Tag Archives: Secretary of State for Transport

HS2 high-speed rail route. The Coalition’s next train crash?

Everything that our Coalition government has touched so far has been a train crash. Today’s initiative, announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, will be no exception.

The latest economic miracle-cure is the HS2 high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham  ………. and maybe beyond to some of the outer planets such as Manchester and Leeds!

I just want to go on record to say that no matter what the cost assumptions are in respect of this rather grandiose and quite unnecessary scheme, the “guesstimates” made by proponents of the scheme are bound to be incorrect. Why? Because they’re ALWAYS wrong!

The government  intends to invest £32.7 billion. Their advisers (whose computations, as we know from bitter experience, are always SO accurate!!!!!) have convinced the Cabinet (and others)  that this investment (after factoring-in new job creation, less road congestion and profits from ticket sales etc.) will produce up to £47 billion in benefits!

On the face of it….a “No Brainer”. So…what’s the problem?

The major problem is the Law of Unintended Consequences, such as creating a gradual shift of trade from North to South……. “Accidental” Economic Engineering.

But the most obvious is the cost – and this is why I want to be on the record.

As government is dealing with Private Enterprise it will be ripped off.  The Private Sector ALWAYS rips-off the government.  It’s a national sport.

I predict that after factoring the pre-scheme aggravation, NIMBYS’ and government lawyers’ fees etc with ongoing expenses such as the crippling financing costs of such a project, this scheme cannot be delivered for less than about £250 billion.

Yes….a quarter of a billion!

£32.7 billion? Don’t make us laugh……and by the way…what do THESE GUYS think?  They seem quiet….

(Thanks for your emails . For the moment, I cannot see Twitter or Linkedin.  Back later this week.)