HS2 Review ongoing

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Jorge Da Silva, 1 Sep 2019.

  1. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...-come-clean-on-soaring-costs-of-hs2-gknqwstbt

    Set to be delayed from 2026 and costs to go up to £80bn

     
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  3. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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  4. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Normally conflict of interest arguments are if a civil servant goes to work for a bidder, hard to see the argument for that if its flowing the other way as they cant really influence a bid after its already been awarded.
     
  5. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Agreed, it could be an issue if there were more packages being offered and their previous employer/current employer (if on secondment) is bidding for the work.
     
  6. Bertie the bus

    Bertie the bus Established Member

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    They haven't started building it yet. That is the latest, for public consumption, guess. It will cost more.
     
  7. Jimathy

    Jimathy Member

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    Still cheap.....
     
  8. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    There are a small number of people for who no price will ever be too much. How or whether this gets shut down is more a test of democratic accountability than infrastructure governance. It should never have got this far.
     
  9. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    Jacobs are certainly not digging any tunnels - they are design engineers in the Align JV.

    As is often the case the whole HS2 budget is quoted along with a timeline for London to Birmingham.

    HS2 construction is already running a couple of years behind programme and lack of interest has led to some sections having to be retendered.

    The lack of transparency in major construction projects undermines the credibility of all significant rail projects and reduces the chances of East West Rail and Northern Powerhouse rail ever going anywhere.
     
  10. Nagora

    Nagora Member

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    Much as I am dubious about HS2, I long ago stopped believing anything printed in The Times on any subject, whether it matched my own pre-conceived opinion or not.

    Quite the opposite, in fact: anything like this is likely to have been planted/fed/leaked/fabricated for a purely political reason and only makes me wonder if perhaps the project might be doing okay after all.
     
  11. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    If the business need is that our current railway network is at a point where capacity will be severely compromised in the next 10+ years the cost shouldn't even be debated. If we need it, build it.
     
  12. Via Bank

    Via Bank Member

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    The trouble in this country is that we fail to understand the concept of 'induced demand.'

    This is why the Government routinely signs off billions towards schemes to widen motorways, build bypasses, etc. while sustainable modes of transport are endlessly debated, de-scoped, deferred, and ignored.

    We're in a climate emergency, and canning HS2 while freezing or cutting fuel duty would send a strong message that the Government wants you to help send us over the edge.
     
  13. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Oh it's about the "climate emergency" now is it??.. don't tell me, it was *always* about the "climate emergency"..
     
  14. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    I'd be quite happy to see any additional cost of HS2 construction met by an increase in fuel duty.

    ;)
     
  15. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    No, but it's relevant if we are to achieve modal switch.
     
  16. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Well if you accept that rail travel is less environmentally damaging than an equivalent number of passengers making the same journeys by road vehicles or by air, then yes.
     
  17. AlbertBeale

    AlbertBeale Member

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    Though my understanding was that HS2 was over-specified (in terms of speed and so on) to the extent that most of the environmental advantages of rail (over road) were nullified.
     
  18. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Only when the trains actually run at speeds over 300 or 320km/h. The alignment would have a very slightly larger landtake, but the smoother path would reduce the maintenance (and possibly energy) requirements of 300km/h running trains.
     
  19. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    A number of enthusiasts seem quite relaxed about the slippery slope that we are heading down here... if the Government decide that a project can and should be cancelled if it goes above budget then that creates a rather dangerous precedent for future projects.

    Sure - you might be perfectly relaxed about HS2 being cancelled because it's focussed on the three largest urban conurbations in the country and most enthusiasts are only really interested in (a) directly improving their own local line and (b) re-openings that follow some Victorian alignment... so I fully appreciate why HS2 is relatively unloved even amongst the enthusiast community... but if the Government are fine to scrap any project that is a combination of...

    • badly planned at first
    • goes over-budget
    • ends up seeing contacts re-tendered part way through a build that takes several years (especially given the instability in the construction industry, the problems experienced by a few groups of contractors)

    ...then that's a wind which is going to cause many rail schemes to be cancelled - apparently it's easy to criticise the way that HS2 has been delayed and gone over budget whilst ignoring the way that other (conventional) projects did - e.g. should we have cancelled GWML electrification, the Borders railway and the building of pretty much every new station? Because if rising prices and delays are acceptable reasons to swing the axe on any project then be careful what you wish for...
     
  20. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Very wise words.
     
  21. Cambrian359

    Cambrian359 Member

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    Personally I think the government are wanting to cancel hs2 regardless of what the report says so they can fund Borris recent promises for police, schools etc and will probably claim new technology will improve capacity on existing lines so there isn’t need to build hs2.
    just my thoughts,not saying I agree with any of the above but I genuinely think they have already decided it’s fate and the review is just nonsense.
     
  22. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    The money is not interchangeable in that way.
     
