Just to be ‘unclear’ about HS2 demand and usage
Publishing a draft operating timetable for HS2 would build up a set of debates, expectations and controversies “long before the likely pattern of demand and usage is clear”, according to HS2 Ltd director Andrew Adonis.
[High Speed Rail (London–West Midlands) Bill, Lords Grand Committee, 12 January 2017]
[Andrew Adonis:] It is not clear to me why my noble friend [Lord Berkeley] thinks that publishing a draft timetable nine years before the line opens is a good idea. This would build up a whole set of debates, expectations and controversies long before the likely pattern of demand and usage is clear. Was there some particular reason why he was so keen that this work should be done so far in advance of the opening of HS2?
But he went on to claim, “just to be clear”, that “the illustrative timetables have been published already and, indeed, have been a part of the business case. What my noble friend’s amendment refers to is a comprehensive and detailed working timetable, which, as I say, will greatly build up the expectations of those who will benefit and lead to big and controversial campaigns by those who will not.”
As usual, Andrew Adonis was talking nonsense. HS2 Ltd has only published ‘service patterns’, which are far less detailed than any sort of timetable.
If HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport can publish ‘service patterns’ for HS2 and West Coast Main Line ‘modelling’, was there some particular reason they are unable to produce corresponding working timetables?
The most likely explanation is that publishing such timetables would further expose the limitations and impracticalities of HS2, and the associated post-2026 ‘planning’. Apparently, the government’s plan is to make the whole thing someone else’s problem, by having the future ‘West Coast Partnership’ responsible for HS2 and WCML timetable design.