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Sadiq Khan Is Missing The Point Of HS2 Entirely

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.

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Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 year ago

Mr. Khan is ……… (best not to say, one should always be polite on a Sunday).

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
1 year ago

The initial argument for HS2 was that higher speed services to Brum would save the valuable time of business-beings resulting in £s for the economy. But it was pointed out that this argument is a load of dingoes kidneys, because people have been working on trains since mobile phones and laptops became a thing. So they switched the argument to an (entirely mythical and consultant-made) ‘lack of capacity’ on the WCML, which must be fixed or dire consequences will follow. But the problem then is that there’s no earthly point in making it extremely high speed, which vastly increases the… Read more »

Spike
Spike
1 year ago

If the trains run slower, the journey will take more time, and you can, like, get more work done

Gavin Longmuir
Gavin Longmuir
1 year ago

During much the same time frame that Lefties in England have been dicking about not building their little HS2 and Further Lefties in California have been spending $Billions not building their few hundred miles high speed rail system, Chinese Far Lefties have built an HSR network of over 15,500 miles. China’s system is very impressive — efficient, reliable, clean, comfortable. And it was not easy to build — things like a 100 mile viaduct outside Shanghai, and a 25 mile tunnel outside Xi’an. Plus the additional problem that it is impossible to lay a mile of track almost anywhere in… Read more »

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
1 year ago

LS2 sounds psychedelic.

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