GERRY DOHERTY ELECTED AS TSSA GENERAL SECRETARY

03 August 2005

Gerry Doherty becomes the next General Secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs" Association taking 43% of the vote against his candidates Steve Coe 29%, John Munday 17% Pamela Gardener 11%.

 

Mr Doherty is the former Irish secretary of the trade union and has worked as a manager at its London headquarters for the past nine years. He takes over on 1 March 2004 from Richard Rosser who is retiring after 37 years’ service at TSSA, including the last 15 as General Secretary.

 

 

INTERVENTION BY DOWNING STREET OVER FAILING RAIL NETWORKS

According to the Independent the Prime Minister has ordered a Downing Street "hit squad"" into failing train operators in a desperate attempt to improve rail services.

 

Companies under consideration include Sir Richard Brandon’s Virgin network, the South Central franchise, Thameslink and Central Trains. They have been selected because they are "under-performing"" and officials believe they form a microcosm of the network.

 

Anxiety over voters" perception of the industry"s performance has prompted a review to be completed in the summer. The inquiry is expected to result in a more streamlined management system with fewer organisations involved and with the SRA stripped of much of its power.

 

Mr Darling has indicated he would be prepared to introduce legislation to place the SRA on a different footing. Some senior sources believe the authority is an unnecessary layer of management and that logically the Department for Transport should be fully in charge of strategy.

 

£22 MILLION FREIGHT GRANT SCHEME LAUNCHED

The SRA today (10 February 2004) launched the Company Neutral Revenue Support (CNRS) scheme. The new scheme is designed to further support and secure growth in the market for the movement of intermodal containers by rail in Great Britain, and applies to deep-sea, short-sea and domestic intermodal rail freight.

 

The scheme has a budget of approximately £22 million for 2004/05, and will be open to applicants immediately.

 

The European Commission has approved CNRS for duration of 3 years, stretching to 31 March 2007, with a budget of approximately £22 million in 2004/05. Funding for 2005/06 and 2006/07 is anticipated to be broadly similar at around £20-£25 million per annum.

 

Around 80-85% of Track Access Grant (TAG) is replaced by CNRS. Prior to the approval expiring, the scheme will be evaluated to ascertain whether an extension will be pursued.

 

The SRA will administer CNRS in England and Wales. The administration of CNRS in Scotland is under discussion at present and is expected to be confirmed shortly.

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