Today I woke up and seen the following in my Twitter feed:
More trains to run from York to London under new East Coast franchise deal http://t.co/Qt8nfEqbwL
— David Horne (@DavidHorne) January 28, 2015
This is the start of the new franchisee trying to claim credit for what was already put in place by the previous operator.
As East Coast is operated by the government and the Intercity Express Project was government led this means that the trains that Virgin are bragging about have already been paid for with our taxes, they really have no right trying to claim credit for them. The improvements planned were already listed under East Coast's planned improvements section which had been on the site well before the new franchise was announced.
The InterCity Express Programme will deliver new trains for the East Coast Main Line from summer 2018, with the full fleet of ‘Class 800’ trains in place by December 2019. The new trains will deliver up to eight million extra seats per year and reduce journey times.
So I was thinking, do we need a 'press team'? The aim to look for articles regarding the new franchise and aim to point out when they're giving credit where it's not due or where they're just reporting completely inaccurate information.
The idea would be to start with a wiki where we can easily add links to new articles and also a brief summary as to why we think they're incorrect. Then we can calmly and politely contact the author of the article indicating the errors and hope that they'll update their article or publish a correction.
This goes beyond the original remit of the site, which was to try and keep a decent loyalty programme, however I think it's in our interests to make sure the public aren't taken in by the spin and believe when the government funded trains arrive on the East Coast it was all done thanks to Virgin. The fact that Stagecoach with a 90% majority on this partnership seems to be allowing Virgin to claim 90% of the credit seems a little unusual. Do they not know that Virgin Trains is not remembered fondly round these parts?
If you think it's a good idea pop back at the weekend when I have some time to work on it. In the meantime let me know your thoughts on Twitter.