Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 124 total)
  • HS2 spiralling costs
  • Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    Never mind the £ cost, the environmental cost is huge

    What’s the environmental cost of NOT doing it? More driving, more flying (so more roads, bigger airports)… I’m fairly close to some aspects of HS2 but that’s getting beyond my area of knowledge. Ultimately, whatever is built is going to have an environmenatal cost to it somewhere so it’s finding the combination of efficiency, cost and impact that works best.

    Why would that affect insurance and the need to build to a quality standard, which is why was suggested as the reason for the costs in the UK?

    The quality standard remains the same but in France, China etc where they have thousands of acres of basically empty land (or at least, land used for non-residential reasons), you can just draw a straight line on a map and not really affect too many people by chucking a railway line down it. The UK is far smaller, has a far greater population density and so you end up having to build bridges, tunnels, embankments and buy up loads of housing in order to fit your straight line in. HS rail doesn’t like corners. Then there’s the worries from homeowners along the route about things like subsidence, noise etc so that has to be mitigated, insured against or whatever other measures you take.

    Digging a ditch in the Chilterns is harder than building a tunnel through the Alps?

    They pose their own challenges. At least in an Alp, you don’t really have to move homeowners or pay compensation. Rock boring, while labour intensive is also relatively straightforward.
    Digging a ditch in the Chilterns is invariably going to bring up the arguments I mentioned about subsidence, noise, pollution, habitat loss – you’re almost certainly going to find a family of newts or bats that need moving, maybe some sort of mediaeval burial site that needs excavating and all that adds to the cost. Also, you’re probably digging through layers of chalk, clay, flint and a water table rather than some nice consistent rock. And there’s too many people around to just build it above ground as they might do elsewhere.

    @thisisnotaspoon sums it up well – a lot of the cost is due to political posturing and the inability of Government to manage anything bigger than a office. Every time it gets reviewed and amended, the contracts change and the contractors (who have been promised £x billion to build y) are suddenly told they’ll be getting half that and please could they actually build z. So they then want compensation, the supply chain needs to change, the delivery is put back so everyone involved has incurred costs and they need paying – regardless of what is actually delivered.

    The scheme itself is a good idea and is badly needed to begin to close the North/South divide, unlock a bit more economic growth up North, potentially even prevent things like Heathrow expansion (because if you can land at Birmingham and be in London in 40 minutes, that’s like landing at Heathrow and getting the tube, it’s the same timeframe).
    However the management of it by successive Governments over the last decade leaves a lot to be desired.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    because if you can land at Birmingham and be in London in 40 minutes, that’s like landing at Heathrow and getting the tube, it’s the same timeframe.

    the only thing that demonstrates is how little the scheme is going to benefit 99% of the population!!

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    I thought it got Londoners to Birmingham as well?

    Erm, who wants to go to Birmingham?

    I wonder what the BBC and C4 think about the cancellation of the extensions to Leeds and Madchester…

    Same old vanity project the conservative government comes up with. Headlines read “wizz-bang-whalllop, it’ll be brilliant, like beans they’re brilliant”

    In reality its all wasted money on a scheme nobody wants nor needs.

    Spend the £106bn on replacing the aged rolling stock and replace the crumbling infrastructure, the electrify the East Coast Mainline (which the conservative government cancelled… but you knew that didn’t you)

    Soemone voted them in, someone’s to blame.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    Spend the £106bn on replacing the aged rolling stock and replace the crumbling infrastructure, the electrify the East Coast Mainline (which the conservative government cancelled… but you knew that didn’t you)

    Thanks to the franchising system, that’s not really in the Government’s hands to fix. They can sort parts of it (like electrification which is the responsibility of Network Rail, a non-departmental public body). However the disruption to do all that would be huge:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hs2-network-rail-boris-johnson-train-updgrade-network-travel-disruption-a9292776.html

    Problem is that because Government has failed to invest in infrastructure sufficiently over the last 15-20 years, the Train Operating Companies find it difficult to invest in new stock – what’s the point in investing millions in 100mph electric trains if the network is only capable of handling diesels at 60mph? And now that backlog has come back to bite them. Old trains, running on old networks. You can’t upgrade the trains without new tracks. You can’t upgrade the tracks without causing massive disruption. Doing a rolling programme over 15 years would have been OK (mostly), but trying to do it all in a few years requires upheaval on an industrial scale. And the public don’t want that.

