Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's only money...

Oh joy, the west Coast rail fiasco rumbles on with the government finally holding its hands up to admit mistakes were made, currently £40 to £50 millions worth at the latest estimates, all coming from a taxpayers purse near you with menaces any day soon.
In a dramatic move on Tuesday night, the Department for Transport cancelled FirstGroup's contract to run the West Coast main line due to "significant technical flaws" in the bidding process, which will be re-run.
The Department for Transport's decision came just a day before Virgin's High Court legal challenge over the decision to award the contract to FirstGroup was due to start.
Virgin Trains lost control of the prestigious West Coast rail line in August, with the contract being handed to FirstGroup after Virgin's rival made an offer of £5.5bn to run the line for the next 13 years.
The decision provoked fury from Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind Virgin Trains, who launched a judicial review of the process and voiced fears that the amount paid by FirstGroup will have made the contract unprofitable.
Mr McLoughlin (Transport Secretary) admitted that the cost of cancelling the contract would be around £40m. He added that three other ongoing franchise processes - the Great Western, Essex Thameside and Thameslink competitions - have been paused.
But hey, never mind it's only money and plenty more where that came from and as for heads rolling? Don't make me laugh, the only people who will be hurting over this will be the ones whose money pays for the mistake, essentially you and I.
You'd think by now Westminster would have got the hang of major infrastructure and transport funding by now, though I suppose a lack of experience in the real world is a major handicap. Still when checking out a bid, it's always best to understand what the rules are and also making sure that the end result is actually viable, which seems to be the major problem here.
So, now we'll have a new bidding process and new costs, probably done by the same people who mucked up the original process.
Why do I think that taking it out of their wages might just be a fair and just solution? After all, if they knew that it would be coming out of their pockets in a blunder, they'd be a hell of a lot more careful.
Just saying.

1 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Totally agree.

It appears that, among a great number of other things, the senior people at the DFT forgot about inflation.

Now that just shows how well off they are, because it's something that is a constant worry to most of us.

Would that we might have the luxury of it slipping our minds.

There will be many other cost to pay. Other lines are out to tender and the 'tenderes' for these lines will require compensation.

They have apparently suspended some staff. The tea lady and the window I wouldn't wonder. Certainly none of the high flying mandarins.

The buck starts at the top, or it should. So Greening and that long faced blokey who is now minister for wars and wasting money (can't remember his name) should be facing the music. I do remember that he is inordinately rich.

He should be paying up. But in the end it will be us plebs.