First win Intercity West Coast franchise

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tbtc

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Left talk talk, they are the worst of the worst.
Unfortunately i live in a student house, 5 of us. 4 to 1 as they all want it and i dont believe in kicking up a fuss because i lost

Surely you should have got Stephen Fry to tweet about a petition to ensure that you got your way - throwing your toys out of the pram is the way to get anything done ;)

I think you under-estimate the movement of time and mood.
Nobody will even remember what West Coast Franchise was.
People just like pouring out bile for no reason at all and they've found an easy target . .

This is true. Remember a few weeks ago when we were all outraged about Argyll & Bute Council stopping that girl take pictures of her school meals. That's all been forgotten about. Then there was outrage about Paralympic medallists not getting their own gold postboxes, and everyone was outraged. And then the world moved on. This will also be a flash in the pan "outrage". there'll be another one along soon enough...
 
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Geezertronic

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Unless we have another fiasco of ECML standards on the cards, I would hope not though as the WCML would appear to a more stable franchise to have than the ECML?
 

island

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Since I'm moving soon I was thinking of moving away from VM, but having looked at numerous other providers, no-one can do unlimited download for the price that Virgin manages...

Try Sky.
 

PR1Berske

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Tim Farron - my embarrassing MP who seems he can't help himself from jumping onto any passing bandwagon. Also as a matter of interest one of the most expensive MPs in the country over the last 5 years.

He represents a large, mostly rural constituency in Cumbria, are you surprised if his transport costs are higher than most?
 

jon0844

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He (Branson) better for the sake of the big name supporters. They don't want to be left looking stupid, like those who came out supporting the same McCann's before more questions were asked and they were made suspects.

That's the risk of jumping on bandwagons without doing some research first.
 
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I also heard somewhere that virgin have paid a 10% dividend year on year. Apparently it's a massive source of money for virgin
 

RPI

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Sorry I've not been online all day, i feel I must apologise to williamn for my appalling spelling in my previous post, obviously spelling 2 words wrong makes me not worthy of commenting on this forum, although 2 out of a whole post isn't bad for someone with dyslexia, but I apologise all the same. Virgin are a bunch of big babies basically and if the franchise has to be re-tendered then I hope they don't even get shortlisted.
 

junglejames

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I understand all of that. The question is whether the process was undertaken in the correct manner, given that Virgins bid was considered more 'deliverable'. There's lots more to say but I will save it as I realise this board is not a place for rational debate.

You are obviously of the opinion that 'deliverability' is the only measure. Well it isnt. Other points went in the favour of First. Why was it more deliverable? Perhaps because they werent pushing the boat out as much? Just a possiblity.
Anyway, it neednt matter because overall First won, and if their is anything odd about it, Virgin will appeal. If they dont, then it would seem as though its a good decision.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I also heard somewhere that virgin have paid a 10% dividend year on year. Apparently it's a massive source of money for virgin

Virgin (Group) is not a public company and does not have shareholders.
Virgin Trains as a subsidiary reports its results via Stagecoach (who have a 49% share and are a public company).
You can find the numbers in their annual report - see pp17/18 of this: http://www.stagecoach.com/~/media/F...edia/publication-financial-reports/ar2012.pdf

The last year's VT profit was 5% (Stagecoach's own two franchises were at 2.4%).
All three franchises are in revenue support (meaning returns for both the TOCs and DfT are depressed).
 

tbtc

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All three franchises are in revenue support (meaning returns for both the TOCs and DfT are depressed).

...which kind of spoils Branson's argument about the worry of First not paying the premium that they say they can...
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
He represents a large, mostly rural constituency in Cumbria, are you surprised if his transport costs are higher than most?

Given that his commutes to London are going to be a lot less than most MPs from Scotland and Northern Ireland (plus maybe Cornwall etc), I'd not expect Farron to be in the top ten percent.
 

Wath Yard

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Virgin (Group) is not a public company and does not have shareholders.
Virgin Trains as a subsidiary reports its results via Stagecoach (who have a 49% share and are a public company).
You can find the numbers in their annual report - see pp17/18 of this: http://www.stagecoach.com/~/media/F...edia/publication-financial-reports/ar2012.pdf

The last year's VT profit was 5% (Stagecoach's own two franchises were at 2.4%).
All three franchises are in revenue support (meaning returns for both the TOCs and DfT are depressed).

