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The mother of all punts

with 5 comments

House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee meeting

The Economic Affairs Committee meeting, 14 October 2014

On the afternoon of 14 October, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee held an ‘expert witness’ session on the effects of HS2.

Prof Peter Mackie

Emeritus Professor Peter Mackie (ITS Leeds)

Committee Room 1
Meeting started at 3.32pm. Ended at 5.28pm
Economic Case for HS2

i. Professor Peter Mackie, Emeritus Professor, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds and Professor Roger Vickerman, Professor of European Economics, University of Kent

ii. Professor Tony Venables, BP Professor of Economics, University of Oxford and Professor Dan Graham, Professor of Statistical Modelling and Research Director of the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre, Imperial College

Professor Dan Graham

Professor Dan Graham (Imperial College)

Tweet by Committee chairman The Lord Hollick: HS2 is 'some punt'

Written by beleben

October 16, 2014 at 11:24 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

5 Responses

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  1. More “expert opinion” on Tuesday:-

    21 October 2014
    3:30 pm
    Subject: Economic Case for HS2
    Witness(es): (at 3.35pm) evidence will be heard from Bridget Rosewell, Volterra Consultants; Lewis Atter, KPMG; and Jim Steer, Davis Gleave Consultants and (at approximately 4.30pm) from Professor Stephen Glaister.
    Location: Room 1, Palace of Westminster


    October 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

  2. I found the sessions disappointing. Their Lordships don’t appear to have done the necessary homework, working through the numbers for themselves, while the supposed “independent” academics were very defensive, possibly mindful of their funding.
    For example:
    a) Their Lordships didn’t ask how some can derive a Benefit/Cost ratio of 2 while others get 0.5.
    b) How much of employees’ travelling time is actually paid (a fundamental assumption). In my experience, very little, with the employee travelling in their own time. Empirical evidence states that HSR saves on overnight business stops, but then this was also a contribution to the economy.


    October 16, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    • If so many employees get to their place of work super-early every day and finish late because of presentee-ism, the hourly rate they ‘enjoy’ is diluted. Ditto when they travel out of contractual hours to an appointment on the employer’s behalf. Few of them will be working beyond-contract hours voluntarily or on paid overtime: they want to keep their jobs and work on. Only a minority will be self-employed or paid by sales generated or younger pensioners out for the day. And quite a few employers will not re-imburse the extra cost of premium tickets. So, how do you define the HSR bonus and who would actually get its benefit?

      Lord Hollick’s HS2 Committee has published the submissions to it at:

      Michael Wand

      October 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

      • Michael – How different is your proposal to the HSUK one ? thx


        October 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

      • I’m concerned that all the journey time savings (whether station-station or door-door, another issue) are assumed to be chargeable to business. Commuting is not. Trips requiring inter-city rail journeys are likely to be padded to occupy the day and will not begin & end at the office. Where journey time savings are productive is where multiple trips are made in one day, such as travelling salesmen, repairmen, delivery men. But these journeys are short & drivable. To boost the economy, reduce journey times within regions, not between regions.


        October 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

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