Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn MP Jack Straw concerned for East Lancashire commuters (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Blackburn MP Jack Straw concerned for East Lancashire commuters

Lancashire Telegraph: First TransPennine is moving carriages to the Chilterns First TransPennine is moving carriages to the Chilterns

COMMUTERS from East Lancashire could be left stranded when one of the North West’s biggest transport services sends nine rail carriages from the north to the south, an MP has warned.

First TransPennine Express’ train fleet will be cut by 13 per cent next year, following a decision by the Department for Transport.

Yesterday, Blackburn MP Jack Straw, said he was concerned there would be a knock-on effect for East Lancashire commuters.

FTPE runs services across the north of England and into Scotland, carrying 26million passengers a year. Many travellers from East Lancashire connect with FTPE services in Preston, Bolton, or at Manchester Airport.

Mr Straw also slammed the state of the area’s trains, run by Northern Rail, describing them as ‘Leyland bus bodies on a coal wagon chassis’.

Speaking to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, Mr Straw said the FTPE services were already among the most overcrowded in the country.

His question came just hours after Northern Rail faced criticism on social networking site Twitter.

Ben Thompson wrote: “Nice to hear the conductor apologising for overcrowding on the 7.40am Clitheroe to Manchester. Two carriages again, Northern Rail?”

Mr Straw asked Mr Cameron about one-in-eight FTPE trains being transferred to Chiltern Railways, which operates between the south Midlands and London via Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

MPs responded by heckling the former Home Secretary, and David Cameron later admitted to being ‘cheeky’ after reminding Mr Straw he lives in the Cotswolds and will personally benefit from the stock transfer.

Mr Straw said: “This is not a laughing matter to the people of East Lancashire.

“TransPennine services are already among the most overcrowded in the country. But despite the joshing, I was afterwards assured by the Prime Minister that he would look into the matter.

“If nothing is done, the strain on services will be serious because of over-crowding.”

He later said: “Rail passengers in our area already have to put up with some of the most clapped-out trains in the system – like the 30 year-old ‘Pacers’ (Leyland bus bodies on a coal wagon chassis). There’s far less investment in public transport in the North West than in the South.”

The Department for Transport announced that FTPE will transfer nine of 70 trains to Chiltern, which require the additional trains for its services.

A statement from FTPE said despite the disruption, the company would work hard to improve services.

FTPE managing director Nick Donovan said: “We are in negotiations with the Department for Transport to agree operating until February 2016, which is the anticipated start date of a new longer term rail franchise.”

Comments (10)

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9:59am Thu 6 Mar 14

AnthonyUK says...

Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen.
Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen. AnthonyUK
  • Score: 6

10:08am Thu 6 Mar 14

Real Ale Up North says...

Well said Jack - you talk a lot of sense. Trains are pretty sub-standard on the Colne to Preston line.
It's a rolling-stock problem that will delay the Todmorden Curve being in operation . Was planned to open next month. Now, they say it's going to be December as they have no rolling-stock. What a shambles.
Well said Jack - you talk a lot of sense. Trains are pretty sub-standard on the Colne to Preston line. It's a rolling-stock problem that will delay the Todmorden Curve being in operation . Was planned to open next month. Now, they say it's going to be December as they have no rolling-stock. What a shambles. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 5

10:30am Thu 6 Mar 14

Excluded again says...

Its just par for the course when you have the South East Nationalist party (aka the Tories) in government.

Strip everything you can out of the north and give it to the south. The only real surprise is that anyone in the north is surprised by this.
Its just par for the course when you have the South East Nationalist party (aka the Tories) in government. Strip everything you can out of the north and give it to the south. The only real surprise is that anyone in the north is surprised by this. Excluded again
  • Score: 5

11:35am Thu 6 Mar 14

shytalk says...

It's caused by privatization Jack. All caused by hag Thatcher. Profit needs to go to shareholders and the suits., not re investment. Shame your lot didn't try and reverse things when they had the chance.
Now we are all paying the price in terms of rotten service, second world trains and high fares.
It's caused by privatization Jack. All caused by hag Thatcher. Profit needs to go to shareholders and the suits., not re investment. Shame your lot didn't try and reverse things when they had the chance. Now we are all paying the price in terms of rotten service, second world trains and high fares. shytalk
  • Score: 3

11:49am Thu 6 Mar 14

Noiticer says...

