Examination of Witnesses (Questions 680
WEDNESDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2000
680. Mr Middleton, what are you doing to the
poor old Post Office, who have been really very badly treated
(Mr Middleton) Can I just say that people will get
their Christmas mail and they will get their Christmas parcels.
The Royal Mail have put alternative arrangements in place for
first-class mail; sadly, much of it is now going by air and we
will have to work very hard to get that business back. But the
bulk of the second-class mail, which normally moves by train,
is still moving by train.
681. You know, Mr Middleton, they do not feel
you are treating them very well?
(Mr Middleton) I know they do not; and we are not
treating them very well.
682. And you really can assure us that that
bit of the mail that you are going to be left with will arrive
somewhere near this Christmas, and not next Christmas?
(Mr Middleton) Yes, I can assure you of that.
683. Can I ask you one other thing then, gentlemen.
If you find that your reorganisation and your shuffle at top level
has not produced not only all the engineering changes but also
the safety changes, would you expect to have to look again at
how the organisation is responding to the pressures of the existing
system in the railway industry?
(Mr Marshall) So, if I can be clear on the direction
of the question, that is talking about our current structure and
whether Railtrack should look at it?
(Mr Marshall) If clearly we failed then it is inevitable
that questions would be asked, but we do not intend to fail.
685. And, finally, how long will it be before
you take decisions, major decisions, like whether or not you take
maintenance back in-house?
(Mr Marshall) It is going to take us
a number of months, on maintenance; it is difficult to be entirely
precise because it is very early days yet, but several months,
Chairman: Thank you very much for coming to
see us this afternoon. Doubtless we shall see you again.