Shareholders are irrelevant when talking about dividends. So are %'s. Virgin have milked their franchises, so much so that they were heavily criticised for doing it in the official report commissioned by the SRA over the WCML upgrade and its failures. Even when they were operating on a management contract they still milked it.
 

MidnightFlyer

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There will be, but whether anyone votes for them to the point where they are a mainstream party is another thing altogether!
 

sonic2009

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That's quite disgraceful.

But's it's obviously not the management that have done that, it's a driver or such. I wouldn't like to comment.

But personally there is something fishy happening at the DFT and Virgin obviously have wind of this, otherwise why bother will all the fuss and petitions.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It would be interesting to know what Virgin staff themselves think about the whole situation i'm sure there are some members who work for Virgin about on here.
 

F Great Eastern

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junglejames

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But's it's obviously not the management that have done that, it's a driver or such. I wouldn't like to comment.

But personally there is something fishy happening at the DFT and Virgin obviously have wind of this, otherwise why bother will all the fuss and petitions.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It would be interesting to know what Virgin staff themselves think about the whole situation i'm sure there are some members who work for Virgin about on here.

If there was something fishy, and Virgin knew, then they would go through the proper avenues. All he is doing here is promoting an epetition which is based on lies. An epetition which in all likelihood isnt going to get anywhere. All its doing is promoting Virgins image. So is Branson really aware of some dodgy dealings? Doesnt look like it. He is just trying to improve his image.
 

PR1Berske

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How would Branson react had he won the franchise and First took to all available media to slate the government, the successful bidder, used their existing business as a platform to further itself?
 

34Short

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If there was something fishy, and Virgin knew, then they would go through the proper avenues. All he is doing here is promoting an epetition which is based on lies. An epetition which in all likelihood isnt going to get anywhere. All its doing is promoting Virgins image. So is Branson really aware of some dodgy dealings? Doesnt look like it. He is just trying to improve his image.

The epetition isn't based on lies. Besides, what have Virgin offered in their bid?

I'd actually like to see what you lot would be like, given you were in his situation.
 

ainsworth74

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Would a driver even be able to change the LED Display, surely they would have to get it specially programmed?

Nope, they seem to be easy to customise on Voyagers. There is this example of a Voyager at Paddington and there is another photo floating around of a pair of coupled up Voyagers where the leading units rear cab LED says "Stop following me!" and the leading cab of the trailing unit says "But I love you!". I can easily imagine that a driver or a guard set this up themselves.
 

Metroland

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That's quite disgraceful.

Not really, my understanding is most of the Virgin people love working for Virgin. That's the sort of employee loyalty that is pretty hard to come by these days.

That's the other thing the DFT need to look at. What effect does a franchise change have on the morale of staff and public perception? Does a poor public perception or employee loyalty actually damage the franchise? Is this considered in the franchise process? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it.

Brand is absolutely everything in the modern business world. We may sniff at it, call it spin, but image and perception is absolutely everything whether we like it or not.

As for the petition being ignored, to my knowledge only 10 have ever gone over the 100,000 mark. This is a modern democracy with lots of tax payer's money at stake. Remember, the WCML is the economic lifeblood between London, the West Midlands, the North West, the Lakes and Glasgow affecting business and the lives of millions. In short this is an important issue.

It would be very unwise for our politicians and the civil service to just sign it off and disregard it IHMO without a proper debate and more transparency on the selection process and an examination by professionals in the field to conclude whether it is robust.
 

Solent&Wessex

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There are, as I see it, 3 possibilities now.

1. The signing of the contract is delayed to allow for the debate and review that is being sought. This would no doubt lead to an extension of the current franchise and almost certainly lots of taxpayers cash being handed over to Beardie to pay for this extension. If the goalposts for scoring get moved at this late stage then First, and others, would have grounds for serious complaint, causing more delay and expense. Essentially I don't think you can move the goalposts once the match is finished.

2. Nothing happens now. The contract is signed but a debate is held regarding future franchise decisions and the method of scoring bids. This is, in my view, the most sensible option.

3. The whole process is aborted, the process starts again with new goal posts and scoring criteria, and the current franchise gets an extension. The most expensive option for everyone.
 
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