Philip Rutnam: ‘Early Pacer railbus replacement is poor value for money’
On 26 February 2015 DfT permanent secretary Philip Rutnam wrote to Patrick McLoughlin to seek a ministerial direction on the requirement to replace Pacer railbuses by 2020 (included in the Northern / TPE franchises invitation to tender).
Mr McLoughlin appeared to be quite happy to take responsibility.
It is widely understood that the HS2 economic case is based on a series of highly questionable assumptions, and has been massaged to the hilt. Alternative upgrade-based investments (such as developed variants of RP2) outperform HS2 on almost every criterion, and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee are sceptical about HS2’s prospects of delivering value for money.
So what is curious, is Mr Rutnam’s concern about being on the hook for the value of money of Pacer replacement, but apparently not for the value for money of the (vastly larger) high speed rail expenditure.