And will the Labour Party, if relected to form a government in 2015, take steps to bring rail services and their ownership, including the companies which make fat profits from leasing rolling stock, back into some form of public ownership? They had the chance during their previous time in office but shied away from it becuase they were in thrall to neoliberal economics and the primacy of the market and private enterprise as being the best way to do things which isn't always the case as examplified by the current situation on the railway.
And will the Labour Party, if relected to form a government in 2015, take steps to bring rail services and their ownership, including the companies which make fat profits from leasing rolling stock, back into some form of public ownership? They had the chance during their previous time in office but shied away from it becuase they were in thrall to neoliberal economics and the primacy of the market and private enterprise as being the best way to do things which isn't always the case as examplified by the current situation on the railway. Noiticer
  • Score: 3

2:03pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Jerzei Balowski says...

So this is the very same Jack Straw who, about a month ago, wrote a column in this paper/website which said British railways were in reality much better than everyone perceived them, in fact better than in Germany ! Astonishing.
So this is the very same Jack Straw who, about a month ago, wrote a column in this paper/website which said British railways were in reality much better than everyone perceived them, in fact better than in Germany ! Astonishing. Jerzei Balowski
  • Score: 4

2:52pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

Two points here: (1) I saw the repeat of PMQs late last night. The heckling and jeering that he was subjected to by the Tories was beyond belief. The Speaker (a Tory himself, BTW) had to intervene twice to shut them up, and then had the effrontery to tell JS that he was taking too long to put over his point. If ever there was proof positive, if it were needed, that the current crop of MPs that we're lumbered with are nothing but a bunch of a***holes, this was it. (2) Yet another example here of the N-S divide being perpetuated by this form of discrimination. Contrast this with the fact that, 3-4 years ago, almost £400M were spent constructing the Hindhead Tunnel. to relieve congestion on the A3, ONE SINGLE ROAD, near Haslemere, in Surrey, and make life easier for those poor darlings in the SE. You get my drift? If anyone tries to tell me, and people occasionally do, that rail privatization was "a good thing" (1066 and all that), I'll probably throttle them!,
Two points here: (1) I saw the repeat of PMQs late last night. The heckling and jeering that he was subjected to by the Tories was beyond belief. The Speaker (a Tory himself, BTW) had to intervene twice to shut them up, and then had the effrontery to tell JS that he was taking too long to put over his point. If ever there was proof positive, if it were needed, that the current crop of MPs that we're lumbered with are nothing but a bunch of a***holes, this was it. (2) Yet another example here of the N-S divide being perpetuated by this form of discrimination. Contrast this with the fact that, 3-4 years ago, almost £400M were spent constructing the Hindhead Tunnel. to relieve congestion on the A3, ONE SINGLE ROAD, near Haslemere, in Surrey, and make life easier for those poor darlings in the SE. You get my drift? If anyone tries to tell me, and people occasionally do, that rail privatization was "a good thing" (1066 and all that), I'll probably throttle them!, Darren1951
  • Score: -2

7:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Kevin, Colne says...

30 years later a memorandum to the Minister was found in the papers of Sir Humphrey Appleby at the Public Records Office in Kew.

The situation that you describe has arisen because of an unexpected and unanticipated malfunction in the chain of administrative command that has resulted in the de-synchronization of key inter-locking components of integrated railway operation which, alas, has caused a functional mismatch of such magnitude as to be detrimental to railway passengers travelling across the key metropolitan counties occupying a mid-latitude in Great Britain.

The Department of Transport, acting quite properly under appropriate regulatory and administrative powers, granted to the TOC an interim extension to the existing franchise in order to ensure perpetuation of service with a view to undertaking a thorough review, with appropriate due diligence, as to the feasibility of granting to the existing franchisee a long-term franchise upon the expiry of the interim extension.

This arrangement has great merit in facilitating administrative progress and the appropriate ancillary adjuncts are usually given due weighting and deliberation so as to ensure they are included as an integral element in all such contractual extensions, regardless of whether these are of an interim or permanent nature.

Unfortunately, in this instance, the concomitant ROSCO contract was not considered in the deliberations of the granting of an interim extension to the TOC.

