Friday, February 15, 2008

Pants on fire!

Now, I'm not sure how this happened, but my ire is beginning to turn and point (can ire point? If it doesn't, I think it should start, and, why not, let's have it stamping its feet too) firmly in the direction of the DfT. Sure, we all like to hate FGW, because they're the ones running the trains, and they've certainly made their share of mistakes, but it rather gets on my nerves when MPs start slagging off the company, when the DfT are the ones who are pulling all the strings.

Read the following, from the Sky News website: (read the full report here)

Chancellor Alastair Darling criticised First Great Western while in the West Country city of Bristol.
"I know there have been very great problems with this particular franchise that have gone on far too long. Frankly, the travelling public using the line are entitled to expect far better reliability and punctuality in a far better service. First Great Western need to get a grip of it. But I know that the Transport Secretary is very focused on this."
And fellow MP Dawn Primarolo said: "I share the rage of thousands of passengers regularly when I'm on a service where I can't get a seat, I'm tired, and I can't get home.
"I think they (First Great Western) have got to be given a clear ultimatum to improve the service. If they don't, we need to reconsider (renewing their franchise)."

Righty ho, so it's all their fault and not yours at all in any way then? The problem is, I don't believe it. It's just all such a lot of finger-pointing crap, and not in any way helpful to sorting out the problem of GETTING THE TRAINS TO RUN ON TIME!
Yes, FGW have their problems with staff-shortages, being a bit rubbish at giving us information sometimes, and putting up prices, and all of those things are their fault. But if they weren't so shackled by the DfT, they'd be able to sort out some of their problems and get the service improved.
I'm quite riled now. Which is a shame, as I'm off on holiday next week, so was having a lovely term's-out kind of Friday.
I'm all for getting a few "I Hate the DfT" badges printed, but I think there would be a queue of car drivers ahead of us, and who ever heard of a government department listening to anyone anyway. Golly, I've gone all political. Someone bring me a magazine full of celebrity gossip, quick!


Lord Hutton said...

I agree entirely. The controlling Goblins in Marsham Street have a lot to answer for with their micro management. And the TOCs frequently blame DfT's restrictions for service shortcomings. In my experience, First Scotrail can operate a decent train service with enough support.
That doesnt mean that FGW arent responsible for daily cancellations, and sloppy platform turnaround, lack of staff etc
And as for Pacers!

Anonymous said...

About time the public learnt the truth about the DfT. An excellent post if you ask me!

I'm sure theres plenty out their who want a 'I hate DfT' badge!

Polly said...

I am so glad to read your blog -I knew I couldn't be alone with my loathing. Every other day at the moment I have my train either delayed by an hour or cancelled - not ideal with no waiting room, no facilities, no heating in this freezing weather and at the moment no compensation coming. I do indeed hate first great western! Where can I buy my badge? Cross from Charlbury to Reading.

Economy Klaus said...

Personally I'm all in favour of a bit of'finger-pointing crap' if it gets things moving. Whatever it takes to get improvements, that's fine by me. A bit of 'blame-storming' as it's sometimes known, a bit of passing the buck...whatever!

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