The Poms have just discovered the business case for HS2, their high speed rail is piss poor and some ratbag bureaucrats have hidden it for three years:
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that even as they promoted the supposed benefits of the controversial high-speed line, civil servants were sitting on a secret 170-page report which revealed those benefits to be grossly exaggerated.
One senior official at the DfT explicitly told colleagues that the research “could not be used” because it would spoil the case for HS2, according to Colin Allen, a local resident who has sought the document’s release under the Freedom of Information Act.
“I was absolutely horrified that they were covering this up,” he said.
The cornerstone of the new line’s business case is a claim that the first phase, from London to Birmingham, will generate benefits worth £23 billion, more than the £17 billion cost of building it.
The vast majority of the supposed benefits – £20.1 billion – come from claimed increases in productivity on the basis that quicker journeys will leave people with more time to work.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, claimed that the line would have a “transformative” effect on the economy.
The then transport secretary, Philip Hammond, said it would “reshape Britain’s economic geography” and “transform Britain’s competitiveness as profoundly as the coming of the railways in the 19th century.”
But the internal DfT report, “Productive use of travel time and the valuation of travel time savings for business travellers,” says that most of these supposed gains are illusory.
Makes you wonder about Len’s inner city loop and the business case for that.