Issue 12/2013

15th March 2013

  • Nine of ten legal challenges against High Speed 2 dismissed
  • Large growth in TOC fare revenues; now at highest levels ever
  • TfL publish official notice for potential Crossrail operators
In this issue:

Main stories this week

A judge dismissed a legal challenge against High Speed 2 this morning, leaving ministers clear to press on with the government’s flagship infrastructure project. [The Times]

  • But home-owners affected by the plans may expect more generous compensation after the judge ruled the proposed compensation scheme for blighted properties was “unlawful”. [Financial Times]
  • [Transport Briefing] covers each of the ten legal challenges in detail.
  • An [Independent on Sunday] investigation – published before the court verdict – found HS2 is “plagued by flawed IT systems, rising construction costs and huge design rethinks”.

Britain’s trains had their busiest and most lucrative autumn to date, with passengers paying record sums to travel in the last three months of 2012. [The Guardian]

  • Plans to charge train passengers higher fares during rush hour are set to be quietly shunted into the sidings amid ministers’ fears of a furious commuter backlash. [Financial Times]
  • Unions said the figures showed the “persecution of commuters” should now end. [Daily Telegraph]

New services

Funding to complete development work on the London Underground Northern line extension to Battersea and ready the project for construction is expected to be authorised this week. [Transport Briefing]

Train companies were this week given the first chance to bid for the £2 billion contract to run Crossrail trains and stations for the next decade. [Evening Standard]

  • The contract’s official notice reveals Crossrail’s operator may also run trains to Hertfordshire, replacing services currently operated by Greater Anglia. [Transport Briefing]

Other stories this week

Transport for London came under pressure to scrap a benefit scheme which provides free travel to partners of staff and others. [Evening Standard]

A survey of senior figures from 133 transport companies and organisations reveals fewer than a third believed the government has a clear vision for the future British transport. [The Guardian]

Rail minister Norman Baker has attacked on-board train announcements, saying many were unnecessary. [Railnews]

Train companies are to be forced to work with bus operators and local authorities to make it easier and safer to make long journeys by public transport. [The Guardian]

Financial update

Elliott Advisors, the activist investor that spent the spring of 2011 attempting to overthrow the board of National Express, is selling half its stake in the UK transport group, cutting its holding in the company’s shares to a tenth. [Financial Times]

Shares in Serco rallied almost 9% after the company reported a rise in full year profit and lifted its dividend to 10.1 pence from 8.4 pence. [Reuters]