High Speed to nowhere?



Well done Great Britain! Yet again, a scheme to place the UK in the forefront of rail technology and modern day travel is delayed, nay doomed.

How can Programme Managers and Lawyers for this type of major project make such fundamental errors in the consultation process for compensation, when this is such a crucial lynchpin in making HS2 happen?

This has echoes of the West Coast Mainline franchise catastrophe that will cost you and I as UK taxpayers millions of pounds this year and many years into the future.

My concern with these schemes is far away from my annoyance of NIMBY’s, bureaucratic planning processes, litigious delays et al, it’s more about the reputational damage to the UK that this type of fiasco brings. Isn’t it interesting that Al Jazeera and CNN Europe were running the story online before the BBC! (Although admittedly the much loved 5live were talking about this due to a scheme opponent being in the High Court!) 

Are we really going to let bureaucracy stand in the way of progress, or is this just a way of some in the legal profession ‘getting one over’ on the Coalition? (There allegedly we’re signs of ‘glee’ on the faces of some in the High Court!)

If we’re going to move forward and create a commercial future for the UK outside of the Square Mile, the highly paid consultants working on major infrastructure schemes need to be working in a ‘sterile’ environment when it comes to detail.

I’m fully cognisant that some communities will be affected by the line, its proximity to their backyards and that some newts may have to be relocated (sic), however did Brunel, Telford and other Civil Engineers in the times of our Industrial Revolution face the problems we now endure? Is economic growth not just as important now as it was then?

As someone who lives in the South West of England, I’m not affected (positively or negatively) by HS2, but we’re told, within the next millennium, the rail line to Bristol from Paddington will be electrified. Very shortly, those living on branch lines away from Temple Meads will soon realise that our rail network will have another ‘class’ running on the rails – those connected via High Speed (possibly), Standard Speed (125?) and then the buses on rails running on the connecting services. Think about this prospect if you’re in Cornwall, Devon, North Somerset or even in Gloucestershire!

Whatever the news today says about todays High Court ruling, it’s a nail in the coffin for progress that the UK could really do without. Let’s start thinking now about how we, as a society, can create progress through adversity and by being a little more creative in how we redevelop our economy.

David Oxendale


About The very mobile mentor...

"Life is the name of the game, and I want to play the game with you" as Bruce Forsyth used to sing at the top of 'The Generation Game'. This blog is all about observational, irreverent but sometimes deeply emotional musings of everyday life from my perspective.
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