Transport minister in tram debacle

I MIGHT as well report this before someone else does.

I was due to speak at the All-Party Light Rail Group fringe meeting at Manchester City hall tonight. I decided it might be appropriate if I arrive by Manchester Metro. My previous meeting was some distance away, so I hopped on a tram heading in what I assumed to be the right direction.

Alas, I had been over-optimistic. I didn’t recognise the name of the station we arrived at, and a quick check confirmed I had been travelling in the wrong direction. A glance at my watch also confirmed that I was already 15 minutes late for the meeting. I jumped out and walked to the opposite platform to wait for a tram going in the correct direction. When a vacant taxi appeared instead, I reckoned it might save some time (but certainly not money) to jump aboard rather than wait any longer for a tram.

I duly arrived at the meeting half an hour late and made my apologies. When I got to my feet the first thing I did was explain why I was late. I’m sure the tram information was not to blame – I am notoriously reluctant to read the details of travel maps, and I should have paid more attention.

But the meeting, I think, went well, with lots of good wishes for me in advance of the much-heralded reshuffle. I made the short journey back to my hotel on foot. And I didn’t get lost.

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9 Comments

Filed under Department for Transport, Labour

9 responses to “Transport minister in tram debacle

  1. “… a quick check confirmed I had been travelling in the wrong direction…”

    So, you’ve read The Speech in a bit more detail? I’m sure David can find you a safe seat young Tom. Do you fancy moving south of the border though? I know you people of the “Scottish” persuasion are usually reluctant to leave your crofts.

    What am I saying? The place is already full of you jocks telling us what’s good for us. On second thoughts, have a word with genial old Alex and see if can fit you in somewhere. I’m sure a man of your calibre can do something.

  2. dreamingspire

    Good luck in the reshuffle. Know anything about roads, buses, airlines…? (Answer has to be ‘Yes’ as we hope that there is an outbreak of commonsense coming on.)

  3. Johnny Norfolk

    Tom,
    It just shows how narrow we have become when you have to explain why you took a taxi. You should have said nothing and if someone asked replied ‘thats my business’. But we are a frightend country afraid to take taxis.even you.
    I see Kelly has had enough of the hypocracy.

    Biggest economy problem in my lifetime. answer to it. Free opera tickets, 2 year old child care and free internet access for poor children. No wonder she has gone.

  4. Quentinthecrisp

    We’ve all done it Tom, gone off in the wrong direction.
    At least you admitted it was your fault, eventually.
    And you know Tom, that’s the first step in admitting you’re a recovering politician, A Labour one at that.
    Step two would be admitting that your policies aren’t working……. 🙂

  5. richard

    I gather Ruth Kelly is off to “spend more time with her family”.

    Perhaps you’ll get her job.

  6. That might be something you want to sort out when you become Transport Secretary

  7. Those trams can confuse especially when not going to the ends of their lines but terminating at obscure suburbs of which only lifelong Manchunians are likely to have heard.

    It seems that your boss was also moving in what some (but not all) think was the wrong direction last night. What a curious time to decide to spend more time at home. Hell hath no fury like a woman moved from Communities to Transport rather than up a notch perhaps…

  8. Alas, your problem appears to be the same as the governments, a lack of forward planning. Still, at least you are honest enough to admit it, unless of course, you were worried you might get outed by the press.

  9. Sorry Tom,

    I beat you to it. Check out http://s204732428.websitehome.co.uk/.

    It was a good meeting though.

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