Issue 10/2012

16th March 2012

In this issue:

Industry developments this week

Justice Greening, transport secretary, announced plans for smart ticketing and the prospect of even higher peak fares to save £3.5bn by radically altering the way the rail system is run. The Guardian

Potential changes to the rail industry were discussed in the last fortnight:

  • Network Rail is to halve the number of its public members and introduce a “public interest director” to represent taxpayer interests as part of a package of governance reforms. Transport Briefing
  • ORR chief Anna Walker believes the plans motivated by concern over the funds needed to build High Speed 2, according to the Financial Times.
  • Parliament’s public accounts committee warned billions in taxpayer pounds were handed to Network Rail “with little understanding and without proper accountability”. The Guardian

Network Rail has been fined £1m after admitting health and safety breaches over the deaths of two girls at anEssex level crossing. BBC News

Office of Rail Regulation bosses have revealed they could potentially set train fares in future, but flatly denied the organisation is mounting a power bid. Transport Briefing

The DfT has launched a consultation on “microfranchising”, the devolution of local lines. Transport Briefing

Rail commentator Christian Wolmar says there is no place for armed British Transport Police at railway stations. The Guardian

New rail services

Work on the London cable car continued with the arrival of Britain’s largest crane onsite. Transport Briefing

Other stories in the press

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport plans to outsource maintenance work for the Glasgow Subway. Transport Briefing

Eurotunnel says passengers will be able to use mobile phones in the Channel Tunnel from this summer. The Guardian

Boris Johnson has announced plans to deploy medics on London Underground. BBC News

  • Plans are also afoot to introduce free WiFi on the Tube, courtesy of Virgin Media. Financial Times

The Scottish CBI business group has argued for railway stations in Scotland used by few passengers to be closed. The Scotsman

Holding group sharecheck


Eurostar reported a one-fifth increase in passengers in 2011 due to more travellers from Asia, the US and Latin America. Daily Express

Stagecoach extended its lead over FirstGroup as Scotland’s largest transport group by market value after showing strong growth in its rail business. The Herald

Profits at National Express for 2011 rose by 12% to £180m, despite a greatly reduced rail operation, moving from reporting losses to record profits in two years. Financial Times

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.

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