IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: E&T magazine - Debate - HS2, the need for speed
Topic Summary: HS2, the need for speed
Created On: 17 April 2013 10:54 AM
Status: Read Only
Read the related E&T article
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
<< 1 2 3 4 Previous Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 15 October 2013 05:24 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

You won't be surprised to hear (I'm not) that Sir David Normington has agreed that the Department of Transport can be exempted from the Code of Practice set up by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, in regards to the appointment of Sir David Higgins.

The two year appointment cannot be extended without Sir David Normington's "explicit agreement". Whether this will be a private agreement or a public agreement I have no idea.

If anyone knows of a pro-bono equal opportunities lawyer who want to subject Sir David Normington's decision to a judicial review please let me know.

James Arathoon


-------------------------
James Arathoon
 15 October 2013 06:12 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

By the way in regards to Sir David Higgins' appointemment, this was a section 11.2 exemption agreed in the "public interest".

"11.2 The Commissioner may also, in exceptional circumstances, agree that Departments may depart from this Code where he believes that this is justified in the public interest."

I am haven't been given the detail as to why it was in the public interest not to advertise this postion, and allow applications from women and ethnic minorities amongst others.

James Arathoon

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 27 October 2013 12:06 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004



HS2: Labour to examine cheaper rival plan


"Now Mr Balls has been provided with a rival option for a tenth of the price to re-open the Great Central Railway line instead.

The line, which ran from London to Leeds, with a branch to Manchester, closely resembles the proposed route for HS2 but has been closed since 1966.

Kelvin Hopkins, the Labour MP for Luton North, has joined leading supermarket groups, and hauliers to draw up plans to reopen the old line instead of committing to HS2."


Music to my ears; cheaper options to the current HS2 plans now being actively and openlly considered by some in the political elite.

James Arathoon

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 28 October 2013 11:26 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004


Desperate blackmail and scaremongering tactics from Network Rail and Atkins, in their new report. They see all the easy money slipping through their finders and are now fully prepared to make life unnecessarily hard for rail passengers for the next 14 years if they don't get their way on the new underground line between London and Birmingham.

If the public appoint me as chairman of Network Rail, promise I will do a better job than this bunch of clowns. If Atkins can't do the upgrade work I will find another company that can. If the current top employees of Network Rail lack the imagination to sort this problem out, I will replace them.

" HS2 alternative 'would mean years of rail disruption' "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24700561

Alternative to HS2 would see Britain suffer 14 years of rail misery, says Coalition

James Arathoon

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 03 November 2013 10:02 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

Rather than labelling The strategic case for HS2 a sexed up dossier, Andrew Gilligan has gone one step further in the Telegraph...Lies at the heart of case for HS2

Well judge for yourself by reading the strategic case.

What annoys me about the strategic case is that the government tells us it can calculate very hard things like "the wider economic benefits of HS2" but they find it very hard to predict the ticket prices and the level of public subsidy needed to sell them.

Everyone realises that the full cost of HS2 cannot be recovered from unsubsidised ticket sales, even if all the seats are sold on all trains round the clock 24 hours a day, and that is not going to happen.

Please tell us the ticket prices Patrick McLoughlin, and the level of subsidy you intend to apply to them!

Where the distortion and inadequacy of the report is amplified is in the assessing of the alternatives to HS2. (p.120 onwards)

There are lots of other previous reports on the web written by Atkins on the strategic alternatives to High Speed Rail, and this work is not good enough to say there are no rail investment strategies that produced far far better returns and benefits to a wider travelling public and thus to the taxpayer as a whole.

The final Atkins Report is here

A much earlier one is here

The packages RP1 to RP5 are not independent and the costs very misleading.

"Package 5 involves additional infrastructure works to enable the Chiltern Lines to become an alternative to the West Coast Main Line as far North as Stafford. This package could cost in the region of £19.5 billion, but may not be deliverable in engineering or operational terms."

Well sack Atkins as engineering advisor if they are not up to the task and metaphorically drowning in their own groupthink! Get a second opinion from engineers willing to think this through the opportunity costs properly!

James Arathoon

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 03 November 2013 10:04 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

The post should have ended...

...to think this through and evaluate the opportunity costs properly!

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 16 March 2014 11:11 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

Sir David Higgins is about to announce his new idea in his new report coming soon:

Double the proposed rate of spending on HS2 or quits.

Obviously "quits" in public sector terminology doesn't mean no further money spent, because it still means big fat golden goodbyes for all the main players including Sir David Higgins. The reality being for him "Tails I win a big fat pay off, Heads you lose at least £50 billion without any sort of credible business plan"

But what of other plans with much more public support (some described above)...

HS2: more people back northern rail improvements than north-south project

"Observer poll shows greater support for connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds than for London-Birmingham link"

"A new Opinium poll for the Observer, published ahead of a key report on HS2 by its new chairman Sir David Higgins on Monday, finds that only just over a third of people (36%) back the government's current proposals, while 30% oppose them.

By contrast, 64% back improving existing connections between northern cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds - with just 4% opposed.

Some 44% would back building a high-speed network to link the northern cities, against just 14% who do not support the idea."


This is very unfortunate because in the HS2 master plan the fastest train on the Manchester to Sheffield run will be via Birmingham or London.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 16 March 2014 12:29 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

HS2 rail link: Vince Cable says there is 'compelling case' for the high-speed line

What is a "compelling case"?