    And you get none of the benefits of quicker journeys or more capacity.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Erm, who wants to go to Birmingham?

    Who wants to go to london, serious question, business rents are about 8x higher, as are rates, wages are higher, etc. Hence the idea is you get a few companies to move out by giving somewhere to go thats within a sensible journey time of their existing clients. Basicly you want Birmingham to be a bigger version of Reading.

    Premier Icon ajaj
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    Who wants to go to london

    I think this is part of the problem, very few people want to go to Euston, Curzon St or Clay Cross; they want from where they live to where they work or where their Mum lives. Taking 30 minutes off the travel time to Birmingham doesn’t help me if it takes 90 minutes to get to Euston and then I have to walk from New Street to Digbeth, and since I normally wouldn’t be going from Euston anyway I don’t ease congestion on the WCML. “Me” in this instance is pretty much the entire country west of Hyde Park or north of Hemel Hempstead.

    If it stopped places en route then it’d be slower but actually useful for reducing congestion on the network and getting people out of cars. And it wouldn’t need to go through nature reserves, ancient woodlands and SSSIs. And would be massively cheaper if those are the reasons why it’s so expensive.

    And you wouldn’t have the scenario when the London to somewhere-near-Sheffield-but-not-Sheffield service breaks down at Birmingham Airport leaving everyone with a very, very expensive taxi ride.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
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    On most big projects, part of the ‘spiralling costs’ are a result of the original estimates being fudged to make them politically acceptable. As discussed above, other increases occur because those in control keep changing their minds, sometimes because they think they can get back to the original estimate by cutting corners – which very rarely works.

    aP
    Member

    GWEP has cost over £3.1bn so far. Not including cancelling the new trains and replacing them with bi-mode.
    Every lesson learnt is that upgrade existing, originally 19th century, infrastructure is massively expensive and hugely time consuming.

    Premier Icon bigjim
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    they’ll can it once all the tory party donors associated companies have made enough 😉

    mindmap3
    Member

    In sone ways I’m torn, I work for a company working on HS2 and infrastructure is seen to be the area o backfill the reduction in retail and commercial work, however….

    The village that I live in will be greatly affected by the line north of Birmingham, even more so now that they’ve added a maintenance depot that wasn’t in the original plans. They could move it a mile or so away and not impact upon people’s homes but they’ve decided that the edge of our village is the best bit. They were bloody vague when asked about mitigation for light and noise pollution in the consultation.

    The whole thing seems like one giant bit of a mess which will never deliver the promised service.

    project
    Member

    Nobody has said what the fares will be like to fund this new trainset, virgin and now avanti have high fares and no guarantee of a seat, onmost trains , seat reservations not working or no staff to enforce them.

    Also how many typical working people will it help, ok fora ajunt down to london or Birmingham , but not for daily commuting due to the cost and time, invest money locally in a new company to tun Northern fail, and avanti, put longer trains on the tracks at better timings, rebuild Piccadilly in Manchester and Crewe etc, reopen manchester to sheffield through Woodhead.

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Project – and upgrade the lines so trains can run faster ( those trans pennine lines and similar)

    Yes HS2 would be good – but it is not the best use of limited money. But then as we know London transport MUST be subsidised by the rest of the country. Its only London public transport that matters to Westminster politicians

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    And while we are at it – dual the west highland line and reinstate one of the links between it and the east coast line!

    CountZero
    Member

    but if government invested in the technology and policy to avoid this many people having to travel for business (e.g. subsidising video conferencing technology, building local business ‘hubs’ were workers can choose to work remotely if it can be proven they don’t *need* to be in office etc.) would we actually need the new rail infrastructure? How much of it is required just to support the idiotic system of all of us rushing to city centres for approximately exactly the same time of day, every day?

