Examination of Witnesses (Questions 120-125)|
WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE
120. If it could be done by one operator, why
could it not be done by much better co-operation between the existing
(Mr Green) I think the industry is getting better
at this and Manchester is probably the place we should focus on
most. I do take the point.
121. Can that be done with really significant
improvements in Manchester without having to put the old Victoria
line back into place to get trains round Manchester?
(Mr Green) No. You might get a five or ten per cent
improvement by co-operative train planning, but we really do need
that investment. In Manchester we really are putting our quart
into a half-pint bottle.
122. On what sort of timescale do you think
there is any chance of helping the commuters who go into Manchester
and people who want to use inter-city services, both to London
and to the North-East or to Liverpool?
(Mr Green) The arrival of the new trains for all operators
is going to come very quickly now, so in the next two years you
will see the trains in the service.
123. It is no good looking at a brand new train
if you cannot fit more of them in.
(Mr Green) Co-operation will take two years by the
time we have rationalised our services, but what you really want
is going to take five or ten years, which is big investment in
124. The subject of this inquiry is railways
in the North and Mr Garnett and Mr Cameron have just told us that
no provision is being made for the proposals by the SRA for satisfaction
because you have not heard anything yet. What is happening? If
there are no discussions, no approaches, what are you asking them
to do to speed up the process?
(Mr Garnett) I will respond for the East Coast Mainline.
The Strategic Rail Authority, since the franchise stopped a year
ago and we knew it was two years, have taken away the whole development
responsibility for that route. We have been out of the loop. We
know a lot of work is going on between the Strategic Rail Authority,
Railtrack and Fleur MacDonald who are the consultants working
with them. We are not privy to that information. We ask for it,
we do not have the information on that, they keep saying that
we are due to get a presentation soon, but they are not yet ready
to make it.
125. When did they say that last?
(Mr Garnett) Two week ago, three weeks ago. We ask
them regularly. We have our quarterly review with the SRA on Friday.
It is a standing item on the agenda: news on the East Coast upgrade.
We are waiting.
(Mr Cameron) Our two franchises finish on 2 February
2003. We have very little time left. The dialogue on the Trans-Pennine
Express has been going on for over two years with the stakeholders
such as the Passenger Transport Executives, the County Council
and the Borough Councils. There has been a huge amount of dialogue,
but the decision was made by the Strategic Rail Authority that
that was what they wanted and we were asked to bid against that
proposal. We have had very little involvement in saying what was
Mr O'Brien: It is a matter we shall look at
Chairman: Thank you gentlemen. That has been
very helpful. We are very grateful to you and I am sorry to have
detained you longer than perhaps you felt necessary.