What projects were still awaiting Grayling's authorisation when he was relieved of his transport portfolio?

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LNW-GW Joint

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Castlefield!
Well, strictly the Piccadilly and Oxford Road station upgrades and associated signalling changes.
Allegedly, the TWAO is still on the desk of the SoS, ready to be signed.
Meanwhile, DfT attention is focussed on the other side of Piccadilly with the proposed HS2/NPR arrangements (terminus or through station).
 

gimmea50anyday

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Grayling should be made accountable for his decisions and made to see the mess his decisions have made. But no doubt some sort of political immunity will protect him. GBR can't come soon enough
 

Wyrleybart

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Grayling should be made accountable for his decisions and made to see the mess his decisions have made. But no doubt some sort of political immunity will protect him. GBR can't come soon enough
Do you really think rebranding the industry will make any difference to the decision making of the DfT for which Grayling was focus for a ahort while ? We are told that Grayling sold the steelwork for Chippenham-Bristol OLE for scrap. It couldn't possibly be his own personal decision though surely.
 

snowball

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The Piccadilly and Oxford Road project had been subject to a formal legal process (in that case a TWAO application) that would normally be expected to lead to a formal decision in a reasonable time, but had not done so. As far as I know, there was nothing else on Grayling's desk at the time of his replacement that fitted that description.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Grayling should be made accountable for his decisions and made to see the mess his decisions have made. But no doubt some sort of political immunity will protect him. GBR can't come soon enough
So you would cheerfully let Network Rail spend 2-3 times the budget set for the project, without any consequences?
As part of the "nationalisation" of Network Rail, which put its debt directly on the government's books, he made them meet the CP5 budget that had been set - and "tore up their credit card".
I don't think he had any other choice, at the time.
Having IEP bi-modes in his back pocket made the decision easier (or at least less damaging).
The consequence is that it's now drip-feed funding for enhancements from the DfT, not big-bang like CP5 and the fantasy "electric spine".
 

edwin_m

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So you would cheerfully let Network Rail spend 2-3 times the budget set for the project, without any consequences?
As part of the "nationalisation" of Network Rail, which put its debt directly on the government's books, he made them meet the CP5 budget that had been set - and "tore up their credit card".
I don't think he had any other choice, at the time.
Having IEP bi-modes in his back pocket made the decision easier (or at least less damaging).
The consequence is that it's now drip-feed funding for enhancements from the DfT, not big-bang like CP5 and the fantasy "electric spine".
The mistake was unconditionally cancelling the electrification schemes, or in the case of some such as Wigan-Bolton just not approving them. That way the suppliers just demobilise and the hard-won learning of the last decade just dissipates. What he should have said was something like "we will agree scheme X-Y but costs have to come in under Z before we agree anything else".
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The mistake was unconditionally cancelling the electrification schemes, or in the case of some such as Wigan-Bolton just not approving them. That way the suppliers just demobilise and the hard-won learning of the last decade just dissipates. What he should have said was something like "we will agree scheme X-Y but costs have to come in under Z before we agree anything else".
Yet under the Government logic that seems now to apply, they having found the Money Tree that the Labour Party often cited, if Grayling if still in office in the Transport role was now directed to follow their current "freedom of finance" directive, all such "on hold" projects would now be proceeding.

Grayling as a minister always brought to mind, as far as I am concerned, the part of the lyrics of that famous Gilbert and Sullivan song "When I was a lad"....
"I always voted at my party's call
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all"
 

davetheguard

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I don't think he had any other choice, at the time.

Agreed, Grayling probably didn't have an other choice at the time. However, scemes were officially only "paused", not cancelled. Several years on, we're still waiting for the DfT & Government to start making some sense on reducing carbon emissions.
 

JaJaWa

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The devolution of Southeastern Metro to London Overground had been signed for (as a partnership between Transport for London and Kent County Council), and Grayling cancelled it to spite Sadiq, against even the wishes of the local Conservative councillors.
 

Dr Hoo

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The mistake was unconditionally cancelling the electrification schemes, or in the case of some such as Wigan-Bolton just not approving them. That way the suppliers just demobilise and the hard-won learning of the last decade just dissipates. What he should have said was something like "we will agree scheme X-Y but costs have to come in under Z before we agree anything else".
Surely the outcome would still be the same.

At an overall level 'all' of the enhancement money had been spent on only part of the schemes envisaged in the Periodic Review and associated Delivery Plans. There was no money left to carry on with schemes that hadn't even been started (like Wigan-Bolton) and schemes in hand, notably GWML and MML, had to be truncated/wound down in the most orderly fashion possible. This was particularly the case where major re-modellings and re-signallings like Bristol Temple Meads and Leicester were needed first.

The supply chain would still de-mobilise. 'Z' would have to be a negative number.

People seem to forget that Chris Grayling actually increased the Statement of Funds Available for Control Period 6 to a new record level, ahead of inflation, before he left but sadly even this has left little for enhancements beyond 'completing' (or at least finishing the wind-down of) the schemes that had suffered from so much overspend and delay in CP5. Network Rail also needed even more money for basic maintenance and renewal as issues such as earthworks stability and climate change mitigation need more and more money to address.
 

