This is a wondrous entry into the annals of political stupidity. Sadiq Khan is insisting that HS2 should run more slowly in order to reduce the cost of HS2. The stupid part being that the only point of HS2 is to run fast. If it doesn’t run fast then there’s no point in building it at all:
Sadiq Khan is lobbying for the speed of HS2 trains to be reduced in order to cut the costs of building the line.
The Mayor of London has told an official review of the scheme that a “lower-speed” model could “deliver many of the benefits at a lower cost”.
In order to build such things a cost benefit analysis is done. What are the costs of this thing, what are the benefits of it? In the HS2 case the major benefit, the one that justifies the spend, is that people get where they’re going faster. That saved time has a value – leave aside that the mobile internet means the value they’re using is wrong – and that’s the benefit that gets it over the line of the benefits being greater than the costs.
That is, if the trains run slower then we shouldn’t build HS2 at all.
This could well be why politics is a bad way to run things – the politicians having no idea of the things they’re trying to run.
Reminds of Big Jim Callaghan. They managed to convince him that scale mattered in steel. So, we needed the one, large, integrated works in order that British Steel was efficient. He agreed, then said put half in Wales, half in Scotland. Which shouldn’t be reads as Big Jim being an idiot. Rather, Celtic electoral politics made it impossible top do anything else.