die belebende Bedenkung

What a plucking nightmare

with 4 comments

Boris Johnson’s ruinous High Speed Two rail project makes the 2021 NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan look like a masterstroke of co-ordinated strategic planning. Now HS2 is ‘set to be radically scaled back’ – with ministers fearing the final bill could go much higher than £100 billion – as the Treasury attempts to control public spending that has ballooned during the Covid crisis (the Financial Times reported).

[…] “Cutting the eastern leg of HS2 might save £40 bn but to be honest numbers are just being plucked out of the air at the moment,” said one senior government official briefed on tense negotiations between [transport secretary Grant] Shapps and the Treasury.

[….] The Treasury, which has been forced to bail out the rail industry during the Covid pandemic, believes the “working from home” revolution has further weakened the case for expensive new rail projects.

[…] Lord Amyas Morse, former head of the National Audit Office, said of HS2: “It started as an incoherent decision and it has been incoherent in its execution as well.”’

[UK ministers set to cut back HS2 eastern route’ | George Parker and Andy Bounds, Financial Times,  AUGUST 25 2021]

Written by beleben

August 26, 2021 at 8:59 am

Posted in HS2

4 Responses

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  1. Just track the ticking bombs that are on the existing road & rail infrastructure and reflect on lessons not learned from Hatfield, and Ronan Point that are either returned or returning to roost

    Its just 3 years since the Genoa viaduct collapse, and in Glasgow the M8 viaduct is looking as bad as that and other (still – just – standing) structures on the privately operated autostrada. Oh the irony that HE rushes to infill sound old rail bridges, whilst much younger, hastily delivered, structures on the busy motorway networks

    The 4-6 Tons of masonry that fell on to the platform at Northwich are proving to be the tip of an iceberg where the OPAS records of the asset condition, and predicted life, are being exposed as totally adrift from reality, and structures used by the public in a parlous state, inspected (often from a distance) by a different sub contractor every 5 years, with a box ticking system, and the works instructed (for the TOC to deliver) having no closed loop to confirm delivery. Practically a reprise of the Staines Moor Lane debacle. A death because the HMRI instruction to deal with slippery timber crossings was not actioned in 1996 by Railtrack, and in 2008 someone slipped, fell and was unable to get clear before the train ran over them.

    The dangerous state of some station stairs, platforms, and buildings, promises an impact on the scale of Hatfield – a costly new line 10 years away if you’re lucky & receding fast in scope and delivery dates, against keeping what we need right now – especially with the inefficiency of road haulage (in driver and vehicle use) now in the spotlight we’ll the existing railway on more than a wing and a prayer.

    PS do keep e-mailing direct – there’s a nice greenwash story on the horizon


    August 26, 2021 at 9:51 am

  2. It’s hardly “Boris Johnson’s project”. He inherited it from his predecessors.


    August 28, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    • And he had it reviewed and continued (Oakervee report).


      August 31, 2021 at 9:02 am

      • For comparison, the Transport for London cycle hire scheme, colloquially known as ‘Boris Bikes’, was set up by Ken Livingstone. Boris Johnson has a lot more to do with HS2, since he made the key decisions, commissioning the fake Oakervee review, and then giving the go-ahead on 11 February 2020.


        August 31, 2021 at 9:49 am

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