Hello, how are you?
Glad to hear it. Yes, yes, I know, it's been a while, I've been on a conference, then on holiday for a bit and then had a busy week last week.
Anyway, where shall we begin? I know, lets start here. I bought this morning's Times not for the Sudoku but for the front page headline: "RAIL FIRM'S LEGAL THREAT TO SILENCE PASSENGER WATCHDOG". Sounds interesting, I thought. Can you guess, loyal readers, which rail firm has been trying to bully London Travelwatch? That's right, Silverlink County. Only kidding, it's First Great Western.
London Travelwatch wrote to the rail minister Tom Harris enquiring whether FGW were in breach of their franchise agreement, and if not, just how bad will it have to be before the DfT steps in. Anyway, FGW were sent a copy of this letter and decided that it was "defamatory" and threatened legal action against the passenger watchdog.
Interestingly, the article also points out that First Group has Alistair Campbell on it's payroll as an advisor on "strategic communications" or Spin Doctoring to you and me. It all begins to make sense now....
In other FGW related news, there is a great new blog written by the insider, someone who works at FGW and gives the story from the other side in a fair and balanced manner, unlike some others I could mention.... The insider also appears to be a useful person to know, if stories are to be believed.
Finally, there are worrying rumours abound, that the new timetable in December will see my direct service from Bath to Cardiff scrapped, thus lengthening my already sizable commute with a change at Bristol Parkway. I pray this is turns out to be false.