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Archive for the ‘HS2’ Category

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

 

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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

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

A warning from Germany

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In February 2013, the Beleben blog noted that HS2 has “every chance of becoming Britain’s Stuttgart 21, but on a much bigger scale“.

IRJ, Stuttgart 21 facing three year delay and EUR 1bn cost overrun

Written by beleben

December 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Germany, HS2, Politics

HS2 ‘is not controlled by Whitehall’

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“Ownership of HS2 is very much controlled by the regions, it’s no longer a Whitehall-dominated or controlled project”, according to HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins (sound recording published on 24 November on the Signal Radio website, statement at 02:55 into the mp3).

HS2 is no longer a Whitehall-dominated or controlled project, according to David Higgins (24 Nov 2017)

Written by beleben

December 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Bombast and the bailout

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Christmas in November

Christmas came early for Stagecoach and Virgin on 29 November, when the Department for Transport announced secretary of state Chris Grayling’s ‘new strategic vision‘ for railways.

gov.uk, strategic vision for rail, 29 Nov 2017

The announcement was bundled with a government bailout for (Stagecoach) Virgin Trains East Coast, the operator of nearly all long distance services out of Kings Cross since 2015.

Investment bank Liberum believes the risk of Stagecoach defaulting on the franchise has been ‘removed’ – perhaps not surprisingly, given that inconvenient back-loaded payment obligations which won VTEC the franchise competition seem to have been ‘disappeared’. In GB rail, ‘competition for the market’ seems to amount to which bidder has the rosiest spectacles, or the best cock and bull story.

East Coast bailout story in the Guardian, 29 Nov 2017

ITV News at 6.30 pm did not mention the bailout, and mainstream media coverage was distracted by the guff about ‘reversing Beeching’.

Daily Express 'reversing Beeching' twaddle, 29 November 2017

Stagecoach East Coast bailout story, Financial Times 29 Nov 2017

Written by beleben

November 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm