Archive | December, 2012

London Midland cancels trains again

Posted on 07 December 2012 by editor

London Midland trains who operates the network between Birmingham-Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton-Walsall, Birmingham-London Euston, Coventry-Nuneaton and Lichfield-Redditch have cancelled 39 trains.

The operator has blamed a further shortage of drivers.

In Oct 133 trains were cancelled, and the latest cancellations means that there have now been over 900 trains cancelled due to driver shortage.

London Midland have said that new trainee drivers will be qualified by mid-December.


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Virgin Railways to continue running West Coast Mainline

Posted on 06 December 2012 by editor

Virgin Railways will continue operating the West Coast Mainline for a further two years.  This comes after a damning report into the way the tender process was handled by the Department of Transport.

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary told MPs, in the Commons, that the independent report into the collapse of the tendering process for the West Coast mainline “made extremely uncomfortable reading” for his department. He stated that there was a “damning failure’ by the Department of Transport, after the report had found unacceptable flaws in the bidding process.

But Mr McLoughlin insisted that ministers had been given inaccurate reports and they had awarded the contract without being told about flaws in the bidding process.

It is estimated that the bungled tender process has cost in the region of £40million.

The first report that was released in Oct, highlighted problems with departmental officials failing to follow their own policies and guidelines, and failing to treat bidders fairly. It also indicated that inflation had not been taken into account.

The news that Virgin will run the line for a further two years is likely to be welcomed by the shareholders.  Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Virgin Rail Group, has promised “even better service”.

The news has been welcomed by many members of the public, with many saying that Virgin has been providing an excellent timely service, although some criticized their fares.

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Further job cuts at council run factory

Posted on 05 December 2012 by editor

A Birmingham City Council-run factory which employs people with learning disabilities is facing job cuts. The Erdington based factory which makes UPVC doors and windows and employs 81 people, has made losses of £4.5m over five years.

A review of the factory was conducted in 2011 and Birmingham City Council has said that the factory is outdated and 68 jobs are potentially at risk because it is able to operate with just 13 employees. Unison has described the cuts as ‘deeply disappointing’.

Councillor Tahir Ali said: “We are doing all we can to support staff with the aim of redeploying as many as possible within the city council or supporting them into mainstream employment.”

A number of people have taken redundancy, the council said. A report on the future of Shelforce is due to go before the council’s cabinet on Monday.

The council is under considerable pressure to make savings of £600m by 2017. It is also facing an enormous ‘fair pay’ bill, after it lost its recent tribunal on gender discrimination.


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