The reasons for this failure appear to have occurred during the key decision-making sequence primarily as a consequence of a catastrophic metallurgic failure of a retaining fastener that resulted in the detachment of a number of vital papers which included those relating to the supporting contract with the ROSCO. This omission was then compounded by the interjection of a key pre-programmed system event when the chair of the meeting adjourned deliberations for tea and biscuits.

Consequently while the TOC will be able to advertise an improved service there will be some delay in operationalizing the service.
HA

Written on this sheet in pen was the following note from the Minister, Mr Jim Hacker.

I asked Humphrey to put this in plain English. He said that the staples holding the committee papers had broken and that the papers concerning the trains themselves had been lost.
30 years later a memorandum to the Minister was found in the papers of Sir Humphrey Appleby at the Public Records Office in Kew. The situation that you describe has arisen because of an unexpected and unanticipated malfunction in the chain of administrative command that has resulted in the de-synchronization of key inter-locking components of integrated railway operation which, alas, has caused a functional mismatch of such magnitude as to be detrimental to railway passengers travelling across the key metropolitan counties occupying a mid-latitude in Great Britain. The Department of Transport, acting quite properly under appropriate regulatory and administrative powers, granted to the TOC an interim extension to the existing franchise in order to ensure perpetuation of service with a view to undertaking a thorough review, with appropriate due diligence, as to the feasibility of granting to the existing franchisee a long-term franchise upon the expiry of the interim extension. This arrangement has great merit in facilitating administrative progress and the appropriate ancillary adjuncts are usually given due weighting and deliberation so as to ensure they are included as an integral element in all such contractual extensions, regardless of whether these are of an interim or permanent nature. Unfortunately, in this instance, the concomitant ROSCO contract was not considered in the deliberations of the granting of an interim extension to the TOC. The reasons for this failure appear to have occurred during the key decision-making sequence primarily as a consequence of a catastrophic metallurgic failure of a retaining fastener that resulted in the detachment of a number of vital papers which included those relating to the supporting contract with the ROSCO. This omission was then compounded by the interjection of a key pre-programmed system event when the chair of the meeting adjourned deliberations for tea and biscuits. Consequently while the TOC will be able to advertise an improved service there will be some delay in operationalizing the service. HA Written on this sheet in pen was the following note from the Minister, Mr Jim Hacker. I asked Humphrey to put this in plain English. He said that the staples holding the committee papers had broken and that the papers concerning the trains themselves had been lost. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

9:17pm Thu 6 Mar 14

mrcool says...

AnthonyUK wrote:
Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen.
It's not the train operating company that is lending the rolling stock. The rolling stock belong to a leasing company. The lease period runs out soon and the leasing company has arranged to lease the stock to another company. The problem has arisen because FTPE have been given an extension of the franchise period but haven't negotiated an extension of the lease of rolling stock.
[quote][p][bold]AnthonyUK[/bold] wrote: Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen.[/p][/quote]It's not the train operating company that is lending the rolling stock. The rolling stock belong to a leasing company. The lease period runs out soon and the leasing company has arranged to lease the stock to another company. The problem has arisen because FTPE have been given an extension of the franchise period but haven't negotiated an extension of the lease of rolling stock. mrcool
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

mrcool wrote:
AnthonyUK wrote:
Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen.
It's not the train operating company that is lending the rolling stock. The rolling stock belong to a leasing company. The lease period runs out soon and the leasing company has arranged to lease the stock to another company. The problem has arisen because FTPE have been given an extension of the franchise period but haven't negotiated an extension of the lease of rolling stock.
More ****-ups caused by the Tories, and helped by Labour.
[quote][p][bold]mrcool[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AnthonyUK[/bold] wrote: Why should ANY train operating company lend it's rolling stock to compensate for problems in other parts of the UK? It's wrong and shouldn't happen.[/p][/quote]It's not the train operating company that is lending the rolling stock. The rolling stock belong to a leasing company. The lease period runs out soon and the leasing company has arranged to lease the stock to another company. The problem has arisen because FTPE have been given an extension of the franchise period but haven't negotiated an extension of the lease of rolling stock.[/p][/quote]More ****-ups caused by the Tories, and helped by Labour. Darren1951
  • Score: -1

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