Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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By rikur_
#1577984
felixflyer wrote: This money doesn't just disappear though, it goes into economies all over the country and a large chunk comes straight back the the UK government in various taxes.

Very true - was a bit of an eye opener to me when I first got involved a public sector infrastructure project to discover that the actual net cost to Government can be less than 20% of the headline price .... 20% come straight back as VAT, ~30% on income tax/NI from those working on it, 19% on corporation tax, a few % on dividend tax on profits from companies involved, etc etc

Obviously doesn't apply to the same extent on projects importing goods from abroad, or using non-UK based contractors.
By johnm
#1577987
We're a small and relatively crowded country with a lot of heritage.

After Beeching we allowed a number of viable routes to be built over and so they are no longer available, but a good few still are.

We should be looking to be creative about the development of railways and the exploitation of infrastructure we already have. The pre-war infrastructure supported speeds entirely comparable with those of today, but generally speed is less interesting than reliability and capacity once it reaches around 100 mph, because the time of people is not dead on trains anymore many are still working.

There are a number of places where autonomous technology such as docklands could be used to provide a low cost regular commuter service and the infrastructure could be built to a more modest standard akin to trams..

Examples such as the reduction of four coach trains to three to "save subsidy" make no sense as we should be focussed on value not cost as many keep saying.

While we may encourage franchised private companies to do a lot of the work, we still need a national strategy with some vision and creativity to provide a context for those operators and their work.
#1577989
And yet, for all reasonable purposes, public sector purchasers are often required to treat pounds spent in the UK, and pounds spent overseas as equivalent.

In reality, a British supplier a third more expensive than an overseas supplier is almost certainly substantially cheaper to the treasury.

G
#1577996
This is the sort of big picture/joined up thinking that should be required training for everyone in charge of a public sector budget, and the procurement teams they have to deal with. Unfortunately I know for a fact that it's not. The main criterion used is the up front sticker price, and how that affects the whole-life cost of the project.
#1578014
A couple of years ago, I was asked to go to Farnborough to collect an almost -new BMW and ferry it back to Oldham.

Observations.....
Bus to Oldham, 4 miles, ~£2.50 then, stay on the bus, or swap to the congestion- inducing, clattering tram to Manchester Piccadilly (2 minutes difference in scheduled times )
Why did we scrap a perfectly good local rail network to rebuild a Tram-system which replaces the one scrapped ~ 60 years previously, as outmoded, not cost-effective ?

Bus was clean, comfortable, and bang on schedule....no complaints, except cost.

Arrived a rail-station put code in machine and out popped tickets booked on line.
Train very smart, smooth and modern. Change en-route....Poor station-signage and building-work, but helpful railwayman pointed me in the right direction.
somewhat down-at -heel Virgin train trundled out to the sticks. Amazed to see that the UK's centre of Aviation has a rural halt, where Pax have to walk across the line !

Car was waiting. Journey back would have been a full hour quicker, had I not hit the bottlenecks and rush-hour gridlock of the M60 Manchester ring-road.

Now! Fuel cost, door to door, the same as the total Public- transport fares..... BUT the various PT's were anything from 50% full (the Virgin leg) to 90=% full.
Admittedly, I didn't have to drive, - however, had at least 2 car-seats been occupied, the total pax cost of the car -journey would have been the same....3-up and total cost of a limousine-comfort journey would have been considerably cheaper than P.T. (which, theoretically should be a lot, lot cheaper. Were it not for the handicapping of our inadequate road-system, the interminable roadworks convoy through Birmingham
and the sometimes- crawling road-block that's the M60, the return- trip would have been at least 25% quicker too.
Nearly 50 years ago, my sister and B.I.L could not afford a car They, with their 2 children, made a 6-mile journey, to visit, by taxi. I gave her some earache about claiming poverty ,yet using cabs...she showed the figures that it was actually cheaper, including the 4d phone-calls, to go door-to door, than to use the buses. plus ca change as they say in furrin .
2 offspring live in Netherlands. P.T. is cheap, frequent and convenient. one has a car that is basically used to carry mountain-bikes and camping gear, weekends and holidays . otherwise, it's bike or P.T.
Our rates- bills include a huge subsidy for Public Transport.....cut out the bureaucrats shuffling money from one hand to the other...direct subsidy = low fares, more end-users, less congestion.......Oh, wait!- they're already crammed in rush-hours and then you get 50 seaters with 4 pax trundling around off- peak....be cheaper and less polluting to send a free black-cab around for them :mrgreen:
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By PaulB
#1689579
HS2 is back in the news today (well, The Telegraph at least) with a story that Tory leadership hopefuls must promise to scrap it.



How much has been spent already. There was a story on the local news the other day about the company (compulsorily) purchasing a farm in the Midlands for >£6m as well as many other properties and land.
#1689586
Must be stopped for the good of the nation!

Or because it goes through some notable back gardens.
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By PaulB
#1689588
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:Must be stopped for the good of the nation!

Or because it goes through some notable back gardens.


Probably both.... not sure how it will empower the North. It’ll just suck the Midlands into London, which may be good for Midland homeowners close, but not too close, to a station.
#1689590
London and the South-East are too congested for any further expansion, so not just to distribute work and prosperity more evenly but also to make decongest L/SE the rest of the country needs to be made more attractive for business and the population by having a better infrastructure, that includes rail (and certainly not a 3rd RWY at LHR!)

As so often the promoters of a good plan have focused on the wrong thing when selling the project, HS 2 and 3 are less about time saved, more about building something new and with capacity and reliability.
By johnm
#1689598
We should focus on Northern infrastructure and then when it's all up and running we can paraphrase that old headline.... "Poor North South connections, London isolated"
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By PaulB
#1689600
Yes, given Osborne's obsession with the "northern powerhouse" I fail to see why it didn't *start* in the north rather than the current situation where it looks as it major investment in any northern rail (or even road) infrastructure is pie in the sky.
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By Pete L
#1689602
If Nothern Powerhouse was the intention, then the trans-Pennine and NE routes would seem have made more sense to build first, as well as more money for the Oxford/Cambridge link - the rail equivalent of the A14/A34.

As a frequent user of the W Coast mainline, I'm not against HS2. The country has 10s of millions more people since it was built, and a capacity increase has to go somewhere even to maintain the rough proportion of road to rail.
By johnm
#1689614
Pete L wrote:As a frequent user of the W Coast mainline, I'm not against HS2. The country has 10s of millions more people since it was built, and a capacity increase has to go somewhere even to maintain the rough proportion of road to rail.


As I pointed out earlier that line could take a train every 3 minutes with mechanical signalling in 1957, it's the problem of where you put 'em when they arrive that needs solving.
#1689632
johnm wrote:
Pete L wrote:As a frequent user of the W Coast mainline, I'm not against HS2. The country has 10s of millions more people since it was built, and a capacity increase has to go somewhere even to maintain the rough proportion of road to rail.


As I pointed out earlier that line could take a train every 3 minutes with mechanical signalling in 1957, it's the problem of where you put 'em when they arrive that needs solving.

....And the fact that some of them run at 60mph, some at 75mph, some at 100, some at 110, and some at 125mph.
Running a high frequency consistent service pattern like the tube does is relatively easy. One of the key problems with the UK rail network is that we're trying to blend high speed non-stop, semi-fast, stoppers, and freight on the same lines - coupled with different stock that has difference acceleration/deceleration capabilities.
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