  23. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Using the table below it would appear that by tripling the energy use that we'd be slightly worse than going by car:


    HOWEVER, that's using data from (IIRC) 2007, as such the amount of carbon created by our power supply network has got significantly lower by using more wind and solar.

    Yes cars will have got greener too, but not at the same rate.

    However even StopHS2 only claim double energy use:
    http://stophs2.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Is-HS2-good-for-the-environment-v1.1.pdf

    In which case then it's still going to be better than driving, even before considering the greening of the power grid, especially given that cars are likely to get stuck in congestion which reduces fuel efficiency and isn't taken into account is the sorts of calculations used to create such graphics.
     
  24. moggie

    moggie Member

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    Who says so? You're forgetting who it is that thinks he's in charge these days. Cambrian has it spot on imho. Once the planned spend comes off the dft books the treasury is free to do what it wants. Not spend anything or spend it on Boris's UK economic survival. Either way Rail won't see any of it - see my other post regarding the so far unspent 'Pipeline' enhancement money.
     
  25. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    The main issue is that (even ignoring the fact that the spend is due to be repaid through extra taxes/ticket sales/lower government costs/etc.) is that once you've spent it at one point you can't spend it again later.

    Let's say you wish to spend 30bn on the NHS (it doesn't matter what it is, I'm just using that as an example).

    Over what timeframe is that spending over?

    1 year would be great, but you couldn't spend it on extra staff as they would only be employed for a year, you could use it to invest in buildings so that they are cheaper to run. However the benefits are likely to be limited.

    5 years then? Well that's no good as that's just before an election before the spending needs to be cut, so you'd better make it 8 to be sure that you are into the next parliament before it's a problem. However that's now less than £4bn a year in an NHS budget of ~£115bn a year, so that's not going to make a big difference. It also means that if you get elected next time you'd better have a funding source to keep those costs going.

    Then you have the problem that if you do cut HS2 when there really are no seats in a train which would have benefited from HS2 and an opposition party leader has to stand/sir in the floor?

    You'll want to be sure that's not going to be a potential problem otherwise you're going to have to answer some awkward questions. As such you are going to have to keep some to invest in the railways (so you can point at that), so what schemes can you pull out of the hat and what do they cost? (Hence the reason for £30bn above rather than £56bn as you'll need the rest for this).

    Chances are there's an idea of what's expected; probably scaled back to London to Birmingham or Crewe. Look we've "saved" all this money. Kick the can down the road until after the next election and then "realise" that you need to get to Manchester because of the growth and that you wouldn't be able to run any more trains/longer trains (except for a few around Birmingham). You then announce that it's going to reach Manchester "early" in 2030 rather than 2033.

    Depending on how hard it is to win seats in the East Midlands, you may have to include a bit of a spur towards there to provide faster journey times and some extra capacity to/from Birmingham. Probably with some promise to look at future investment to improve things further.

    Alternatively you look at the land you've already purchased and announce a new toll motorway along the route, reaching right into the heart of Birmingham and London, then build a large car park at Curzon Street & Euston with the land you've got there. Sell said car parks for a lot of money to recover some of the costs.
     
  26. JeffH16

    JeffH16 Member

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    So, are you proposing a single lane motorway from Birmingham to london as a replacement to HS2?
     
  27. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    You've misunderstood @The Ham I think. He's setting out the alternatives if politicians choose to dilute or reject HS2. They're very pro- so I think you've not quite got his cynical rhetoric.
     
  28. deltic

    deltic Established Member

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    We certainly should not be relaxed by the number of rail schemes that end up way over budget.

    Costing needs to be radically improved in the industry otherwise schemes will not be approved in the first place.

    Crossrail cost overruns and delays have certainly impacted on the willingness to proceed with Crossrail 2 while HS2 cost overruns are certainly not helping the case for transpennine improvements.

    Escalating costs for East West Rail has meant what should have been a no brainier for Oxford - Bedford section, being descoped and making very slow progress. The chances of ever getting to Cambridge are steadily diminishing.
     
  29. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    It will be interesting to know which bits of HS2 are *dramatically* over budget - and why.
    How it can be so incredibly wrong is ...er...incredible.
     
  30. Nagora

    Nagora Member

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    There's a parallel with the no-deal Brexit here: if you don't make the other side believe that you will walk away from the table then they will offer you nothing. If contractors don't believe that badly managed over-spent projects might get cancelled before they get their big pay-off, then all you will ever get is badly-managed over-spent projects. And, clearly, no one should be trying to find excuses to cancel such projects, but that doesn't mean you write blank cheques.
     
  31. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    More to the point:
    which costs have escalated?
    what basis were the original costs validated against?
    what are the overspend claims validated against now?​
    I suspect that none of the HS2 detractors are able to provide any supporting evidence, - mainly because the inflated figures are false. If any objectors here could come up with such evidence, their posts would be discussed in an adult way rather than having to repeat the facts every time an unsubstantiated anti HS2 rant is posted.
     

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