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 10/12/23 - Winter Timetable starts
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Train RunningCancelled
22:00 Hereford to London Paddington
23:48 Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter St Davids
02/12/23 00:31 London Paddington to Oxford
02/12/23 00:45 London Paddington to Reading
02/12/23 01:15 Reading to London Paddington
02/12/23 03:56 Swansea to London Paddington
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02/12/23 06:10 Greenford to West Ealing
02/12/23 06:19 Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton
02/12/23 06:45 West Ealing to Greenford
02/12/23 06:55 Plymouth to London Paddington
02/12/23 07:00 Greenford to West Ealing
02/12/23 07:15 West Ealing to Greenford
07:22 Exeter St Davids to Penzance
02/12/23 07:30 Greenford to West Ealing
02/12/23 07:45 West Ealing to Greenford
02/12/23 08:00 Greenford to West Ealing
02/12/23 08:19 Taunton to Cardiff Central
09:23 Swansea to London Paddington
09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington
13:32 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
15:49 Worcester Foregate Street to Bristol Temple Meads
15:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
16:30 London Paddington to Taunton
16:32 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
02/12/23 17:30 Greenford to West Ealing
17:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare
17:32 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
17:38 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Foregate Street
18:17 Taunton to Cardiff Central
18:46 Frome to Bristol Temple Meads
18:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
19:32 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
20:02 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
20:10 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads
20:18 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads
21:07 Gloucester to Bristol Temple Meads
21:26 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads
21:50 Plymouth to Exeter St Davids
22:47 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads
02/12/23 23:41 Newbury to Bedwyn
03/12/23 06:38 London Paddington to Reading
Short Run
23:32 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads
02/12/23 06:40 Penzance to Cardiff Central
02/12/23 07:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads
02/12/23 07:41 Bristol Temple Meads to Penzance
02/12/23 08:00 Cardiff Central to Penzance
02/12/23 08:30 London Paddington to Taunton
02/12/23 08:50 Penzance to Cardiff Central
09:09 Gloucester to Weymouth
10:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare
11:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare
11:32 Taunton to London Paddington
13:00 Cardiff Central to Penzance
13:02 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington
13:18 Taunton to Cardiff Central
13:30 Weymouth to Gloucester
13:38 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Foregate Street
13:50 Penzance to Cardiff Central
14:02 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington
14:02 Westbury to Gloucester
14:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour
15:09 Gloucester to Weymouth
15:30 Weymouth to Gloucester
15:38 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Foregate Street
16:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton
16:09 Gloucester to Weymouth
16:18 London Paddington to Cardiff Central
16:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central
16:48 London Paddington to Swansea
16:50 Penzance to Cardiff Central
17:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton
17:28 Swansea to London Paddington
17:41 Bristol Temple Meads to Frome
17:52 Worcester Foregate Street to Bristol Temple Meads
18:00 Cardiff Central to Plymouth
18:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central
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Author Topic: Department for Transport v Treasury v PM's Office (CBT 50 years)  (Read 2377 times)
grahame
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« on: November 02, 2023, 10:27:59 am »

An inspirational evening last night, in celebration of 50 years of the Campaign for Better Transport.  6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in a modern office tower block by London's Victoria Station. And much, much more than a celebration; started a bit slow but became both a reminder of the good that CBT(resolve) has done and a reminder of the importance of having national campaigning bodies. And in other ways, not a celebration at all but a reminder of just how much hard work we have to do at present - it the sustainable transport "arena" times are tough; so much needs to be government lead and this government is failing to lead, or leading in the wrong direction.

Insiders telling us of differing policies in No. 10, at the Treasury and at the Department for Transport. The rail industry is furious with the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) for all the time put into going to huge lengths to make ticket office closure plans as practical as possible to meet an impractical demand, only for the DfT to announce on the day the consultation review was completed and published that the rail industry proposals were not robust and the closures would not take place - blame placed on rail industry who had been given an impossible task, and were then shafted with the blame.  And we are left with the old system where revision of the whole business of how people pay for the right travel and are confident of travel is necessary - we could do so much better.

