Thursday, 1 February 2007

Evidence of the DfT’s culpability

An interesting document [PDF format] has come to light under the Freedom of Information Act. The document details discussions between Chiltern Railways and the Department for Transport over the December 2006 timetable.

What the document makes clear is that in seeking changes to the specified timetable Chiltern has to be grated permission for such changes from the DfT before they can be implemented. The text on page 7 explicitly shows that it is the DfT that has the final say on timetable changes and not train operating companies.

First Great Western is in exactly the same position as Chiltern in that any timetable deviations – including those made recently to Oxford services – need approval by the Department for Transport via the appropriate derogations. It is, therefore, a patent falsehood for the Department to claim that First Great Western is responsible for the timetable and can make changes as and when it wishes.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, a request has been made for the documents relating to the specific discussions between First Great Western and the Department over the December 2006 timetable and the subsequent changes. Any forthcoming information will be published to this page.

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