This episode revealed substantial problems of governance, assurance, policy and resources inside the Department for Transport.
Embarking on an ambitious, perhaps unachievable, reform of franchising, in haste, on the UK's most complex piece of railway was an irresponsible decision for which ministers were ultimately responsible. This was compounded by major failures by civil servants, some of whom misled ministers.
Many of the problems with the franchise competition, detailed in the Laidlaw report, reflect very badly on civil servants at the DfT. However, ministers approved a complex, perhaps unworkable, franchising policy at the same time as overseeing major cuts to the Department's resources. This was a recipe for failure which the DfT must learn from urgently.
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A top temperature of 11 Celsius (52 F).
The event, which was held at the Dorchester Hotel last Thursday, was attended by representatives of some of Britain’s biggest companies.
Reports in the Daily Mail and the Telegraph said published guidance has been changed for 2018 to only fly the Union flag on Remembrance Day.