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 1 
 on: Today at 02:52:31 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by Phantom
Remember that there are exemptions to wearing face coverings on public transport, there are also numerous medical reasons why someone would need to ability to eat and drink at any time

 2 
 on: Today at 12:51:15 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by Red Squirrel
Reading the Wiltshire Times article I had to smile at the statement "within five years", if the progress on Portway Parkway is anything to go by you might want to add a zero to the five but then being Wiltshire it could happen because it's not Bristol !!!!

It's within the election cycle, with a conservative council, a conservative MP who's part of the inner circle, at a time of a conservative government, on a line with a service that could stop there, a strong local sentiment, ticks climate change and integrated transport boxes, and has what looks to me like a good business case.  The ducks might be in a line. Mind - it would be the first (re)opening in Wiltshire since 1985.

All sounds very hopeful. Remind us, grahame: Which Wiltshire station re-opened in 1985?

 3 
 on: Today at 11:48:48 am 
Started by SandTEngineer - Last post by Celestial
Yes I spotted the reference to FGW too. Getting that kind of detail wrong is never a good sign in terms of an article's credibility.

I don't buy the argument that Hull Trains and Grand Central have resulted in the main East Coast operator raising its game. They are fairly niche markets which the main operator had chosen more or less to ignore, although the revenue raid at York in particular would be an annoyance. But they don't serve Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh, so are little more than a scratch in the side of its operation.

 4 
 on: Today at 11:46:08 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by Red Squirrel
I've been working from home for nearly 20 years now, but before that I worked in standard Dilbert-style offices for a couple of companies.

In my experience, any organisation will have some people who work hard and get on with the job, some who do what they have to do to get through the day, and some who actively seek to sabotage others' efforts. Making it all work requires good management. The fact that someone arrives on time and sits at their desk all day is no measure at all of how productive they are.

I think the current crisis has killed stone dead the old idea that you can't be doing any work if you aren't in the office, or that you can't manage people if you can't see them. When you employ someone to do some work for you, the important thing is the result - a completed piece of work - rather than where it was done, or (within reason) how long it took.

It is possible that some employers may look again at 'offshoring' work in this context, but I doubt this will have a huge impact. Time zones, language and other issues often make this less attractive than the initial bottom line price might suggest. A mate of mine used to be an Offshoring Consultant. A few years ago his job title changed to 'Rightshoring Consultant'; basically bringing work back from India because it hadn't been a great success. (I think Flanders and Swann may have written a song about this kind of activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1dvAxA9ib0)

 5 
 on: Today at 11:38:21 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by grahame
Reading the Wiltshire Times article I had to smile at the statement "within five years", if the progress on Portway Parkway is anything to go by you might want to add a zero to the five but then being Wiltshire it could happen because it's not Bristol !!!!

It's within the election cycle, with a conservative council, a conservative MP who's part of the inner circle, at a time of a conservative government, on a line with a service that could stop there, a strong local sentiment, ticks climate change and integrated transport boxes, and has what looks to me like a good business case.  The ducks might be in a line. Mind - it would be the first (re)opening in Wiltshire since 1985.

 6 
 on: Today at 11:36:31 am 
Started by Red Squirrel - Last post by Ralph Ayres

Also anything new has to be minutely examined for any possible detrimental effect on the disabled, the LGBT lobby, ethnic minorities, those with special needs, etc etc.

...and following such an assessment, if no such effects had been overlooked the scheme could go ahead.  Seems reasonable to me.  (and I think it's to assess the effect on real individuals, not a lobby group)

 7 
 on: Today at 11:31:49 am 
Started by SandTEngineer - Last post by grahame
From Business Live

Quote
Why passengers on rail's South Wales to Paddington line deserve better

Tony Lodge of the Centre for Policy Studies said it needs to be opened up to competition

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of a key railway milestone for Wales and western England.

