Wrong Minister at wrong station, even though he stayed at a hotel directly opposite the right station in Exeter!

“They (the Government) sent the Roads Minister to talk to us about grand new plans for our rail network.

The press call was for 9am on Platform 6 at Exeter St David’s station.

Jesse Norman took the train to Exeter on Tuesday. He stayed in the Premier Inn, and strolled across to the station where he was due to meet Devon County Council leader John Hart and the media.

There was only one problem: Mr Norman went to Exeter Central, instead of to Exeter St David’s.

In the end he jumped into a cab to the right station, shaving a few minutes off an already tight interview schedule. …”

http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/shambles-government-sends-wrong-minister-852341

“Tories accused of trying to quietly re-privatise Britain’s rail infrastructure” (including south west)

The plan is for Great Western Railways to be split into two:

“The plans would create a new West of England rail franchise to provide long-distance services between London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall together with local and regional services across the south-west.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-future-of-the-great-western-franchise

“Transport secretary Chris Grayling says the government wants to break up the troubled [Great Western] Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise when the current contract comes to an end, and look into reopening lines closed during the notorious Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

But the proposals also include publicly-owned Network Rail sharing its responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators.

Britain’s rail network – the tracks, bridges and infrastructure – was taken into public ownership after a bungled experiment with privatisation left it close to collapse.

Railtrack, the privatised franchise, went bankrupt after being hit with the cost of repairs and compensation from the Hatfield rail crash in 2000. …

… Mr Grayling denied that the plans amounted to the splitting up and privatising of Network Rail.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “No, we’re not privatising Network Rail. Network Rail will remain in public ownership, but Network Rail is going to be devolved into a series of route businesses, it’s not going to be one big central blob, it’s going to be a series of locally-focused, or route-focused, operations around the country.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-accused-trying-quietly-re-11606147