The differing policies giving us the worst of both worlds can also be seen in the decision to reduce HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) (High Speed 2) to a line from Old Oak Common to Birmingham. Some people loved the full plan to provided extra capacity for trains from Central London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, feeding on to existing lines which were/are not full to Newcastle and Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh ... with resourced freed up for intermediate traffic (passenger and freight) in the heart of England.   Others thought that HS2 was a bad idea in the first place.  But what we are left with is line from Birmingham to the outskirts of London, with trains running on it then facing the bottlenecks from the Midlands to the North which means that if a trains goes from London(ish) to Manchester that way, it will be competing for line space with a train from London, Milton Keynes and Rugby once it gets to the upper Trent Valley.  And I understand that the trains on order for HS2 run singly or in pairs (like the 5 car IETs (Intercity Express Train)), but unlike the IETs where pairs will fit into the central city terminals, Manchester Piccadilly will only be able to handle a single unit as the platforms there are too short for the doubles.   Couldn't make it up, could you?

I am going to post this in the "Smoke and Mirrors" board of my passenger chat forum - http://www.passenger.chat/b3 as we see three big departments of government apparently at odds with each other.  It was suggested last night that the Department for Transport Ministers were only told by the PM's office of the plans to change HS2 shortly before they were announced at the Tory conference, and that the ticket office business was instigated by the treasury and the decision to not go ahead, at all, was passed to DfT ministers at very short notice. It was suggested that our current rail minister are actually competent people, but have been constrained and instructed by unresearched policies at short notice from elsewhere.  I would tend to "buy" that - based on the astonishing announcement of HS2 monies going into project that were already completed or had no chance, and were changed within a day or two when someone realised they made the government look silly.  But whilst buying that, I also point out the cabinet responsibility and say that Messrs Harper and Merriman have accepted roles that require them to support and promotes decisions taken by Sunak and Hunt and imposed onto them.

Amazing that there we were last night in a big office full of transport consultant staff ("hundreds" of them), and it appears and was stated that the HS2 decision was taken by a PM who "hates trains" with a couple of "spotty faced youths" and a [named] "media hack" acting as his advisors.  The Secretary of State would be welcome to explain and defend the position here, but has not (neither has his department) has the courtesy to take questions from the Community Rail community - just talking AT them, and not even replying to a forum invite. In start contrast to top guys at both GWR (Great Western Railway) and Network Rail who have, and do, have the guts to face the public - mind you, whilst their stories may not be welcome, they are better informed and understandable.

So what do we do about what appears to be a lack of direction in sustainable transport at the very upper level of government?

* Work as best we can with those various levels and make use of the positive; recent successes include the retention of the London Travelcard, and the retention of the £2 flat bus fare.

* Work with civil servant all those expert consultants to continue to inform to that positive outcomes can be implemented as the time is right.

* Work with politicians and political advisors of all colours to establish ideas and relationships for the future. We don't know who will be in government this time next year and it's in the environment ans sustainable transport interest to ensure that whoever it is is well informed, and has policies (put to the electorate ahead of time?) which are thought out and sensible.

So - although the environment for transport progress looks bleak at present, there is work to be done and a probability that things will change.  We do what we can at present, and look forward to working in an environment which will inevitable be changed after the general election, even if we are still working with the same players we have around at present.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2023, 11:53:55 am »

.....So what do we do about what appears to be a lack of direction in sustainable transport at the very upper level of government?.....

A few suggestions:
1) Inform the Treasury bosses that henceforth they WILL concentrate their energy solely on the management of the national finances and that any involvement in policy decisions, save for a statement on whether there is sufficient money in the coffers for each scheme, will be unwelcome and ignored.

2) Get shot of all the consultants and let the RDG(resolve) do their job, rather than just treat them as a whipping boy on whom the blame for the latest DfT» (Department for Transport - about) cock-up can be placed.

3) Run a 'request for suggestions' on how the rail industry could be changed to improve it's running particularly aimed at the travelling public, but open to anybody. Yes, you would get some completely nutty ideas but I would warrant that there would be plenty of realistic proposals as well e.g. Ticketing simplification, Electrification schemes that don't stop short of their obvious destination.