I know what a business case is. I know what a subsidied business case is. However I do not know what a "compelling case" is?

As there has been no business case or even subsidised business case published [showing HS2 projected income and outgoings, and the knock on effects on the wider rail network in terms of profitability or subsidy levels], a "compelling case" must mean that there are substantial intangible benefits arising from HS2 that outweigh the disbenefits (e.g. less investment in the wider rail network).

Vince Cable is pushing the Sir David Higgins last gasp "double or quits" plan of accelerated development for HS2, and even with all this spending more money will have to be spent later connecting HS1 to HS2.

"Sir David, who will publish his report in Manchester on Monday, will issue an appeal to the main political parties to unite behind the scheme and is expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus."

The new plan is to completely redevelop Euston whilst at the same time using it at current capacity. Well that sounds expensive and disruptive enough for the modern day civil service to endorse with full gusto.

How much further can Sir David Higgins (appointed by the government without interview) dive into the depths of logistical and economic nonsense in terms of justifying HS2 in his new report?

Well we will all know on Monday!

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 17 March 2014 01:40 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

The High Speed Double Glazing Salesman

Knock. Knock. the householder opens the door and there is a salesman.
Salesman: We are in the locality selling "High Speed" double glazing at the cheapest prices we can imagine.
Householder: But I don't need high speed double glazing, I already have double glazing.
Salesman: No sorry don't get confused that's just our brand name. What we really sell is new twenty first century high capacity double glazing.
Householder: Oh. Well how does that work?
Salesman: Our competitors are still selling old style low capacity Victorian windows. Everyone who installs 21st century high capacity windows notices the difference immediately.
Householder: You haven't told me how high capacity windows work?
Salesman: Well our innovative solution is to turn your whole house into a window. You don't even have to go to the expense of upgrading your existing windows; we leave them in place and build our twenty first century high capacty light system around them!
Householder: What!?
Salesman: I know what you are thinking, "What do we do about all the new curtains we will need?". Well we have that covered! As part of the job, we dig you a large environmentally friendly basement complex using a state of the art tunnel borer. You can then live, shower and sleep in privacy without going to the trouble of choosing and buying lots of extra curtains.
Householder: Well I don't think much of that? I don't want to live like a mole.
Salesman: The price could be less if you sign up today. Perhaps even lower if we speed up the work and build the High Speed windows and the basement at the same time.
Householder: That sounds ridiculous, where would I live in the meantime?
Salesman: Well we can't think of everything!


-------------------------
James Arathoon
 17 March 2014 04:09 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

Higgin Report - HS2 Plus

http://www.hs2.org.uk/david-hi...es-his-vision-for-hs2

David Higgins believes HS2 must:
"
. stand the test of time;
. be the right strategic answer;
. be integrated with existing and future transport services;
. maximise the value added to local and national economies; and
. be a catalyst for change, both nationally and locally."


HS2 is certainly part of the right strategic answer to the question: How do we double the UK's debt pile and dramatically increase taxes to pay for it, or alternatively an answer to the question 'How do we help send the UK into default as quickly as possible?'

[UK economic collapse and default can't be caused by HS2 alone it needs a wider civil service more deeply embedded strategy which also involves doubling of expenditure on the Carrier programme, balooning expenditure on F-35B's which have little or no military value, subsiding Generation III nuclear energy and offshore windfarms at any cost, an ever continuing litany of failed IT projects, ever more expensive trident nuclear replacement funded on the sly etc. Everything to according to the civil service master plan then.]

HS2 won't be well integrated into existing transport services. There will be vast amounts of extra investment needed over and above that outlined in the Higgins report to make it work: Better transport connectivity in and out of Euston being the critical one. Connectivity between HS2 and HS1 being another. The list goes on and on.

This is a plan allowing the government to back out of HS2 phase 2 without the country just ending up with the new London underground line to Birmingham, for anywhere between £30 and £60 billion.

He is potentially right about HS2 being "a catalyst for change" though, although not in the way he means. Perhaps he should have said 'catalyst for revolutionary political change'.

"Conclusion
As a country, we face a choice. On the one hand is the status quo: ever-increasing pressure on transport, the cost of housing and commercial property in London and the South East; and poor connectivity to and within the North. On the other are the strategic opportunities offered by HS2 and the potential it unlocks. An incremental approach can make only marginal improvements, often at the cost of unacceptable disruption to the existing network for decades to come - and we shouldn't kid ourselves otherwise."


The choice is not between HS2 and the status quo, the choice is between HS2 and having tens of billions of pounds still available to spend more wisely on other things, with better business cases and better long term rates of return. HS2 does not help connectivity between Lancashire and Yorkshire across the Pennines, or speed up travel between Liverpool and Manchester. (to ease pressure on the M62 and M56 etc)

David Higgins plans will mean rail travel into Euston will be disrupted on the existing classic lines for more than a decade, "we should not kid ourselves otherwise". There are many logistical ways of cost effectively reducing disruption to existing rail passengers in developing new rail capacity, but most of these have purposefully not been examined, as it would significantly undermine the case for HS2.

I have no confidence in the Sir David Higgins leadership, although I do have full confidence in his ability to get a big fat payoff whatever the future brings.


-------------------------
James Arathoon
IET » Transport engineering » E&T magazine - Debate - HS2, the need for speed

<< 1 2 3 4 Previous Last unread
Topic Tools Topic Tools
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.