    I keep seeing this stuff about workers not needing to be in offices, working remotely, blah blah blah…
    Exactly how many people out of the UK’s working population actually do the sort of jobs which involves sitting in a cubicle staring at a screen with no interaction with other workers?
    I don’t know a single person who does a job like that, I’ve never done a job like that, and it’s probably a pretty safe bet that those sort of jobs are a small minority of the UK workforce.
    Most jobs require people to have physical interaction with other people, in retail, engineering, manufacturing, etc, if only to be able to bounce some ideas around, thrash out a troublesome issue, or whatever; things that cannot be done via a screen and internet connection.
    Go to any city centre, what are the things you see around you? Shops, with offices around and between. Those shops need customers, the customers are often the office workers taking breaks or before and after work – it’s a symbiotic relationship, and I’m pretty certain that for most people, the thought of working from home would be unappealing, because of the lack of human interaction during the day.
    Having said that, I’m sure most people who commute would much rather it be a very short commute, not one of a couple of hours.
    Which is what mine would be via public transport, rather than the 35-45 minutes it takes by car…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Also how many typical working people will it help, ok fora ajunt down to london or Birmingham

    A huge number?

    Midweek the trains are over capacity pretty much from the first one till the last.

    tjagain

    But then as we know London transport MUST be subsidised by the rest of the country.

    Ermmmmmmm, TJ, youre talking absolute bolloks there and you know it.

    London gets more investment (which isnt necessarily a good thing) but thats not a subsidy, thats just a result of following the logic to its conclusion that infrastructure is put in place where it makes the biggest returns rather than benefiting the most people. By any measure London subsidised the rest of the UK, including Scotland.

    mindmap3
    Member

    Exactly how many people out of the UK’s working population actually do the sort of jobs which involves sitting in a cubicle staring at a screen with no interaction with other workers?

    I know lots of people who work from home. I work from home two or three days a week as QS. It suits me; saves me my commute, means I can take / collect the little chap from school etc. If I have an issue I need to discuss, I have this amazing thing called a phone. It enables me to talk to colleagues etc really easily.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    following the logic

    Only if your logic is a continued over investment and growth in the SE of England for the next few decades and that somehow London’s wealth is more important than wealth elsewhere.

    Imo it’s much more sensible to have focused and invested the money that HS2 is using across the North of England, to develop a future transport system that supports employment growth, regeneration and tempts more business away from SE.

    Marin
    Member

    I was feeling quite happy till I read all this and drove past our “new” hospital still closed after 4 years or so and £50 million over budget. Pigs, snouts,troff etc.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
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    Loving the characteristic polarised arguments. The reality is probably that HS2 would do some of what it claims, but equally fail to deliver all the benefits it’s supposed to, most notably to local commuter services in the north.

    Arguably we should be asking questions about what metrics we use to assess the impact of schemes like HS2 on people’s lives and well-being in particular and whether that investment could have greater impact elsewhere — invested directly into local rail services, sustainable transport options like cycling etc.

    Chances are that HS2 is being evaluated most using the blunt instrument of increasing GDP with minimal consideration of how that ‘wealth’ would actually ‘trickle down’ and impact on people’s lives. The reality is that even if it does what it says it will, the profits will go to large corporations and super rich individuals and have minimal impact for everyone else. We’re asking the wrong questions.

    project
    Member

    Bloke on tv this am stating warrington bank Quay about 6o waiting to get a avanti train to london, while down the road at Warringon central, 200 plus waiting for a train to take them to manchester or liverpool and in between, a train made up of two coaches all full every day.

    Local services get used every day by same customers, while long distance are used in frequently by those who can afford the over priced fares systom.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
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    We have a climate emergency on our hands partly due to personal transportation getting out of hand, the least that we can do is build some decent mass transport infra structure that will last well into the 22nd century, so we can travel north when it gets too warm down here for us southern softies

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Only if your logic is a continued over investment and growth in the SE of England for the next few decades and that somehow London’s wealth is more important than wealth elsewhere.

