Nanny loves to issue health warnings, it seems nothing is safe from her warning messages these days; food, fags and booze have all been stamped with her warning signs.
Now, in a sign that all is not well in the nursery, Nanny has even placed a health warning on one of her own creations.
Nanny’s Department for Transport is warning travellers not to place too much faith in its £50M internet journey-planner project, Transport Direct, because it may be unreliable.
The Transport Direct scheme, which should have been launched two years ago, is undergoing a second phase of trials. It seems that the information it provides is either inaccurate, or simply a duplication of online material available elsewhere. It also has a tendency to crash on a daily basis.
Guess which hapless individual Nanny put in charge of this little “cock up”? Why our old friend, the smooth talking bar steward himself, Mr John Despot.
When Mr Despot was first given the project by Nanny, back in 2000, he was delighted; being put in charge of “an integrated transport policy” was an incredible opportunity.
It did sound a very important task to our Mr Despot. Unfortunately his brain was not firing on all cylinders, the day that he accepted this poison chalice.
Those of you with long memories may recall that most excellent TV series, “Yes Minister”. In one episode, Jim Hacker was given the task of creating “an integrated transport policy”; he was delighted. Until that is Sir Humphrey reminded him that the task was impossible, and that he had in fact been handed the “shitty” end of a particularly smelly political stick; that seasoned politicians knew well to avoid.
Poor old Mr Despot, if only he had watched that episode of “Yes Minister”, clearly Nanny had seen it!
Anyhoo, it did not take Mr D long to realise that the task was impossible. He then came up with a brainwave, why not create a virtual integrated transport policy; in other words let the internet do the work.
People could access the system, via the net, and tell it the details of their journey. The system would then provide them with the optimal journey logistics car, train, plane etc; all of which would ensure that the traveller would reach their destination as easily, and speedily, as possible. He would call this system “Transport Direct”.
That is an integrated transport system of sorts, isn’t it?
There was only one small problem with this master plan, it was bollocks!
You see, and maybe not everyone has appreciated this point yet; politicians are useless, absolutely useless, at projects and system implementations:
- The costs go over budget
- The designs don’t work
- The politicians “running” the project change jobs
- Politicians are unskilled, unqualified and stupid
The same happened here, Transport Direct does not work.
Therefore Nanny has had to issue a health warning about her precious system; users are told that Transport Direct does not guarantee the:
"accuracy, timeliness, completeness, performance or fitness for a particular purpose of the site or its content.The content is provided on an information basis only and should not be relied upon. Where the timing of a journey is of particular importance to you, we advise you to check the information before you travel with the transport operator directly..”
It seems that one test, carried out, showed that Transport Direct was recommending that a trip from the Derbyshire town of Matlock to Perth in Scotland would take more than 16 hours. This included a three-hour, late-night wait at Manchester coach station.
Nanny had planned an official launch, and advertising campaign early in the New Year. However, ministers are nervous about risking a high-profile public flop so close to the expected spring election campaign.
Nanny believes that Transport Direct will:
"enable the traveller to make an intelligent choice”.
Quite so Nanny, the intelligent choice is to not use Transport Direct; and to vote you, and your idiotic friends, out of office!