Mollman

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The decisions made by the SoS are often only as good as the advice given. Grayling was being told that Castlefield Corridor work (especially extra platforms at Picc) were not needed as 'Digital Signaling' could deliver all the benefits at a fraction of the price (even though many in the industry know that is codswallop) whilst electrification was seen as pointless in many areas now we had bi-modes. Whilst Grayling has moved on many of the advisers are probably still at the DfT and telling Shapps the same thing.
 

Bald Rick

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The devolution of Southeastern Metro to London Overground had been signed for (as a partnership between Transport for London and Kent County Council), and Grayling cancelled it to spite Sadiq, against even the wishes of the local Conservative councillors.

I’m not sure it was...
 

Class 170101

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I’m not sure it was...

Wasn't this the one where Grayling wrote 'I won't devolve not because I don't trust you (to Boris Johnson) but because I don't want it to get in the hands of a future Labour Mayor' (or words to that effect)?
 

Bald Rick

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Wasn't this the one where Grayling wrote 'I won't devolve not because I don't trust you (to Boris Johnson) but because I don't want it to get in the hands of a future Labour Mayor' (or words to that effect)?

No, it was the one where he (allegedly) would have said something like “HOW MUCH!!!!”
 

snowball

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A few years ago Grayling was the obvious answer to the question "Who is the most useless person to have been minister of anything in recent decades?" I suggest that that distinction now belongs to Gavin Williamson.
 

Glenn1969

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Sunak apparently told Williamson he could only have a tenth of what he asked for for the catch up fund so the catch up czar has resigned in protest. So what hope does Shapps have of getting full funding for the IRP given that backdrop
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Sunak apparently told Williamson he could only have a tenth of what he asked for for the catch up fund so the catch up czar has resigned in protest. So what hope does Shapps have of getting full funding for the IRP given that backdrop
Well the £xx billion already committed for HS2 is not to be sniffed at.
There's also no sign that NPR will not happen.

Education spend of this type is also current, not capital.
It's more like the operational cost of the railway, not enhancement projects.
I can well believe there is similar pressure on railway current spend.
 

edwin_m

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A few years ago Grayling was the obvious answer to the question "Who is the most useless person to have been minister of anything in recent decades?" I suggest that that distinction now belongs to Gavin Williamson.
He faces some quite stiff competition there. Grayling was conspicuous as the ministers in previous governments were generally reasonably competent even if you didn't agree with their ideology. It's pretty hard finding anyone in the current administration who approaches the average competency of the May or Cameron administrations, even with Grayling dragging that average down.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Shapps does quite well in past comparisons of SoS. People forget about how bad Ruth Kelly and Geoff Hoon were (2007-8).
Rail policy is not just down to the SoS of course, his senior civil servants are key too.
Philip Rutnam was a high flyer at the Treasury before coming to Transport, then left for the Home Office and is now in ignominy after falling out big time with Priti Patel.
His time at Transport with Justine Greening and Patrick McLoughlin, which included taking financial control of Network Rail, was well regarded at the time for the huge investments they made during the Coalition in 2012 (HLOS/CP5), but most of which were ultimately undeliverable (for which the blame lies elsewhere).
Today's Permanent Secretary, Bernadette Kelly (ex Business Dept) is almost invisible, but is probably doing all the hard policy work on setting up GBR.
 
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Bald Rick

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People forget about how bad Ruth Kelly and Geoff Hoon were (2007-8).

Ahh the days of ‘Buff’ Hoon..

I wouldn’t say Philip Rutnam is in ignominy, he came out of it rather well I thought. Certainly better than PP. He’s a great guy too, and intelligent (as you would hope)

Bernadette Kelly was DG Rail before being Permanent Secretary. She’s really good too by all accounts. Very personable and a listener.
 

edwin_m

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Shapps does quite well in past comparisons of SoS. People forget about how bad Ruth Kelly and Geoff Hoon were (2007-8).
Rail policy is not just down to the SoS of course, his senior civil servants are key too.
Philip Rutnam was a high flyer at the Treasury before coming to Transport, then left for the Home Office and is now in ignominy after falling out big time with Priti Patel.
His time at Transport with Justine Greening and Patrick McLoughlin, which included taking financial control of Network Rail, was well regarded at the time for the huge investments they made during the Coalition in 2012 (HLOS/CP5), but most of which were ultimately undeliverable (for which the blame lies elsewhere).
Today's Permanent Secretary, Bernadette Kelly (ex Business Dept) is almost invisible, but is probably doing all the hard policy work on setting up GBR.
Where?

Shapps being good in comparison with previous SoSfT is another low bar.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Where?
Shapps being good in comparison with previous SoSfT is another low bar.
Most of the cash ended up in the foundations and masts of the overengineered GW scheme, and in the repeated attempts to put wires up around Bolton.
The Select Committee report shows NR spend of 2.5-3 times the original estimates on both schemes.
The other electrifications were cancelled when Grayling refused to let NR keep on spending regardless.
Shapps is good in public, if not on this forum, and obviously has the ear of the PM - all necessary for a good rail outcome.
Not so sure about his standing with the Treasury, with the implosion of railway finances.
 
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