    Wasn’t my logic, it’s the civil services. And an unfortunate fact that investing a given amount of money on infrastructure gets a better return in London than elsewhere. I don’t live in London, but you don’t need to be to see why it happens.

    There isn’t an easy answer. On the one hand you have a philosophy that says spend the money fairly so everyone get’s an equal outcome. On the other hand spending the money to get the biggest return on investment get’s you the biggest tax receipts and thus lower tax rates. Which is better, the ability to earn more money, but pay more tax, or the ability of someone else to earn more money, so you pay less tax (which is where we’re heading once everyone job is done by a robot anyway).

    I agree that there needs to be better rail infrastructure in Northern England. But it’s a fallacy to say it’s more needed than HS2 because both are needed, HS2 just wins because it will payback quicker.

    while long distance are used in frequently by those who can afford the over priced fares systom.

    Ever tried to get a seat on a Birmingham to London train on a weekday? It’s packed even in the middle of the day. And the whole point is you can run a lot more stopping services on the exiting lines when you don’t have to timetable them between the intercity trains.

    The current setup means you have to set the fast service off just before the next slow one at the origin, and it can’t catch up with the slow train in front of it, otherwise* you end up sat on a lovely superquick electrified hitachi train somewhere between Reading and Paddington stopped because the local service between Maidenhead and Slough is a few minutes late.

    *actually you don’t because they just invested a few billion de-bottlenecking that line.

    so there has to be a big gap. Get rid of the fast non-stop service and the number of stopping services all doing the same speeds is only limited by the signaling infrastructure.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    Wasn’t my logic, it’s the civil services. And an unfortunate fact that investing a given amount of money on infrastructure gets a better return in London than elsewhere

    Ah, ok.

    I do wonder if at some point the ever crowding of resources and jobs in the SE will become less palatable.

    Until that point I’ll enjoy living oop north.

    😉

    Listening to R4 this afternoon there was a chap saying that the ‘benefit’ of HS2 is now at 60p per £1 invested…

    (Pigs, snout, troughs etc).

    Equally there was a conservative mp who suggested that a cycle route network was an alternative to HS2!

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    Yeah how is Johnson the ‘king o the north’ going to spin canceling the northern extension to hs2 ?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
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    Yeah how is Johnson the ‘king o the north’ going to spin canceling the northern extension to hs2 ?

    He’ll promise to fund Transpennine Route Upgrade and/or Northern Powerhouse Rail and a few more vague soundbites about “unlocking the potential of the North”. Rather ignoring the fact that NPR kind of depends quite heavily on some aspects of HS2 infrastructure.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    Equally there was a conservative mp who suggested that a cycle route network was an alternative to HS2!

    for £106bn you could probably have a free/cheap (e)bike hire scheme in every large town in the UK, and massively improve cycling infrastructure with what’s left.

    Premier Icon ctk
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    It’s the lack of joined up thinking (a transport plan) and the low ambition of the plan that bothers me not the cost.

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Look at it this way. We have 100 billion to spend on rail improvements. What schemes would provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people? is it HS2 or is it improvements to existing lines across the north of England?

    Premier Icon mogrim
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    I’ve seen what the high-speed “AVE” train has done here in Spain, and it’s great – the daily flights to and from Barcelona are close to being cancelled, it’s connected Seville and Valencia to the capital, etc. And it took time to build, with cost overuns and problems with the land subsiding and etc. etc. etc.

    So I’m pretty optimistic about HS2 – it’ll take a while to see the benefits, and it’ll soon need extending to Scotland, but it’s a start.

    oldmanmtb2
    Member

    Any poor soul who has used the trans pennie “service” for work understands the misery of it.

    York to Manchester takes 1.5 hours to do 80 miles assuming it works it takes 1.40 to get to London from york.
    I avoid business in Manchester/Warrington Liverpool as i can not work on the trains and it takes a ridiculous amount of time i preferto go to london.

    HS2 simply perpetuates that problem. Take the cash build a new trans pennine and put a high speed link betwen Manchester and Birmingham.

    mindmap3
    Member

    Ever tried to get a seat on a Birmingham to London train on a weekday? It’s packed even in the middle of the day. And the whole point is you can run a lot more stopping services on the exiting lines when you don’t have to timetable them between the intercity trains.

