Viewing 40 posts - 881 through 920 (of 927 total)
  • HS2 spiralling costs
  • dazh
    Full Member

    Most of the time I agree with Monbiot. My views on HS2 back when it announced were similar to those in the original article, and yes we suffer from a culture of clientelism in the UK. But short of having a revolution that’s how the whole system works. Even under Corbyn/McDonnell it wouldn’t have been any different. The reality is that govt decides what to do based on what experts tell them, and few of those experts are truly independent. When asking if we should build a high speed rail line, the govt will go and seek advice from industry leaders and civil engineers. Those people will them tell them to build it because funnily enough they’re engineers and strangely supportive of building large infrastructure projects. I really don’t see what’s weird or corrupt about that. It’s a bit like asking doctors if we should build more hospitals. 🤷‍♂️

    binners
    Full Member

    It always amazes me that anyone takes Monbiot seriously.

    I put him in the same category as Hugh Fearnly-Twatinstall and various other upper middle class idiots who loftily lecture everybody from their ivory towers about how to live their lives, while being utterly clueless about what life is like for most people or how the real world actually functions

    Best to just ignore them

    molgrips
    Free Member

    yes we suffer from a culture of clientelism in the UK

    I think we are a lot less clientelistic than most countries. It’s really difficult to eliminate any kind of personal relationship from business dealings. The public school old boy network is an issue, but that’s **** Tories for you.

    few of those experts are truly independent

    Exactly – everyone has preferences. You may like a company’s product, so you work with them, then you build a working relationship with them and you become professional friends with the people there you work with, and suddenly you’re favouring your mates. Same way that people always recommend the bike they have.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    I did like this from Monbiot though –

    The case for HS2 always was a baggage train of bullshit.

    Its true, the moment they cancelled the link from HS1 to HS2 it became a white elephant. An infrastructure project that would only go ahead because the politicians had tried so hard to convince us it was needed they couldn’t row back on it. Lets not forget who was the chancellor when the real costs started rolling in.

    Obviously once Brexit happened then the HS1>HS2 link was never going to be resurrected so then would have been the time to redraw the UK’s transport map.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    When asking if we should build a high speed rail line, the govt will go and seek advice from industry leaders and civil engineers. Those people will them tell them to build it because funnily enough they’re engineers and strangely supportive of building large infrastructure projects.

    That’s true to a degree, but there are always opponents and people “selling” competing solutions – more roads, more airport expansion, or doing nothing and spending the money on other stuff entirely – and there is economic analysis, so it’s not like there is an unopposed lobby.

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    This on top of cancelling loads of other things, like new power stations, electrification of other rail lines (yep – hope you didn’t buy £100m of electric trains on the promise of electrification that subsequently got cancelled) etc.

    How to make Britain look even more clueless, short-termist and untrustable to every other country and potential investor in the world. Marvellous.

    mashr
    Full Member

    Edit – wrong Rishi thread

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    and suddenly you’re favouring your mates. 

    🤦

    HS2 procurement is some of the most rigorous and transparent this country has ever seen. It takes literal years to develop bids for the larger packages. I’m not saying it’s necessarily been great value as a result of the strategy and risk assignment. I’m also not saying that HS2 is cheap.

    But anyone suggesting that major HS2 contracts were handed out on the basis of political donations or because Jenny at HS2 likes Nathan at Balfour Beatty just doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    Flaperon
    Full Member

    But anyone suggesting that major HS2 contracts were handed out on the basis of political donations or because Jenny at HS2 likes Nathan at Balfour Beatty just doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    Unless you could read the writing on the wall a decade ago and realise that there’s a brilliant option for development on 300 miles of compulsory-purchased land which is shortly going to fall back onto the market.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    just to salt the earth…..

    finephilly
    Free Member

    This guy will literally do anything to try and be popular.

    Pathetic.

    chewkw
    Free Member

    Money will be put to good use rather than HS2.

    Starmer can now be the champion of HS2 … LOL!

    molgrips
    Free Member

    But anyone suggesting that major HS2 contracts were handed out on the basis of political donations or because Jenny at HS2 likes Nathan at Balfour Beatty just doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    That wasn’t what I was talking about.

    brian2
    Free Member

    I really feel for the poor sods who’ve given up their homes just to see the land back on the open market. Christ, there must be so much anger and hurt.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Unless you could read the writing on the wall a decade ago and realise that there’s a brilliant option for development on 300 miles of compulsory-purchased land which is shortly going to fall back onto the market.

    To be honest mate if there were property developers who could accurately predict the behaviour of this shambolic shower of **** ten years in the future so that they foresaw the outcome today – they deserve the money.

    chewkw
    Free Member

    I really feel for the poor sods who’ve given up their homes just to see the land back on the open market. Christ, there must be so much anger and hurt.

    They won’t be able to buy back at the same price they were compensated for anymore. Developers will move in instead.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Yup. Should be an automatic “right of return” from compulsory purchase but there’s not.

    Quick reminder that £2bn has already been spent on Euston, and that this is literally the 3rd redesign. It cost £200m just to put the project on pause- literally to stop doing anything. So the reduced plan is still going to cost more than the original budget, while delivering less, against a cut-down plan that no longer makes any sense. Hurrah.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Now if I read things correctly the suggestion is that the Manchester link cost is around £36 billion (that’s the amount Rishi says will be saved by cancelling it). The government’s own report said HS2 would be worth £24 billion a year to the economies of the North. So it pays for itself in 18 months.

    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    On Saturday I used South Korea’s high speed line (KTX) to get from Busan in the South to Seoul in the North, 400km so a touch more than the distance from London to Manchester.

    It cost about £20Bn or so, about a decade ago.

    It took us about three hours and cost about £30 each. Fastest journey time is 2h20.

    Trains were leaving every thirty minutes, although it is a good idea to pre-book (you can’t just walk on).

    There were about 6 stops. The train was full but not crowded. It arrived a few minutes late.

    It was a pretty nice experience. If I had to make one criticism, you can’t buy tickets from the ticket machines with a non-Korean credit card.

    KTX high speed train in Korea

    verses
    Full Member

    On Saturday I used South Korea’s high speed line (KTX) to get from Busan in the South to Seoul in the North

    I hope you’re prepared for the return journey…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_to_Busan

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    hope you’re prepared for the return journey…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_to_Busan

    Still looks better than the average Friday night Euston to Glasgow service.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Just to pour more scorn on the politics of it, selling the land back is very short-sighted. It won’t raise much cash and really sabotages the route northwards if it’s ever rekindled in the future.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    Megaprojects (simon whistler) takes the piss out of the HS2 **** up

    kelvin
    Full Member

    and really sabotages the route northwards if it’s ever rekindled in the future

    That’s the plan.

    There were two options.

    – Put hanging the North out to dry (not just HS2 to MCR, but also HS2 to Yorkshire and the new East-West line that have all been abandoned since the Tories won elections promising they would be happening, not least Sunak campaigning in his constituency positively for them to win his own seat) into a manifesto, allowing opposition parties the chance to campaign against that move at a general election.

    – Shelf all this while in office, going against your own wining manifesto, and then salt the earth along all three routes… knowing that it’s very difficult for opposition parties to campaign on reversing your decision as they have no idea ‘till they get into office (if they ever do) whether it’s still possible, at what cost, and at what new timescales.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    I think re-selling the land miscalculates the benefit + support of HS2 going northwards.

    It also had cross party support from the outset, so little political gain.

    It would’ve been better to make planning permission easier to obtain. Make a better case for the environmental restitution afterwards (ie less tunnels) and manage the project more effectively.

    Quite a good video above – the additional costs of adding a few miles ‘whilst you’re there’ (ie going to MCR) are way lower than packing everything up and coming back another time. We do it with roads, why not rail?

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I think re-selling the land miscalculates the benefit + support of HS2 going northwards.

    They’ve already largely **** that by downgrading Euston from the originally proposed 11 platforms (10 in use, 1 contingency) to 10 (zero contingency) to 6 (far fewer trains altogether).

    And then ensuring that Euston won’t be operational for another decade and everything will be terminating at the not-a-terminus station of Old Oak Common.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Is it so bad if the terminus is at Old Oak Common? I mean obviously it would be better if there were a Zone 1 terminus but OOC is on the Lizzie Line and other lines.

    I know this would cost hundreds of millions (and still be less than Euston) but could you have an HS2/Elizabeth Line junction so HS2 could run through Lizzie Line tunnel? Or is rolling stock, signalling, everything totally different?

