Friday, October 10, 2003

BBC NEWS - Jarvis quits rail maintenance

Jarvis quits rail maintenance

The construction firm, PFI guilty party and disastrous rail maintenance contractor Jarvis plc has decided to withdraw from all its railway maintenance contracts! So let us all rejoice!

"Jarvis is pulling out of routine maintenance, partly because it is worried about its reputation being damaged by accidents caused by poor workmanship."

Well, that just about sums it up. Note that accidents obviously would have nothing to do with the company. No. It's those shiftless peasants, the workers, damaging their reputation! This strikes me as being an insight into the real problems at Jarvis - the top management obviously do not feel any responsibility for their firm's performance or lack of it. It's always somebody else's fault, but you can bet your balls none of the directors will fail to claim the salaries they are paid for that responsibility. Those of us with functioning memories will recall the firm's unimpressive showing immediately after the Potters Bar accident, when they instantly announced an Internal Inquiry. The inquiry reported back within two days, declaring that it was all down to sabotage by mystery vandals. The firm still maintains this despite the Health and Safety Executive's conclusion that there was no evidence at all for such a conclusion.

I recall Jarvis director and Tory politician Steven "Shagger" Norris defending the indefensible on Radio 5, going on and on at great and slimy length about their wonderful inquiry and how utterly honest they were. I just think it's a very remarkable coincidence that their ultra-reliable, hyper-honest investigators should have come to a firm conclusion within two days when it took the HSE almost a year - and that they just happened to hit on the one possible explanation that would exonerate the firm completely. Right.

Network Rail will now take over Jarvis's area of responsibility, the Great Northern, itself. Wasn't that called nationalisation once upon a time? The chief executive of GNER, Chris Garnett, declared that "I think the fact that (Jarvis is) going is very good news for all our passengers". I agree, especially as I use that route quite often myself.

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