Elsewhere

If HS2 doesn’t work then it is not correct to ask what else the money should be spent on, instead it’s to ask why the hell government has the cash in the first place. The same is true of absolutely everything that government does. Not what else should it be doing, or doing instead, but why is the state getting involved in the first place?

29 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. Go look at what Japan is planning to spend on a Maglev, on the same Osaka-Tokyo route as the Tokaido shinkansen. Which already covers the 550 km distance in an impressive 2.5 hours.

    More interestingly, look at the trillions they claim that cutting the Osaka-Tokyo journey time to 1 and a bit hours will add to the economy!

  2. Dammit! If you aren’t going to let us give money to these friends, we’ll have to look about to find other friends we can give it to.

  3. You cant surely be suggesting letting the people keep more of their hard earned money! Those idiots dont know how to spend it well, thats what government is for.

  4. Spend money on commuter lines when season ticket journeys have fallen by 3% per annum for the past 3 years and motorways are getting quieter?

    I wouldn’t spend a penny on rail. Its going to be half empty by the time you finish the work.

  5. The government does NOT have the money in the first place. Vast debts and a budget deficit.
    So wrong question.
    Why is the government spending money that doesn’t belong to it on a stupid project?

  6. @ Tim
    Well, nearly – in my book it’s even worse spending money you haven’t got than loose change burning a hole in your pocket for any given stupid idea.

  7. “Whatever happened to Crossrail?”

    A real tragedy that one – the actual construction was really well-run, on time and on budget, which was a minor miracle. It also caused remarkably little disruption in London.

    The delays have largely been about the signalling systems (specifically integrating three different systems used where the new line connects to old lines) and, in some cases, stations, which are managed by different parties.

    When you hear about it going over budget, the biggest component of that miss is actually lost ticket revenue that was assumed would already be collected, due to the delays.

  8. Reminds me of the first public sector (local authority) project I did. Saved them some money, and at the end of it I smiled and said “you’ll be able to pass that back to the tax payer”. “Oh no, we can spend that now on something different”. Eye opener for me at the time as to just how much was so painfully wrong…

  9. Instead of spending money on rail, tarmac the existing railway lines and put AI driven coaches and lorries on them.

    The entire HS2 project is centred around one thing – the driver – who is simply surplus to requirements, together with their wages and gold-plated final-salary union-negotiated pension.

    We already have technology to drive cars automatically, and definitely when there are no other cars around or all the other cars are being driven by AI as well.

    As Tim is pointing out, this is becoming just another excuse to tax people instead of giving it back, or spending it on something worthwhile like nurses wages.

  10. Vancouver has automatic driverless light rail for over 25 years so not exactly a revolutionary concept.
    As well as saving on drivers it’s also very easy to change the schedule and put in extra trains for surges in demand. For the Winter Olympics they ran at rush hour levels all day, and put on extra trains for events in specific stadiums/areana’s . In fact they do put extra trains on in evenings for large events at the stadiums anyway.

  11. “Instead of spending money on rail, tarmac the existing railway lines and put AI driven coaches and lorries on them.”

    Been wondering for a few years why this isn’t trialled – would make huge sense, you’d think. But you hear almost nothing about it.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    BniC,

    I can’t be bothered looking it up but 27 years ago when my son was about 5 a great day out for him was riding up and down on the driverless DLR so he could sit at the front and pretend to be the driver.

  13. I suspect that the only real beneficiary in this obscenity will be whoever wins the civil service sweep for the date when it reaches a billion a mile.

    A BILLION a MILE! Just let that sink in.

  14. This is not to say government should not be involved in funding any big infrastructure – everyone except the most hardcore anarchists accepts that state involvement in the economy is sometimes appropriate

    Sadly Gov’t doesn’t believe this, so much so they do all they can to prevent big private infrastructure – eg Runways, Heathwick

  15. “tarmac the existing railway lines and put AI driven coaches and lorries on them”

    Oblong, Runcie,
    I remember reading that they did this in Mexico city or somewhere similar. Would be an interesting experiment

  16. ‘everyone except the most hardcore anarchists accepts that state involvement in the economy is sometimes appropriate’

    Murph, I presume. Seems he can’t write anything without a No True Scotsman fallacy.

  17. Classic Sir Humphrey.

    Hacker: Surely you work out how much you need to meet your commitments then raise that much in tax?

    Humphrey: Oh dear, no Prime Minister, you raise as much as you can and then decide what to spend it on.

  18. @Pcar
    ‘No. Nurses and rest of public sector (exc military) are already overpaid’

    @BniC
    How much overpaid do you think they are? By how much should their pay be reduced?

  19. Instead of spending money on rail, tarmac the existing railway lines and put AI driven coaches and lorries on them.

    Can’t work – the loading gauge (particularly tunnels) is too restrictive. They make good cycle tracks, though.

  20. @ Diogenes
    I’ve been taken on a guided walk alongside it from Cambridge towards Trumpington Meadows (returning via a different route. There were not many buses running while we were walking. If they linked it to the Park-and-Ride it might help reduce congestion.

Leave a Reply

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