying the bills, could it?
Rail travel safer than car travel - pop-up in Letters section. From Professor Rod Smith of Imperial College - good.
Student's rail death 'unlawful'
Dossier of train danger
'Railtrack has cash for safety' - according to the Regulator
Charges possible over Paddington - one of these days I really must get round to deciding what I think about corporate manslaughter.
Rail crash firms to face charges
Cost of making railways safe soars to £6bn
'Smear' row adviser apologises
Still no apology from Blair over dirty tricks email
Paddington survivor: I want my files
How to get a job on our railways
Exclusive: railway workers scandal
Rail safety trainer is suspended
Darling to meet Paddington survivors
The true cost of railway safety - actually these are both rather old stories which I encountered while surfing the net.
'Spads' not the only railway danger
Crash overshadows gains in rail safety
New rail crash investigator
Lives 'at risk' on railways

Railtrack in Administration

NAPF urges swift Railtrack redress
Worried banks put bid for Railtrack at risk
Why rail legal ticket's a sticky wicket (scroll down to end)
WestLB 'set to drop Railtrack bid'
Railtrack investors to reject compensation and sue Byers
Wrong Track - The Spectator
Railtrack payout
The track controller - Interview with Chairman of Network Rail
Byers team in £1m share deal probe - shady dealings at the Department
Citigroup drawn into Railtrack inquiry
Criminal linked to £1m Railtrack share probe
Byers says Railtrack's successor will be safer
Byers 'lied over Railtrack axe' - so he didn't make up his mind 2 days before forcing Railtrack into administration: he'd done it a least a month beforehand.
Byers faces new charge on Railtrack - actually it's an old one
Byers 'still a key witness' in potential Railtrack trial
Darling warned of Railtrack rough ride - is this the shortest honeymoon period in history? The Railtrack scandal has not gone away.
James attacks 'disaster' of Labour's rail rescue
Tunnel offer adds to Railtrack bail-out
Brussels to rule on £9bn Railtrack bid - EU to rule out Network Rail? I think not.
Railtrack set for takeover deal
Railtrack tax deal to cost a further £150m
The reluctant middle-class militant - a Railtrack shareholder sues
Shareholders face further delay in Railtrack payout
Network Rail to get access to billions
Railtrack deal delayed
Railtrack reinvents itself
Q&A: What future for New Railtrack?
How do you relaunch the railways?On old sleepers - Times Editorial
Rail debt is not stopping here - Patience Wheatcroft
Fiasco over Railtrack costs £21bn
Will rail passengers benefit?
State bodies go to war over funding for Network Rail plus Graphic
Confusion reigns on status of Network Rail
Stoking up the great Railtrack engine to the tune of £21 billion - points out that the solution is worse than the problem
Stoking up the great Railtrack engine to the tune of £21 billion - points out that the solution is worse than the problem
Network Rail will take over legal bills
£21bn for rail 'not public debt' - Graphic
Notional route to Andersen-land
Network Rail puffs its way adroitly around Debt Mountain - Telegraph Comment
Investors to vote through rail deal
Shareholders vote on new Railtrack deal
Railtrack investors' cash train nears station
Railtrack rides storm as rescue gets the nod
The bright side of the Byers' bung
Railtrack investors prepare for court
Railtrack bosses set for huge bonuses
New Rail team's salaries kept secret - also has info on the new board and confirmation that Network Rail will be kept out of the state's books.
Poor signal from Network Rail - commentary on non-disclosure of executive salaries

Railways Abroad

Two killed in California train crash
Analysis: Safety issue adds to Amtrak woes
US train crash kills three
Fast train to Provence puts Britain to shame
Leave London by train after work on Thursday and be in Barcelona for coffee the next morning
America's Amtrak railway hits the buffers
Amtrak faces Wednesday shutdown
Politicians hold key to Amtrak rescue
The cost of catching up
Travelling on a bullet (train, that is)

The Regulator

Regulatory buffer
NHS 'doctor' could be a sick joke [includes section about the treatment of the Rail Regulator]
Rail firm writes Winsor fears into contract
Rail Regulator in court battle - yet another turf war
Watchdog wins ruling on Railtrack
Rail regulation plan scrapped
Rail costs review Byers tried to block goes ahead

