And then came this:
The country’s worst-performing rail company has been warned it could lose its franchise unless services improve over the next 12 months.
In a move unprecedented since privatisation, First Great Western has been told it faces being stripped of its licence unless standards are raised.
Personally, I get a feeling of yet another last chance. I can imagine why. You can’t exactly re-let the franchise immediately. It took 18 months in the case of SouthEastern (yes, such a move is not “unprecedented") which means if the government strips Great Western of the franchise it is going to the government that gets the blame every time a train is late. From a minister’s point of view best to procrastinate in the hope that he gets moved before he really, really has to do anything.
Whether First Great Western really is as bad as everyone says it is, I really don’t know. In my experience it seems just fine but I know at least one commuter who bought himself a car rather than rely on their service. And The Truth About First Great Western has gone awfully quiet recently.