Tuesday, 20 April 2010

FOI Request - Minister`s Refusal

Transport Minister Mr. Chris Mole has this week, in a letter to North Thanet`s Tory, Roger Gale, rejected requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act prior to the dissolution of parliament.

In his letter to the Minister Roger Gale asked that the department (1) release the contents of a market research study carried out for South Eastern Railways by the MVA consultancy and (2) that the Minister provides the source and details of the information supporting his claim, made in an adjournment debate on 10th March, that "one in three of his Roger Gale`so) constituents is now travelling by "High Speed" Train

The Minister has regarded the information as commercially sensitive and provided in confidence.

Commenting on the refusal Roger Gale says:

"It is outrageous that the Minister should make an unsubstantiated claim in a debate in the Commons and then refuse to publish the data upon which he based his claim. The travelling public do not accept the Department of Transport`s wild assertions about the "success" of HS1 and it is clear to me that the Minister cannot back up his claim with hard fact.

The reluctance of the Minister to publish the MVA survey result suggests that the "evidence" in support of a rail service to St. Pancras rather than to Victoria, Cannon Street and Charing Cross may also be on the light side.

This is an issue that we shall have to return to in a few weeks` time: it is not going to go away. I shall also refer the matter to the Information Commissioner".


  1. For ****'s sake, when is the old **** going to give up? St Pancras is great for us Ramsgatonians, end of!

  2. Sorry, but HS1 isn't of any benefit to anyone further up the line (Medway Towns for example). We have less trains which are now slower into the London stations we want to get to (Victoria and Cannon St). HS1 is more expensive, only 10 minutes faster to St Pancras, but when you add the tube cost and time on top - what is the incentive for us?? Keep going Roger, you have my support 100%!

  3. Perhaps Richard Eastcliff should look at the bigger picture...there will still be high speed trains from Ramsgate but there do NOT need to be as many running when most are practically empty! The Cannon St & London Bridge services have been severely disrupted; there are less services, shorter coaches, delays, cancellations and overcrowding. Surely we need to go with the majority rather than the minority?! Angry Commuter from Rainham

  4. Unlike 'multi-talented millionaire mogul' Richard Eastcliff, some of us have to work for a living! The HS1 train service is an expensive 'white elephant' as was shown on the BBC news lastnight. The service to/from St Pancras benefits only a few and yet it is the vast majority of commuters travelling from Kent into the City of London who have to withstand overcrowded trains, frequent delays and cancellations as well as higher fares (without compensation) in order to pay for it. What the Transport Minister Lord Adonis failed to mention in his interview last night was that while many more seats may have been provided for travellers into London, nobody wants to use them, as a result of which the expensive new HS1 rolling stock runs empty!

  5. I wish Roger Gale were my MP. Unlike him Paul Clark, who is my representative in Gillingham and Rainham and who is a Junior Minister of Transport, has continually failed to acknowledge the issue. He has so far failed to reply to any of my letters or emails and did not even bother to turn up to the emergancy debate in Parliament which Roger Gale managed to secure last month. Well done Roger Gale, keep up the good work!!!

  6. I am chair of SNAG - an action group fighting the HS2 proposal. We should work together on this - we are already in a non official blight situation in South Northamptonshire, as our many others, and the detrimental impact on our communities is already extremely concerning. HS1 is being used to argue the supposed benefits of HS2 and we would value your help in examning this. Liz Williams snaghs2@snaghs2.co.uk

  7. I have heard some cods wallop in my life but some of you take it to new heights. HS1 through Kent has now attracted over 4000 extra users every morning over last few months on the new trains and those trains are now being increased in size to meet the ever increasing demand. Suggest some of you visit Southeastern trains web-site and take a look. The whole Kent region is now under going huge re-generation benefits from HS1, as will the whole country when HS2 is built all the way from London to the far North. Just because some of you don't want to pay a little more for your high speed travel on superb brand new trains does not mean the service is failing. It is now the way forward for thousands and many thousands more are now going to stick with HS1 after using the services for the first time during the no flight ash crisis. In fact 84% of new travelers said so in a recent independent report on the Eurostar web-site. Get your facts right before posting utter rubbish.

  8. dear anonymous post 24 may 2010 1154.

    a very ignorant and unsubstantiated statement. at least research your statement before making the claim of additional commuters using the service daily. SE trains have "cut" the trains in half on the "north kent" hs1 line from faversham due to under utilization.

    i can only assume you are travelling on the Eurostar, dover provided service? and i agree that this service does make perfect sense, but for those of us on the north kent line, the cost for this service is 30% dearer for approx 6 minutes faster journey (variable depending on start point), therefore it does not make economic sense. factor into that the need to catch tube services at more cost once in London and it just doesnt work....

    i for one believe the only way we will be heard is not via a petition, but via a demonstration on said SE train HS1 white elephant service!!! what say you?


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