beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Archive for December 2020

The meaning of Doug

leave a comment »

In September 2013, the Independent published an interview with HS2 Ltd’s then-chairman Douglas Oakervee in which he claimed, “It would be catastrophic for the UK actually [if HS2 were cancelled]. What it is going to mean is that the services on the West Coast Mainline initially and East Coast Mainline will rapidly deteriorate. We estimate on the mainline up to Birmingham that for every 10 people seated there will be 10 standing, and you get the same pattern having developed to Manchester by the mid-2020s or 2030.

In September 2013, the Independent published an interview with HS2 Ltd's then-chairman Douglas Oakervee

Having been stood down and replaced by David Higgins as HS2 chairman, Mr Oakervee became ‘newsworthy’ again in 2019 when he was selected to chair prime minister Boris Johnson’s ‘independent’ review of the project. A freedom of information request was submitted to HS2 Ltd in October of that year, asking about Mr Oakervee’s 2013 claim that (without HS2), ‘on the mainline up to Birmingham that for every 10 people seated there will be 10 standing, and you get the same pattern having developed to Manchester by the mid-2020s or 2030’.

HS2 Ltd, response to freedom of information request, 2019
HS2 Ltd, response to freedom of information request, 2019
HS2 Ltd, response to freedom of information request, 2019

As can be seen, HS2 Ltd’s response to that FoI request stated they held no information supporting Mr Oakervee’s claim (and no information about their claim that HS2 would allow trains on the West Coast Main Line to run “much closer together”).

Written by beleben

December 3, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Posted in HS2

Significantly greater weakness

leave a comment »

Earlier this year, “MPs in Leeds City Region” were emphasising that the eastern leg of the HS2 railway had a ‘very high’ benefit cost ratio, ‘most significantly, greater than that of the Western leg’.

tweet from @richard_rail about the benefit cost ratio of the eastern leg of HS2, 29 May 2020

But according to Andrew Adonis, speaking in the House of Lords on 30 November 2020, the HS2 eastern leg has the “weakest” of the benefit cost ratios.

[Andrew Adonis | House of Lords | High Speed Rail (West Midlands–Crewe) Bill | Volume 808: debated on Monday 30 November 2020]

“[…] The situation, which is well known in the Department for Transport and among those with whom I speak, is as follows. Dominic Cummings tried to cancel HS2. To be blunt, he does not much like Governments of any form doing big projects, but he certainly does not like big state projects of this kind. He wrestled very hard with the Prime Minister after the last election to get him to cancel HS2 outright. The Prime Minister believes in big infrastructure projects. When I was Transport Secretary, I had big discussions with him. There are many things he has no fixed belief on, but he has been prepared to commit to big transport infrastructure projects that will connect the country. He was persuaded of the case for HS2, and when the decision had to be made in February about going ahead with the first phase of HS2, from London to Birmingham, he gave that commitment. What then happened was that Dominic Cummings moved on to the eastern leg, because the weakest of the BCRs — benefit to cost ratios — is for the eastern leg. The reason the weakest BCR is for the eastern leg is very straightforward: the cities served in the east of the country are smaller than those in the west. But we are supposed to be about levelling up. That is the whole philosophy of the Government. So the fact that the BCRs are lower for the east is not a reason for not proceeding with HS2 East; it is an essential reason for proceeding.” […]

Written by beleben

December 2, 2020 at 4:32 pm