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Completely different trains and spec plus the Elizabeth Line is already running about 1 train every 6 minutes, maybe even more at peak times, there isn’t the space to put anything else through that line.

    It’s already overcapacity as well, I think the forecast was something like 3m journeys per week average and the record on it so far is about 4.2m. It’s performing way better than expected (although some of that has come from journeys being switched from Central Line).

    Proof that if you build a decent new railway it’ll encourage people to use it but…

    This is the other problem – terminating at OOC forces anyone who wants to go into London to change onto the already packed Elizabeth Line. It won’t cope with the extra passengers arriving off an HS2 service every half hour.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Bugger.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Well I never. Government in “doesn’t have a clue” shocker.

    Standard Tory – knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/feb/07/government-does-not-understand-how-hs2-will-function-as-railway

    binners
    Full Member

    We’re going to spend 100 billion quid on this thing!

    Brilliant! What’s it for?!

    Erm…. Dunno really. We’ll probably find some use for it though…. Possibly…

    masterdabber
    Free Member

    It’s Amateur Night every time with these despicable morons.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    FFS.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    It’s Amateur Night every time with these despicable morons.

    I don’t want to make this into a re fighting of the Rishi Sunak thread, but did you see how stiff and wooden he was on that party political broadcast?

    finephilly
    Free Member

    On the plus side, Manchester Mayor Burnham is generating support for some kind of additional rail link Manchester <–> Birmingham. This is on the basis that something is better than nothing.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Aye, I wonder if this is a gambit to force a government (or at least opposition) rethink.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    I don’t think it’s a bluff. Extra capacity up North is desperately needed, especially around Manchester.

    alanl
    Free Member

    Not wishing to support the Tory government, but they dont have much to do with HS2, apart from allowing them money. The Government have little to do with the planning, clearly they are in overall control, but they couldnt give a toss about it, so just sub it out to the Civil Servants in the DfT, who just havent got a clue, and then they advise the Government on what should be done. These Civil Servants will still be in their post when Labour get in, and still carrying on their useless management of the railways.

    The problem with the northern sections of HS2 have been known for many years. The trains will be longer than current trains, the doors will be further apart, so it is not possible to use some current stations without either new stations, or extending existing stations. The longer coaches mean more people can fit in, but then it will take longer for them to get on/off, adding to extra platform time needed, thus delaying other services behind them, which means less trains, as they will be timetabled for 2 minutes in a platform rather then one minute. They wont have any tilt facility on the WCML, so will run slower than existing trains, adding congestion on the section north of Birmingham, and reducing the ‘paths’ available for existing trains. Add in the ridiculous requirements the DfT have made for the new build trains – fastest trains in Europe, but that will only be used between London and Birmingham and loads of other stupid price increasing things, and you can see a bunch of people without a clue have put this together without any thought of integration onto existing track which was always going to happen from day one, they were never going to build a new line to Edinburgh or Glasgow, which would have been the sensible option to reduce journey times for a decent distnace, not just the 120/200 miles to Brum/Manc.

    And in a similar vein, have you wondered why your train is packed with double the amount of people on it that seats available. It’s because the DfT are trying to cut costs, so have withdrawn hundreds of trains. TPX is regulary packed between Manc and Leeds, yet they have withdrawn 13 full trains from that route last December. These trains are less than 10 years old, in great condition, yet are stored in sidings with no work. CrossCountry withdrew all of their HSTs last years, not through lack of demand or reliability of them, they were told by the DFT to get rid, and run their services with less trains. Of course, this hasnt gone well, and they cannot cope, so cancel services. Many of those trains are now either in service in Mexico, or on there way there, perfectly serviceable, but not wanted by the DfT here. Dont blame the train companies, they are told what to do by the DfT, who want to cut costs, yet there is now no capacity to increase passenger numbers, as we havent got any spare trains to carry them. It’s a farce from start to finish, which firmly stands at poor governance. TBH,this farce has happened for the last 20+ years, as the Rail Industry is never seen by any Government as something they can fix and run properly.  For a depressing read, get the ‘Railway Magazine’ this month to read how badly this Government are doing, and their stupid decisions which are making things worse.

Viewing 40 posts - 881 through 920 (of 927 total)

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