Rail 682: open letter to Justine Greening

November 5th, 2011 Rail Magazine 9 comments
Dear Ms Greening, First off, congratulations in your rapid rise to a Cabinet level job and I hope, after reading this, you won’t be regretting your decision to accept  the post. However, I thought in a spirit of helpfulness, I would set out a few isshoos (as Tony Benn used to call them) on the railways that you will be facing over coming months. I’m sure that your civil servants will have ...

Rail 680: Hammond’s rich man’s toy revealed his true feelings

October 20th, 2011 Rail Magazine 4 comments
It’s amazing how much goodwill one can lose with just one quote but Philip Hammond’s remark about the railway being a ‘rich man’s toy’ will make the rail industry for ever suspicious of the Transport Secretary. Hammond must be feeling a bit like Gerald Ratner who destroyed his jewellery business with a bit of careless talk when he suggested a sherry decanter and glasses his shops sold for a fiver ...

Shaky basis for the 80mph limit

October 20th, 2011 Surveyor 2 comments
The ‘war on the motorist’ is still raging among the Tory faithful. Or rather, the war against the war on the motorist is the dominant theme of Tory transport policy. Ending the war was the first announcement Philip Hammond, the transport secretary, made when he started the job last May and to the last, right up to his enforced move to Defence, he seemed still to be working hard to ...

Hammond accounting methods did not make sense

October 19th, 2011 Christian Says, Guardian 13 comments
The conventional wisdom on Philip Hammond was the overused political cliche that he was a "safe pair of hands". The reality was rather different and the agenda he has left for his successor, Justine Greening, is fraught with difficulties. Hammond played a canny game, by keeping both the railway and car ...

Will Greening be Greener

October 17th, 2011 Christian Says 5 comments
It was always likely that Philip Hammond, clearly seen as a Tory rising star, would get the first big job going but nevertheless, he must have been surprised himself that he managed to get out of Transport so quickly. He was seen as a safe pair of hands, but I think he was beginning to lose the plot with several recent decisions and, competent though he might have been, he ...

Hammond’s fare gamble

August 17th, 2011 Times no comments
The collective wail of commuters was almost audible at stations across the country when they discovered that their season tickets would be going up by 8 per cent in January. It is a predictable and understandable complaint, but it will do nothing to move the government away from its policy of raising fares by 3 per cent above RPI over each of the next three years in order to reduce ...

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