The Tube

Tories turn on Tube buskers
Tube row grows as PPP contracts are signed
Livingstone in Tube fare worry
Tube doors open on wrong side
Inquiry after Tube death
Tube strike looms over PPP safety - I don't think this has anything to do with safety. Maybe, we'll find out one day.
Safety fears close 50 escalators - "The JLE, which cost double the original budget and opened 18 months late..."
PPP 'will cost more than estimated' - just for comparative purposes. The government will be spending £1bn a year. LU's average annual loss is between £150m and £200m.
Tube firms to make billions from PPP
Byers turns PPP on its head
Repairs could shut the Tube for months
Rush-hour chaos as Circle line is shut
Tube rises to the occasion
Women make the Tube run on time
Mayor seeks Tube funding review
Women 'save the Tube'
Livingstone waits for results of Tube hearing
Delays after closure on District line
Tube drivers pass red signals
PPP plan for Tube 'would risk repeat of Railtrack'
No Minister, PPP won't save the Tube - Christian Wolmar on just how expensive this is going to be
Amey shares fall 16% on Tube delays warning
Tube workers vote to strike
Watchdog accepts tube safety plan
Tube union condemns RMT strike
Last-ditch talks to halt Tube strike
Would you feel safe riding the new Tube? - Will Self
Tube line closures to last 7 years
Tube strike set to escalate
Public 'misled' over Tube adverts
Tube chiefs hope for strike reprieve
Commuters battle with Tube strike
No taxi for Ken on his 2-hour trek
Tube 'back to normal' after strike
Unions threaten Labour with more strikes on Tube
Commuters pray for normal service
Tube fight back in court
Woman pushed from station platform
New strike threat for Tube travellers
New record set on the Tube
Tube challenge to cost mayor millions
Failed Tube legal case to be investigated
New Tube pay strike threat
The Tube makes Iain Murray smile
The man who likes London too much - profile of Bob Kiley
Tube chief hails privatisation
London Underground: Comparison with New York Subway - interesting piece if you like that sort of thing - which I do!
Tube hit by flooding
Passengers choke on the Tube
District line hit by body on line

Roads - follow link

London Congestion Charging

Ken's traffic plan "will work"
Congestion charge review
Legal challenge could delay London car toll - Flip. The legal challenge is all about the environmental effects of rat runs. For heaven's sake, if a rat run is bugging you put a toll on it.
Heathrow car charge shock - Ken's congestion charging scheme goes West.
More councils back road tolls
Congestion charges explained
Congestion battle gets in gear - for once Ken is the defendant
Car charge could backfire - but Ken says he doesn't care. A muted cheer I think. Graphic
'Secret plan' to keep out cars
London shows what can be done - Ken Livingstone
Capital's motorists suspect a red plot
Congestion charges in the South East - letters in the Times
Court bid to jam traffic scheme
The Mayor's big gamble - Congestion Charging
Blunkett and Livingstone are planning to run our lives
'Gaping hole' in car charging profits
Congestion charges face legal challenge
Congestion charge "unlawful"
Roadworks threaten to halt capital
London road tolls come step nearer
Congestion charging: For and against
Livingstone will stand or fall by gamble - Tony Travers
Road circles are warning of road toll
Cities follow London on congestion charge
Ken: I'll scrap car tax if it doesn't work

Air - follow link

EasyJet-Go Merger

In the Easyjet stream of a serial entrepreneur
Easyjet in talks to buy rival Go
Easy come ... EasyGo
Go Easy on Eddington, he's heard all the jokes
All systems Go? - why EasyJet is buying Go
There is nothing easy about defending our name - Stelios on brand protection
Easyjet flies close to the wind - the ink is hardly dry on Stelios's resignation as Chief Executive and EasyJet has transformed itself from corporate upstart to corporate raider
Easyjet to swoop for BA arm in Germany
'Job offer' row clouds easyJet talks with Go
EasyJet keeps Go deal alive
Fares may rise after airline takeover
Q&A: Budget airline takeover
Easyjet buys Go for £374m


Docklands rail staff vote to strike
Owners must pay for common land access - I had always thought that Common Land was owned by the State or in common. It isn't.
High cost of access on common land - follow up to the story from earlier this week
Cycling tsar mocks 'martian' helmets - for once Norris is right.
Whitehall has no right to decide where we should live
Build castles in the sky
Walk the walk - the Times advocates walking. It'll never catch on.
The night of a thousand wheels
Blair in new Formula One row - well, that's one in the eye to all those who say that this government is anti-car. Hell, our road system is so good we even have some money left over to spend on a highway just for one man - Bernie Ecclestone.