(I will return to reality shortly.)
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2023, 12:15:57 pm »

.....So what do we do about what appears to be a lack of direction in sustainable transport at the very upper level of government?.....

A few suggestions:
1) Inform the Treasury bosses that henceforth they WILL concentrate their energy solely on the management of the national finances and that any involvement in policy decisions, save for a statement on whether there is sufficient money in the coffers for each scheme, will be unwelcome and ignored.

2) Get shot of all the consultants and let the RDG(resolve) do their job, rather than just treat them as a whipping boy on whom the blame for the latest DfT» (Department for Transport - about) cock-up can be placed.

3) Run a 'request for suggestions' on how the rail industry could be changed to improve it's running particularly aimed at the travelling public, but open to anybody. Yes, you would get some completely nutty ideas but I would warrant that there would be plenty of realistic proposals as well e.g. Ticketing simplification, Electrification schemes that don't stop short of their obvious destination.

(I will return to reality shortly.)

Tongue in cheekness notwithstanding, I'd say that;

1) It's entirely appropriate for the Treasury to get involved in decisions relating to a project (HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) wasn't a "policy") that was going to cost the taxpayer far North of £100 billion and whose value/benefit, whether measured by BCR (Benefit Cost Ratio) or other metrics justified this level of expenditure was questionable.

2) When you have a Government/Civil Service/Industry which is sufficiently competent and empowered, you can get rid of a lot of the consultants - who knows, you may not even need an "HS2 Ltd" type organisation with a merry go round of senior managers earning fantasy salaries.

3) Excellent idea - it may even achieve/catalyse resolution of some of the issues which have been/were within the gift of the TOCs (Train Operating Company) to resolve for many years but languished on the "too difficult" pile, and are now back in the DfT's in tray.

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GBM
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2023, 12:24:55 pm »



3) Run a 'request for suggestions' on how the rail industry could be changed to improve it's running particularly aimed at the travelling public, but open to anybody. Yes, you would get some completely nutty ideas but I would warrant that there would be plenty of realistic proposals as well e.g. Ticketing simplification, Electrification schemes that don't stop short of their obvious destination.


Would be very good to involve the Unions (appreciate howls from certain members).
Those on the coal face know best what is wrong and what is right.

As an aside. Being a bus driver, the recent cuts made to our sector has demoralised most of us.
Prior to this, most were fairly happy.

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eXPassenger
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2023, 05:08:34 pm »

Based on the shambles being reported at the Covid enquiry I am not al all surprised by the lack of joined up thinking.
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GBM
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2023, 05:24:09 pm »

Based on the shambles being reported at the Covid enquiry I am not al all surprised by the lack of joined up thinking.

Strange how "Yes Minister" is so relevant.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2023, 05:41:50 pm »

Based on the shambles being reported at the Covid enquiry I am not al all surprised by the lack of joined up thinking.

Strange how "Yes Minister" is so relevant.


As someone currently suffering the consequences of a 3rd visit from the COVID fairy, I was disappointed to find out that our esteemed former PMs suggestion of curing it with a blast up the nose from a hairdryer seems to have been unsuccessful.

That said, having tried it last night, my nasal hair is looking particularly luxuriant today.........may have it permed next time.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2023, 11:07:49 pm »

Best wishes for a speedy recovery TG ,at least it doesn't seem to have affected your sense of humour.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2023, 07:00:26 am »

What seems like a relevant comment from the Covid inquiry; a lack of scientific and technical knowledge in the Civil Service, with an emphasis on generalisation.

Applicable to the transport sector?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2023, 09:01:56 am »

2) When you have a Government/Civil Service/Industry which is sufficiently competent and empowered, you can get rid of a lot of the consultants - who knows, you may not even need an "HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) Ltd" type organisation with a merry go round of senior managers earning fantasy salaries.

Looking at the listed memberships I wouldn't mind betting that the RDG(resolve) has more than enough knowledge/competence to do the job in the best interests of all users but are invariably prevented from doing so by the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) / Treasury.
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