30th August 2013
- Government publicity campaign after more calls to abandon HS2
- Stephen Hammond DB Schenker hospitality allegations
- Network Rail punctuality falls, adding to performance concerns
High Speed 2
The Institute of Directors has called on the government to abandon its controversial high-speed rail project. [BBC News]
- [The Guardian] quotes the influential business group as describing the project as “grand folly”.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has announced plans to impose a £50bn cap on the project. [Sunday Times]
- [The Independent] described the move from the party as a threat to withdraw support for HS2.
- But former transport secretary Lord Adonis warned abandoning support would be an “act of national self-mutilation”, as doubts grew about the project’s future. [The Observer]
- And the chief executive of High Speed 2 has said she believes Labour is still strongly supportive of the scheme. [BBC News]
Chancellor George Osborne is to kick off a campaign this weekend that will see cabinet ministers rally around the scheme. [Financial Times]
Also this week
Transport minister Stephen Hammond was “wined and dined” by DB Schenker months before his appointment to the Department for Transport, the [Daily Mirror] has found.
Network Rail punctuality has fallen, according to its latest figures, adding to concerns about its performance. [Financial Times]
- It comes as ATOC figures show Britain’s railways are back in the black for the first time since privatisation was set in motion 20 years ago. [Daily Telegraph]
- Virgin Trains has asked the Office of Rail Regulation to abandon plans for enforced 90 percent punctuality by the end of 2019. [Global Rail News]
First Great Western is to increase the price of many advance tickets by £11.11 per cent from next month, the [Evening Standard] can reveal.
- [This is Money] also has the story, quoting TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes.
A senior Conservative today warned Londoners faced more strikes on the transport network after plans progressed for a merger between TSSA and the Unite union. [Evening Standard]
- London Overground guards held a 48-hour strike covering the two-day Notting Hill Carnival last weekend in action called by the RMT union. [BBC News]
- Unions raised safety concerns after passengers spoke of thinking they would die when smoke filled a London Underground train in Holland Park. [BBC News]
The boss of Crossrail has warned Britain’s construction and engineering industries need more big projects if they are to stay “right at the top of their game”. [Daily Telegraph]
Plans have been unveiled for a viewing platform at the top of the Forth Bridge to give visitors a “close-up” look at one of Scotland’s most famous sights. [BBC News]
Passengers on a rush-hour Southeastern train were led to safety after smoke was reported underneath the rear four carriages. [The Guardian]
Stagecoach shares are strongly up after growth at Megabus in North America helped put the company on track to meet its targets for the year. [Financial Times]
Serco shares are down after it said it was working with Britain’s government to fix any wrongdoing that is discovered from a raft of reviews into its contracts. [4-Traders]