‘Not necessarily borne out’
Simon Kirby — who became the nation’s highest paid civil servant when he was appointed chief executive of HS2 Ltd last year on a £750,000 a year salary — argues that the “perception that [overseas high speed rail networks] are lower cost” is not necessarily borne out (wrote the FT’s Gill Plimmer).
[“Battle over HS2 ‘gravy’ train intensifies”, Financial Times, 1 Feb 2015, (paywall)]
[…] Nevertheless, he has — at the Treasury’s behest — commissioned a year-long study that will compare the costs of high-speed internationally and look at lessons to be drawn.
“Not necessarily borne out”? Mr Kirby must believe the public were ‘borne’ yesterday.
The FT story also included a couple of diagrams which surely encapsulate the absurdity of the entire HS2 project (reproduced below).
As can be seen, Manchester — London accounted for about 0.2% of the total number of journeys made on GB national rail in 2013. For Leeds, Sheffield, etc, the volumes are even smaller. The idea that spending £50,000,000,000 on one very small part of the travel market could ‘rebalance the economy’, or address a so-called ‘capacity crunch’, is too silly for words.