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DFT does not guarantee Consultation “accuracy” “completeness” or “usefulness”

Like most people keen to get to the core of the documents we previously failed to notice the legal disclaimer at the top of Page 2 of the official Consultation Document ISBN 9781848641174. It reads as follows:-

“While the Department of Transport (DfT) has made every effort to ensure the information in this document is accurate, DfT does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of that information and it cannot accept liability for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance this document contains”

To order copies of the document contact 0300 3211010 or to download in PDF click here.

We need say no more.

Lizzy Williams

Chairman STOP HS2

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17 comments to “DFT does not guarantee Consultation “accuracy” “completeness” or “usefulness””
  1. this parking lot does not accept any liability for any damage caused to your vehicle

    caution the water out of this hot tap can get very hot

    toaster – beware of hot toast

    OR this packet of cashews contains nuts !

    AIRPORT beware of low flYING PLANE!!!!!!!!!!

    terms and conditions apply. participating stores only. not available in northern ireland. offer can be withdrawn at any time.

    years ago my sister bought a swimsuit in australia that said dont expose to sunlight, sea water or chlorine !!!

    finally –

    “While the Department of Transport (DfT) has made every effort to ensure the information in this document is accurate, DfT does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of that information and it cannot accept liability for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance this document contains”

  2. On the subject of inaccuracies, HS2 have as their strap line “Investing in Britain’s Future”. If they were a private company raising their own finance then they might be able to claim this, but as they require every family in Britain to chip in over £1000 it’s not exactly true is it?

    Maybe we could suggest some more accurate strap lines like “Squandering Tax Payer’s Money” or “Vandalising Britain’s Countryside”

      • HS2 are not investing in Britain’s Future, we (the public) are the ones that are investing. This is why it is important to know that this is a sound investment rather than a money pit.

        • Not quite sure what you guys are getting at…….but this is a government project, not private. Its using public money – which comes from a variety of sources such as VAT , Corporation Tax, Income tax etc. Are you implying that the cost of this is being borne by charging every family £1000 above what they would normally pay in tax ?

          • the predicted benefits of hs2 are double the costs so seems like a good deal to the taxpayer to me ! it is in fact like taking 1OOO from every taxpayer family to quote finmere but then giving them an income stream totalling £2OOO !

            • When I’m making investment decisions I’m looking to minimise risk and maximise return. HS2 is high risk because the numbers rely on forecasts ten years and more in the future, and low return because a NBR of 2 is marginal according to treasury guidelines. It’s a risky gamble with taxpayers money.

              Other investments that might yield higher returns for lower risks could be a dedicated freight line and an improved digital infrastructure.

          • That is exactly the point. If a private company makes an ‘investment’ it either gets a return (and people get bonuses, dividends etc) or it makes a loss (and people get the sack, company goes bust, etc). The HS2 project is indeed government sponsored (and I would not particularly suggest for this type of project that it should not be), but this does not alter the requirement for it to make a return (in the widest sense, not necessarily hard cash) otherwise it is a bad idea. IF it would really generate an NBR of 2 then we are making an investment and our money will be returned and more. If the cost/benefits are exaggerated then it will cost people real money that will never come back (remember there is no such thing as ‘government money’ – it is our money)

            On the basis of HS1 I would expect that HS2 makes a slight loss. Maybe this does not sound so bad, but think of all the other things you could have spent the money on that would generate a real return.

            • Andrew – this is an investment where the returns are over 60 years, and you say you expect HS2 to make a slight loss?? Are you Nostradamus ???

              The reality is that investment in transport can enable and stimulate economic growth, but does not guarentee it on its own.

              The other thing to bear in mind is that if we did nothing at all, then the cost of congestion to the UK economy would be an extra £22 billion per year by 2025.

