What are our bureaucrats hiding?

The Telegraph

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. 


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  • Simon

    Fortunes are being made by connected people to council.

    Auckland city has $58 billion in cap ex spending baked in
    the pie for the next 20 yrs.  Fail rail
    is about $3 billion of that.  Fail rail
    is small beer.

    The National govt facilitate that Auckland city spend
    through providing central govt backing to the bonds Auckland city issue to pay
    for all this consumption spending. 

    The rate payers in 15 to 25 years after utopia is built will
    get the privilege to repay the cap ex bonds.  

    There is no difference between comrade Brown and the
    National government. 

    • Gazzaw

      How much consultancy work does this represent from Auckland City? Yum yum.
      Gravy train time for the bureaucrats. Double yum yum.

  • Richard McGrath

    The senior official in Britain who hid this report should be publicly flogged.

  • Was it public servants that hid the report or was it those that commissioned the work to produce the report that decided they didn’t want to see it?

  • MrV

    Being able to get to the north of England at 300kph, would be great for rejuvenating their economy, particularly in the north and take vehicles off their overstretched motorway systems.

    What is it with people thinking that a late 19th century rail system is appropriate in the 21st century, when if we had late 19th century roads (ie. dirt) they would be the biggest complainers.

  • Le Sphincter

    Time saved is part of all benefits for transport projects- motorway or airport use it as well.

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