The long-awaited introduction of the Intercity 125 high-speed train in 1976 had been preceded for three years with intensive trials between south Wales and London, and the new train not only slashed travel times, but introduced a whole new level of high-speed service.

As the Great Western Main Line (GWML) led the way Britain’s other main lines looked on enviously as Wales and western England were first to enjoy the much-hyped new “age of the train”.

But in the stakes to lead by example and embrace railway passenger innovation then the GWML has fallen way behind its famous rival routes on the East Coast and West Coast which connect the cities of northern England and Scotland with London.

This time it has less to do with train design or speed, though these are still important.

Instead it has everything to do with passengers enjoying train choice, lower fares, more routes, healthy competition and the better standards of innovation and travel experience which these deliver.

High-speed train travel between Cardiff, Bristol and London Paddington is unique among Britain’s intercity routes, but for all the wrong reasons.

Why do passengers who use First Great Western rate their journey as one of the worst in the country?

Importantly, policy-makers and local MPs are now looking into this and are aware of the challenge and opportunity for improvement.

The reason why the GWML has fallen behind is a complete absence of passenger competition and choice.

I checked the date on the article, and it IS current in spite of the reference to "First Great Western" and the picture of an HST illustrating the article.

A long article carries on ... quotation from further down:

Quote
The plan is for a new high-speed train service running every two hours in both directions between London Paddington and Cardiff Central, also calling at Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport in direct competition with First Great Western.

These new Grand Union trains would also stop at Cardiff Parkway when it opens.

They would operate seven trains in each direction from May 2021 if they can get permission from the UK Government’s Office of Rail and Road.

Importantly, MPs along the route are supporting the plan, as is the Welsh Government. From 2023 Grand Union would then like to extend the services to Swansea, Llanelli and Carmarthen.

Key direct benefits would include an average 25% reduction on “walk on” fares, no penalty for purchasing a ticket on the train, flexible carnet tickets, a 50% reduction if you can’t find a seat and limited stops.

If TOCs move from a franchise to a management contract model, and get further rebuild support which I suspect they'll need over the next 18 months from September, it will be interesting to see how new open access operators might fit in.

 8 
 on: Today at 11:26:03 am 
Started by Bus_Lady - Last post by Bus_Lady
First Group annual results have bee published today with the announcement of a £300 million loss...the losses are staggering...and this is even before the start of the financial implications of Coronavirus really kicks in!

What will the future hold now for First Group? Do you think the UK bus division will be up for sale again? Will more less profitable bus routes go to other bus operators.... What may change for the First train network? Any update on the America Greyhound services being sold off? What do you think the future holds for First Group?

A couple of news articles on the topic.

FirstGroup suffers £300m loss on Covid-19 and Greyhound business  https://www.ft.com/content/c794895b-afc8-4bc7-ba62-59049926a617

First Bus losses treble before impact of coronavirus kicks in. https://www.insider.co.uk/company-results-forecasts/first-bus-losses-treble-before-22319348
https://www.insider.co.uk/company-results-forecasts/first-bus-losses-treble-before-22319348

 9 
 on: Today at 11:02:40 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by martyjon
Reading the Wiltshire Times article I had to smile at the statement "within five years", if the progress on Portway Parkway is anything to go by you might want to add a zero to the five but then being Wiltshire it could happen because it's not Bristol !!!!

 10 
 on: Today at 10:50:45 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by grahame
Emergency measures are currently in place until 20th September. The Government has the option to extend them and it's anticipated that a decision / announcement on that will come in June or July.   The First group DA3 (direct award 3) was made as the lockdown and emergency measures cam into place, and work is ongoing to evaluate from the enhancements and projects
- what can be done now
- what can be done in the future, though perhaps later than initially planned
- what elements might be cancelled

From the Railway Gazette
Quote
Franchise support to be extended by 18 months

The government is preparing for a further 18 months of financial support for passenger train operators once the existing Emergency Measures Agreements expire on September 20, industry insiders have confirmed.

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