    I’ve never had an issue if I’m honest and I use that line a fair bit for work.

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    The 1746 from Euston to brum is standing room only every single evening

    I know it intimately a long with many of my fellow passengers

    £100B is chump change. It will have a 100-150 year service life and be paid for over 15 years – during which inflation will erode the “real” contract costs.

    It works out around £2m a year per mile (354 miles) over a 150 year service life – and that’s without discounting for time value of money.

    Projects of HS2’s scale always cost loads but are comparable to the investment in the late 1800s for the original railways. Most of the north / south rail capacity has now been absorbed so we have to do something to create future capacity, not least because the population is growing rapidly.

    What’s disappointing is that the ambition in the Hs2 vision isn’t matched in an equally ambitious vision for modal shift in towns in cities – getting most single passenger car journeys to switch to small personal electric vehicles / speed pedelecs.

    One more point of comparison – the latest estimate of the compensation costs to cover NHS clinical negligence is £83B (as reported in the news earlier in the week). For some reason that has received little to no attention.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51180944

    hodgynd
    Member

    From where I’m sitting it’s a huge waste of money with absolutely no benefit at all to the people in the North East of England ..
    Some of this money would be far better spent on dualing the A1 road network all the way from Newcastle to Edinburgh ..the fact that it is still single carriageway through large chunks of Northumberland is bloody criminal in my book…
    On the plus side if it keeps southerners from over-populating Nothumberland due to shorter commuting times..then that’s a good thing !

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    No tinas – its a massive subsidy to london public transpot. TFL absorbs almost as much public money in in a year as Edinburghs trams cost in total – and that is ignoring capital expenditure – thats just the subsidy. Add in the capital expenditure and it dwarfs what is sent on the rest of the country.. ~Some ridiculous figure of total public spend on public transport is in London. Far more per had of population London fares are the cheapest in the UK because of subsidy.

    Why ‘cos politicians are based in London.

    Over the last 10 years, Londoners enjoyed an annual average of £708 of transport spending per person, while just £289 was spent for each person in the north of England, the analysis foun

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/01/transport-spending-gap-london-north-of-england-ippr

    HS2 is just more of the same. Its never going to go beyond Birmingham – that is clear. Its a ridiculous waste of public money that could be better spent elsewhere

    No TJ – because London is a mega city and drives a significant contribution to GDP.

    Much of the talent / business that is located there simply wouldn’t work elsewhere in the U.K. even if the infrastructure was there – they would up sticks and work in other global mega cities.

    For that reason investment in London transport is marginally higher in real terms – although Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to receive much higher public spending per capita overall.

    Fares on public transport in London are pretty high in my experience – £2-5 per journey.
    Edinburgh is £1.70 with a daily cap around £5 or so

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    From the same article

    A plan submitted to the government earlier this year estimated it would cost £69bn to bring transport in the north of England up to scratch. The proposal by Transport for the North (TfN) – a statutory advisory body – includes building “Northern Powerhouse Rail”, a brand new trans-Pennine railway from Liverpool to Leeds.

    The National Infrastructure Commission recently recognised the new line as a potential flagship project and estimated that £24bn of investment was needed.

    If given the green light by the government, the line would bring an estimated £92bn of benefits to the UK economy by 2050, according to TfN.

    Are you really trying to claim that London needs to suck more money out of the coutry. Are you really trying to claim that bringing all of the northern cities public transport into the 20th let alone the 21st century including a complete new transpennie route would not gain greater benefits?

    Pure londoncentric nonsense. Look at the numbers in that article.

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    YGH = Edinburgh is very well served by good public transport and is cheap. I am not arguing for more for Edinburgh indeed you could argue that Edinburgh gets more than its share. Its the northern English cities and the highlands that really miss out and where the money that is being wasted on HS2 would bring much bigger benefits than HS2 will ever bring

    the new transpennie route would bring in 3-4 times its cost in 30 years. Will HS2? Will crossrail?

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