beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

What Patrick understands

with 2 comments

Official portrait of Patrick McLoughlin by Chris McAndrew (CC-BY-SA 3.0)On 30 January the High Speed Rail Phase 2a (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill was debated in the House of Commons, and given a second reading by 295 to 12 (meaning that most MPs did not vote).

This kind of debate tends to expose the limitations of MPs’ understanding of what they are talking about, and the Phase 2a Bill debate was no exception.

For some reason, former transport secretary Patrick ‘Spud’McLoughlin was dusted down and wound up to support the government’s case. He declared, “We have spent a fortune on upgrading the west coast main line from Birmingham up to Manchester, although I understand that we did not carry out any upgrade south of Rugby.”

[PMcL:] The upgrade was essential, and if the then Government had been a bit more forward thinking, they could have built a new high-speed line then rather than doing an upgrade.

The West Coast rail modernisation was renewals based (DfT)

The West Coast “upgrade” was a modernisation, focused on renewals (after years of increasing maintenance backlog), rather than enhancements. Most of the work was unavoidable. There was an upgrade aspect, but if renewals had been done like-for-like, rather than on a better-than-before basis, ~75% of the cost (and disruption) would have been incurred anyway.

The ‘higher speed’ junction constructed near Train Robber’s Bridge at Ledburn is just one of the ‘upgrades south of Rugby’ which PMcL “understands” didn’t happen.

Like the current transport secretary, he seems to have difficulties with facts.

[PMsL:] I think that HS1 was operating before Labour came into government.

BBC News, HS1 opening story, 14 Nov 2006

Written by beleben

February 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm

2 Responses

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  1. From academic papers presented to Parliament, when McLaughlin et al state that HS2 will rebalance the country’s economy, they can only be deliberately misleading Parliament. Where is the penalty?

    Mike

    February 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

  2. Why not extend new East west rail line to Northampton as its already going to Milton Keynes and resolve the so called capacity problem

    John

    February 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm


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