Look, no driver

THE Daily Telegraph’s Transport Editor, David Milward, travelling with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to Lille, in Northern France, reported the city has a driverless metro network.

It was “something that McLoughlin believes could be replicated in conurbations of a similar size in Britain,” wrote Milward.

Lille is twinned with Leeds in this country, where all attempts to launch any form of light ral or metro system have been rejected by the Department for Transport (although not in Patrick McLoughlin’s time, but when Labour’s Alistair Darling was Transport Secretary).

However, it is surprising that no one has apparently told the new Transport Secretary, nor the Telegraph’s Transport Editor, that there is already a very successful, booming driverless metro network in London. Continue reading

West Coast’s crucial countdown

THE continuing crisis over the collapse of the West Coast franchise competition is now sweeping through the Department for Transport like an administrative version of Hurricane Sandy.

Ministers have grovelled and civil servants have been suspended, but with just one month left of the present West Coast contract there is still no confirmation that Virgin Trains will be running services on West Coast after 8 December. Continue reading