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Archive for December 2017

Whilst skiing in Austria

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The Times, Andrew Adonis quits-tirade, 30 Dec 2017

Adonis resignation letter, version posted on The Guardian website, 29 Dec 2017

Adonis resignation letter, version posted on Guido Fawkes website

Owen Jones, Medium, 'Whilst skiing in Austria', 31 Dec 2017

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Written by beleben

December 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Politics, Railways

Viability of Midland Main Line electrification, part three

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On 21 December, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee published correspondence relating to the government’s cancellation of rail electrification schemes, especially the Midland Main Line (MML) north of Kettering.

Correspondence relating to the government's cancellation of rail electrification schemes, published 21 Dec 2017

In her letter dated 2 November 2017, transport select committee ‘chair’ Lilian Greenwood asked transport secretary Chris Grayling ‘what had changed between September 2016 and July 2017 such that the initial central case for MML electrification was no longer valid’.

'Transport Select Committee Chair to SoS for Transport letter re rail electrification', 02 Nov 2017, page 1

'Transport Select Committee Chair to SoS for Transport letter re rail electrification, 02 Nov 2017', page 2

The answer, of course, is that nothing (of any substance) had changed. Because of the government’s intention to build (and transfer West Riding and D2N2 traffic to) HS2, there was no case for MML electrification in September 2016. Or September 2015. Or September 2014 (etc).

The Beleben blogpost ‘Viability of Midland Main Line electrification part two’ of 13 September, 2016 — which stated, “It is difficult to see how Midland electrification, in its present form, could ever be value for money. It might make sense if it were designed to cater for railfreight, and future passenger journeys from the West Riding and D2N2 to London. The government’s current intention is for such journeys to be transferred to the eastern leg of HS2” — pre-dates the Atkins appraisal mentioned by Lilian Greenwood.

And in the post ‘Plummeting from infinity’ (13 November 2017), the Beleben blog exposed how, on 7 November 2016, MPs had debated MML electrification ‘in the dark’.

'Letter from Secretary of State for Transport to Transport Select Committee Chair re rail electrification', 29 Nov 2017, page 1

'Letter from Secretary of State for Transport to Transport Select Committee Chair re rail electrification', 29 Nov 2017, page 2

Written by beleben

December 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics, Railways

A culture of failing

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The House of Commons public accounts committee is concerned “that there appears to be a culture within HS2 Ltd of failing to provide full and accurate information to those responsible for holding it to account“, and the company “does not have in place the basic controls needed to protect public money“.

Simon Kirby, former HS2 CEO Starry surprise HS2 chairman David Higgins

When asked to identify the three top risks facing the HS2 programme, the Department for Transport was unable to do so, explaining that it ‘primarily relied on HS2 Ltd to identify and deal with risks’.

House of Commons public accounts committee, HS2 unauthorised redundancy payments a shocking waste of public money, 15 Dec 2017

 

Written by beleben

December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

Adonis and the spotlight

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Private Eye, Adonis hypocrisy, 13 Dec 2017 (via twitter, @AQCouncillor)

(Private Eye)

Written by beleben

December 14, 2017 at 9:53 am

Posted in HS2

Cheshire connectivity spin meets reality

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Improving journey times to the ‘Cheshire science corridor’ opens up ‘new possibilities for collaboration and innovation’, according to HS2 Ltd.

twitter, @HS2ltd, 'Improving journey times to the Cheshire science corridor'

But does HS2, or even ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’, really improve journey times to the ‘Cheshire science corridor’? And if so, how?

ITV News Granada, northern powerhouse transport let-down, Aug 2017

Written by beleben

December 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Get trucks off rail, part two

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Part one

An extract from the National Infrastructure Commission’s “Congestion, Capacity, Carbon, Priorities for national infrastructure“.

National Infrastructure Commission, 'priorities for national infrastructure', extract, 2017-png

Andrew Adonis, John Armitt, and Bridget Rosewell (of the National Infrastructure Commission)

Written by beleben

December 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Politics, Railways

HS2 and ‘UK suppliers’

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Ninety-eight per cent of the current HS2 ‘Tier 1’ supply chain are ‘UK suppliers’, according to transport minister Paul Maynard.

Paul Maynard 'answers' a question about the HS2 'tier 1' supply chain, 07 Dec 2017 (Hansard)

But what is a ‘UK supplier’?

Apparently, all it means is, ‘a supplier, whose registered address has a British postcode’.

Written by beleben

December 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics