Too large and expensive to be useful
Instructions designed to bring down the costs of HS2 and increase transparency were rejected by the House of Lords yesterday, despite a number of peers expressing misgivings about the scheme, RTM Magazine reported.
[HS2 efficiency amendment fails to gain backing of Lords, RTM, 6 May 2016]
The instruction was proposed as the House of Lords named their committee to consider the bill, chaired by crossbench peer Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe.
[…] Lord Laming, the House of Lords’ chairman of committees, replied that the committee could not appoint a technical expert because their evidence would have to be given in secret, that it is standard practice for House of Lords’ committees to be given discretion on whether to publish evidence, and that “it would not be appropriate” to instruct the committee to focus particularly on savings.
The House of Lords decided not to implement the recommendations.
[…] The rest of the HS2 committee are:
* Lord Brabazon of Tara (Conservative)
* Lord Freeman (Conservative)
* Lord Jones of Cheltenham (Liberal Democrat)
* Baroness O’Cathain (Conservative)
* Lord Plant of Highfield (Labour)
* Lord Young of Norwood Green (Labour)
The presence of the current Lord Brabazon of Tara on the HS2 committee seems entirely appropriate, given that in the second world war, the Brabazon Committee recommended the production of an airliner, the Bristol Brabazon, which turned out to be a white elephant.
The prototype was completed and flown in 1949, only to prove a commercial failure when airlines felt the airliner was too large and expensive to be useful. In the end, only the single prototype was flown; it was broken up in 1953 for scrap, along with the uncompleted turboprop-powered Brabazon I Mk II.