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die belebende Bedenkung

Plus-que-imparfait, part three

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HS2 Plus Higgins, The Guardian, 17 March 2014In his HS2 Plus report, David Higgins claimed that “a realistic, robust timeline is key to making the right decisions, reducing uncertainty and controlling costs”. He advocated bringing forward completion of HS2 phase two.

Presumably, Mr Higgins’ preference for a ‘more comprehensive redevelopment of London Euston’ on a ‘level deck design’ would be more complex (and disruptive) than the annexe concept adopted following the scrapping — in April 2013 — of previous plans for a ground-up reconstruction.

Not disclosed, and probably unknown, is the likelihood of a ‘more comprehensive’ Euston station development being deliverable by December 2026. Despite possible cash inflows from real estate development, it seems likely that its net cost to the public purse would be higher.

Mr Higgins also favoured the provision of a full high speed station at Crewe, in place of the Consultation idea of HS2 captive trains passing under the current station in a tunnel without stopping. But no information was forthcoming on the additional costs of a HS2 ‘hub’ at Crewe.

All in all, evidence to support the Higgins proposals reducing HS2 costs (or cost uncertainty) is difficult to find.

HS2 Ltd’s previous documentation stated that bringing forward HS2 delivery would reduce the benefit-cost ratio. The present value of costs would increase.

Effect of earlier delivery of HS2 on the benefit cost ratio (HS2 Ltd, previous work)

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Written by beleben

March 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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