What fucking austerity?

A £500 million scheme to get rid of overhead power lines in beauty spots will remove less than 10 miles of cabling at a cost of £11 million per pylon.

If we’re about to spend half a billion quid (a few more of those and we’ll be talking about real money) to improve a few views then what fucking austerity are we undergoing?

Further, if this is how infrastructure capital budgets are being spent then what bloody value are we going to get from spunking £50 billion a year of Peoples’ QE around the countryside?

24 thoughts on “What fucking austerity?”

  1. To be fair, the transmission line in that area is due for replacement anyway, and following the closure of Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station in the 90s means that there’s no need for such a high capacity transmission line.

  2. While they’re about it, how about removing 10 square miles of bird-mincers and replacing with a gas-fired power station with 2% of the footprint and 980 times more useful energy production?

  3. I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong, the reason they want to bury the cables is because they keep snagging the giant fans they keep erecting all over the countryside

    Plus money on infrastructure is “invested” not spent

  4. How about building a new nuclear power station and re-using the cables.

    Oh I forgot. That’s what we used to do in the bad old days before the triumph of the left. Now we are powered and lit on our road to death by w3 and are clean and watermelon green.

    =Wasteful Wind Wankery tm–all hail to ZaNu and NuNu.

  5. Julian Howe:

    Surprisingly, there aren’t any windfarm proposals for this area, despite already having transmission infrastructure in place. Probably due to combination of poor topography national park status.

  6. Well, we’re just not. Not really. When Starbucks and Apple stores start shuttering, or women are pushing babies on council estates with what looks like second-hand pushchairs, or all the fucking tattoo parlours shut down, you can maybe start talking about austerity.

  7. This is a good thing. If National Grid says it costs so much to put cables underground then most wind farms become uneconomical if they are forced to connect to the grid with underground cables.

  8. Julian howe

    You are the one getting it wrong: the “correct” statement is of course that all money used by the piblic sector is invested

  9. Roue le Jour

    It’ll be a trench, heat exchange gear (Depending on the load carried), removal of the old pylons and about 47 newt surveys

  10. @ Roue le Jour
    If you built a motorway that was 50 metres wide and buried it in an artificial cavern 50 metres high, it would cost a damn sight more than £30m.
    It would be cheaper to build a line of pylons making a long detour round the beauty spot than to bury them.

  11. “if this is how infrastructure capital budgets are being spent then what bloody value are we going to get”

    The “value” is Keynesian stimulus of the economy. Make work projects for union members.

    If you don’t believe in Keynesian stimulus, then you might think the spending is not just wasteful, but destructive. Every pound the government gives the union worker has to come from somebody else. Lefty governments don’t care about the somebody else. The somebody elses aren’t organized well enough to vote against them and stop it.

  12. Try getting anything more industrial than a garden shed built in a national park these days.

    Yet funnily enough an underground power cable to serve the Rampion offshore windfarm is being driven through the South Downs National Park right now, it will also pass through a SSSI. I daresay it will do no great long term damage and the scars will soon heal but imagine if it was from a nuclear power station, the cries of anguish would echo round the world. As it is, not a peep.

  13. To be fair to the costings, they do have a lake and large estuary to cross, which may add to the complications of just digging a trench and burying the stuff.
    The lines are already buried for a couple of miles at one end of the section they are proposing to bury, and have been for many years.

    I grew up in sight of them, and strange as it may sound, I’ll probably miss seeing them when they’re gone.

    As for the age of austerity, the saga of the road bridge across the same estuary tells a sorry tale of our era.
    Back in the mid 1800s the Cambrian Rly Company, and some enterprising locals built two timber tresstle bridges alongside each other, each constructed in a matter of months.
    These bridges both served with minimal maintance for well over 100 years, until a couple of years ago structural surveys revealed the road bridge was getting beyond past it.

    The owners of this bridge (for it was a private enterprise, which collected 40p or so for a car) were promptly bought out by the council, which then managed to spend about twice the original budget (final total was £20m) and take well over double the advertised time to build a combined replacement rail and road bridge.

    What was it about Victorian England that made us good at doing stuff, and how exactly did it all go wrong?

  14. My favourite one at the moment is a local tunnel that is way behind schedule, including the statement that the boring machine hasn’t moved in 6 months because of routine maintenance work, work that was obviously not included in the schedule it seems. So either lying or incompetent or most likely both.

  15. I get increasingly confused by the calls from economists for more “infrastructure spending”. Do they never look outside their windows? As far as I can tell, there is a massive amount of infrastructure being built and maintained at the moment – Crossrail, the Thames Tideway sewer system, the 16 miles of roadworks on the M1 up to the M6 junction, half of Marylebone is being rebuilt, the town I live in is having 300 or so new flats built etc etc.

    Just who is left to undertake any more construction work? Given that it seems to take aout 10 years to get a major project started, the belief in “shovel-ready” projects comes across as quaint, if not stupid. It gives the lie to economics being the “dismal science”: instead it is the laughable science.

  16. The CPRE or whichever environmental groups wail about the ‘visual impact’ of the pylons on the denuded unnatural subsidised industrial landscape that the pylons cross. Nobody wails about the visual impact of treeless sheep farms on the pylons. They should be asked these questions:
    1- When did you last eat mutton or buy wool
    2- When did you last switch a light on

  17. Diogenes

    I can’t even imagine the lead time on some of these projects without mass importation of Labour – the advocates of ‘Green QE’ wouldn’t know a building site if they were confronted by a group of builders chucking bricks at them!

  18. @ theoildgreenfascist
    How about looking at the link which explains that they need to have a trench 50 metres to avoid the cables overheating? The cables in the air easily shed heat – in an enclosed tunnel, less easily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *