die belebende Bedenkung

With Sir David Higgins in charge

with 4 comments

The Guardian's 4 April 2012 story about the price of the London Olympics

[“HS2 boss ‘must lower costs’ – David Cameron”, BBC News, 4 Nov 2013,]

“Britain has shown it can build great infrastructure like HS1 or the Olympics on time and on budget. And with Sir David Higgins in charge – the man who built the Olympics – we will do that for the north-south line too,” [prime minister David Cameron] will say.

Under David Higgins, Network Rail’s debt ballooned to £30 billion.

HS1 was not really built ‘on time and on budget’.

And while the 2012 Olympics were ‘delivered’ on time, they certainly weren’t on budget.


Written by beleben

November 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. “Network Rail’s debt ballooned to £30 billion”

    That’s down to the way that Network Rail is ‘funded’ by government, it’s got bugger all to do with David Higgins as you should know.


    November 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    • I suppose the ballooning of HS2 cost to £50 billion is also ‘down’ to the way it is ‘funded’ by government.

      David Higgins was supposedly hired to ‘get a grip’ on costs, but he wasn’t able to, at Network Rail.


      November 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  2. An article in the Independent on 9th Feb 2013 refers to the appointment of Patrick O’Connell to HS2 Ltd as “programme and strategy boss”. Apparently his track record at Serco and in an abortive NHS IT project which wasted £billions, suggests that he is well qualified to help HS2 Ltd waste lots more public money.

    I also note that Lewis Atter of KPMG, who put on a brave performance defending his company’s guesstimates of the economic benefits of HS2 at the Treasury Select Committee last November, is also a member of HS2 Ltd’s Economic Advisory Panel; a supposed External Challenge Group. No bias there then. In an article in the Sunday Times in October 2004, Atter was described as a Treasury star who had become a partner in KPMG’s corporate finance team specialising in transport. Apparently prior to this he was head of the Treasury’s transport team and played a crucial role in the privatisation of the London Tube, the creation of Network Rail and the financing and construction of the Channel tunnel high-speed rail link. Well the Privatisation of the London Tube went down the tube. Network Rail, that not-for-profit company (and cleary with a good track record of maintaining our railway infrastructure at vast cost), is now in the public sector. The Channel Tunnel Rail link required a multi £billion government bailout. With this form, Atter obviously has all the attributes needed to advise HS2 Ltd on how to waste lots more public money.


    February 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm

  3. […] David Higgins, “the man who delivered the London Olympics on time and on budget“, visited Leeds with the board of HS2 Ltd and told an audience of business and civic leaders […]

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