24th February 2012In this issue:
Industry developments this week
The Department for Transport had to surrender £543m of savings made to its own 2010/11 budget back to the Treasury, the Transport Committee reported. Transport Briefing
Abellio‘s bid for the Greater Anglia franchise was almost a fifth higher than those of UK-based rivals Stagecoach and Go-Ahead. Financial Times
Keolis‘s joint bid with Go-Ahead to win the Essex Thamesside c2c franchise was covered in The Times with a focus on vertical integration plans.
Train operators are to receive £230,000 of public funds to enable Olympic volunteers to travel to the games, while TfL will forgo its share. MayorWatch
The debate over High Speed Two raged on this week:
- It emerged secret research was ordered into the safety of the scheme amid warnings that the high speeds proposed could cause catastrophic track failures and derailment Daily Telegraph
- Camden Council warned the government that it will mount a legal challenge unless ministers provide reassurances – and cash – to residents and businesses that may be affected by the scheme. Transport Briefing
Construction of a new railway station at Chesterton in Cambridge is to go ahead after transport minister Theresa Villiers approved plans for the scheme. Transport Briefing
Other stories in the press
London Underground misleads passengers by saying there is a good service when most of a line is delayed, the RMT union has claimed. BBC News
Scottish business passengers are prepared to pay significantly higher rail fares in return for improvements to services, a leading trade organisation said. The Herald
The latest Private Eye examines the government’s rail franchising policy, concluding that all three political parties are “ideologically wedding to rail franchising and no amount of official reports on wasted money and ‘misaligned incentives’ can change that”.
Boris Johnson has redescribed the reopened Blackfriars tube station as “clean as a Swiss maternity ward”. Daily Telegraph
A report commissioned by Transport for London has found that a Northern line tube extension to Battersea could deliver up to £8bn in growth. Evening Standard
Holding group sharecheck
Go-Ahead is to start making contributions to the Treasury’s funds from April after reporting strong growth in its rail division. Daily Telegraph Shares in the group rose by almost 5 per cent in late December after it raised full-year operating profit forecasts on the back of strong passenger growth at its rail franchises.
FirstGroup announced an interim dividend per share which was paid out on 1 February to shareholders on the register of members at the close of business on 6 January, accounting for the sharp drop after that date.
Shares in Stagecoach rallied in early December after the group declared an interim dividend.