High Speed Rail - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from Reynolds Hardiman (HSR 193)

1.  For various reasons of law that I cannot go into here, I was not able earlier to allow you to place some of our correspondence before the Select Committee. On those previous elements that remains the case.

2.  I am however now able today to ask you to present this and the attached forwarded e-mail to your Committee in evidence on a point that has not been raised, in my knowledge, in any other submission.

3.  The key associated HSR policy issue is that HS2, in reality, is the intended backbone of any future HSR network in UK north of London and there is great uncertainty about how many operating paths it can operate at per hour in each direction at peak. DfT's own economics evidence in the HS2 public consultation says that 19 is the planned evaluation (for their BCR assessment) at the "Y" junction and that the BCR is so calculated on that basis for a two track "Y" form leg south of the proposed "Y" junction—seemingly somewhere near Lichfield.

4.  The world wide HSR pathing achievement, and most notably Japanese Railways in particular with over 40 years HSR experience, cannot get anywhere near that figure. I believe that the best that Japanese Railways achieve consistently, and consistently is the vital operating issue here, is 13 paths per peak hour on a two track HSR of the nature being proposed as the UK HS2.

5.  My interest is to see taxpayers' funds (including my own contributions) for any HSR well spent and without waste or neglect by DfT and anyone involved in HSR in UK development, provision and operation. This does not mean that I support HS2, or indeed any HSR in UK, it means merely that I do not want money thrown away on mere guesswork, speculation and unaccountable opinions if any HSR is decided upon by Parliament by legislative effect.

6.  To that end I have asked the Secretary of State today to give an undertaking so that mere arguable guesses about the key HSR pathing issues are dealt a total blow and are replaced by a definitive quantitative analysis and a legally enforceable performance and damages regime via material legislation and indemnity. Both will focus minds and pockets and that is what is needed to control this HSR policy development in UK. There must be no guesses: far too much is at stake.

7.  Every path is very valuable and failure to achieve the BCR based on "x" pathings per hour is material at root to the viability and financial return of any such project—most especially the HS2 proposal with a materially imbalanced pathing in the wrong operating order: four tracks north of Birmingham but only two tracks, in the key part, south of Birmingham to London. The correct capacity order should be the other way round—or four track the "Y" leg properly to London (or have two two track HSR railways one each to the NW and NE as the WCML and ECML are today).

8.  Please would you place this e-mail to you and the copy forwarded attached e-mail before the Committee in evidence.[466] I will promptly alert you and, via you, the Committee of any material reply from the Secretary of State. Please would you confirm the Committee's acceptance of the point and the said two e-mail communications as evidence.

June 2011

466   Attachments not printed with this submission. Back

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Prepared 8 November 2011