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Old March 2nd 09, 03:26 PM posted to uk.railway,misc.transport.urban-transit,
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Default "Hole in the Ground, a hole in the head?"

On Mar 2, 8:07*am, Mwmbwls wrote:

Paul Waugh, Deputy Political Editor London Evening Standard writes

BRITAIN'S most senior rail chief has claimed that he needs London's
16billion Crossrail project "like a hole in the head", a secret
report has revealed.
Network Rail chairman Sir Ian McAllister says the building works for
the capital's new east-west rail line will disrupt services for other
national lines.
But he immediately came under fire today for advocating a "Basil
Fawlty school of customer relations" where providing more trains for
passengers was seen as an inconvenience to those who run the network.
Sir Ian's remarks were laid bare in a new report, obtained by the
Evening Standard, on the systemic weaknesses in state-owned National
Crossrail, which will directly link Heathrow to the City and Canary
Wharf, finally won approval from the Government last year after more
than 25 years of delay and deliberation. The scheme is seen as vital
by London's businesses in maintaining the capital's global competitive
edge and in boosting services for commuters.
However, the study by consultants PriceWaterhouseCoopers, reveals that
Sir Ian is deeply sceptical about the Crossrail project and its impact
on his other national services linking major cities to London. One
unnamed senior figure told the report's authors "the chairman told me
that he needs Crossrail like a hole in the head".
It also shows that the Office of the Rail Regulator believes that
Network Rail is "overly focused" on meeting government targets.
"Network Rail is considered to be too risk averse and too focused on
operations rather than capital projects. This approach is believed to
be holding back the development of the railway infrastructure," the
report states.
"As an example of this, a comment was made that Network Rail is
unsupportive of the Crossrail project because of increased risk of
delays and disruption to the network during its construction."
Michael Stephenson, a former Downing Street adviser leading the
campaign to radically change Network Rail to give more power to
passengers, said that it proved the organisation was woefully out of
touch with the public.
Mr Stephenson, general secretary of the Co-operative Party which
sponsors several Labour ministers, said: "The evidence compiled by PWC
for this report, including this astonishing aversion to Crossrail,
reveals an organisation imbued with the Basil Fawlty school of
customer relations - 'this rail system would run much better if it
wasn't for the passengers'."
Network Rail's 20billion debts are guaranteed by the taxpayer.
It was created after the Government nationalised Railtrack, but
critics claim it lacks public accountability.
The report found that the rail operator packs its board with second-
rate non-executive directors.
Network Rail's head of public affairs, Stuart Vernon, warned members
sent copies of the secret report that it was "confidential" and its
contents should not be released.
The report also found that severe disruptions in the West Coast
mainline last year were seen as a "trivial" matter by the

Did we need a leaked PWC report to tell us this? The splushing sound
is Captain Deltic spilling his cocoa.

1. Thank you for posting.

2. This man is clearly in the wrong job. Shouldn't service industries
serve? He probably thinks railways would be much easier to run if
their passengers would just go away.

Any civil engineering project will disrupt. That is the nature of