    • you dont seem to mind vandalising the english and french air with your planned trip to europe this summer. and i bet you wont give a thought to all the people below you in luton disturbed by the noise of your take off not to mention all the pollution you will be dumping over them.

      but a 22 metre wide high speed railway that even in the uk will generate ONE THIRD of the co2 per passenger of a flight and half that of an average one person per car road journey is going to devestate the countryside ? if people want and need to travel then they need to be able to travel the least polluting way but you need the speed of hsr to tempt people out of their cars and planes which conventional speed rail is not as effective at.

      there is some degree of hypocrisy with hs2 critics. they tell everybody not to travel then they do ! how many people who criticize hs2 on the grounds that it is bad for the environment drive their cars every day, maybe on the m4O or locally and go on holiday or business by short haul flights ?

      • No hypocrisy Nick. Individual choices make little differences, government choices make big differences.

        This country has signed up to ambitious CO2 reduction targets. Therefore you would have thought that this would be foremost in any government’s thinking re transport planning.

        The environmental arguments against HS2 are summed up well in this report – http://www.phhs2referencegroup.org/page5.php

        The author suggests that if we are really serious about CO2 reduction, our first priority would be to reduce road freight. The Central Railway proposal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Railway_(UK) on the face of it seems much more sensible than HS2. This scheme was not approved because the government was worried that the private financing would fail and the taxpayer would end up footing the bill. But this scheme would cost a lot less than HS2! It’s little wonder that people are calling HS2 a “vanity project”.

  3. Dont see whats wrong with it……its a standard disclaimer used where there is some uncertainty or risk in the situation.

    I daresay the same language was used when the draft documents for the M1 motorway were drawn up…….which would have included phrases like ” potential benefits ” etc….these being the ability to get from A to B quicker. Of course planners would not have foreseen the mega growth in car ownership causing congestion – if they had, the M1 would have been built a lot wider than it was originally.

  4. So I guess that means that the DFT /Government aren’t accountable then? So who is? The fairies? father Christmas?

    In the private sector as an IT management consultant, if I put together a document (say as part of a new project proposal) that then turns out to be fundementally incorrect, I risk being sued by my client. Everything I put down on paper, my own company is accountable for. I have to hold professional liability insurance for this purpose.

    In order to get sign off for the document, I will need to get approval to proceed from the client. So I have walk them through in detail what I am doing and have a good justification for it. This is a process /methodology that underpins pretty much every project I work on.

    If the same analogy was applied in the public sector (very simplistic example I know), you would expect that the DfT would be the “consultant” in this respect and the public would be “the client”. They (DfT) are providing a “service” to us the “client” of a new High Speed Railway. Whilst we cannot have “design by commitee” as it would take forever, clearly the fundemental principle of proceeding has to be approved as technically correct by someone! Unreal.

    So where do we get to sign off! ?? I guess that was when they got voted in hey!

    • @NellyP: can I run an alternative scenario by you with your IT consultant’s hat on…

      A project proposal is put together to undertake a seven year project worth £2.8bn to fundamentally renew an existing asset. That asset must be maintained at a functioning state throughout the seven years. At the end of that upgrading, the asset will have 50% greater productivity.

      However, achieving this 50% increase, you are told, is predicated on equipping the asset with a novel technology untried in commercial use anywhere in the world.

      Work starts, and rapidly degenerates, requiring the asset to be shut down for 2-3 days of every seven day cycle. The ‘novel’ technology is abandoned before testing less than 2 years into the programme, meaning the best productivity gain possible is now only 25%.

      More procurement problems require the project to be extended by four years, and huge compensation payouts are handed to customers amid threats that you will (not might, will) be sued (indeed, legal representation is required to re-negotiate the contract).

      At your wits’ end and with customers deserting your company for other suppliers in years 7 and 9, you bring the upgrading to an artificial close after 11 years. The total bill is now £9.6bn.

      If that happened to your business, would then consider it sensible practice, having discovered five years later that your asset is still not fit for long term purpose, to repeat another upgrade using the same essential premise — increasing productivity (to a globally-unproven level for an asset of this age) whilst the asset is in daily use??

      (And yes, this is what happened with the last West Coast rail upgrade!)

      • Just to add to Nick K comments – Manchester to Liverpool electrification project has started…..remember this was the worlds first passenger line.

        In theory, it would sound a relatively straight forward task, ie run a engineering train down the route and sling up the wires. In practise, around 47 structures ( mainly bridges and tunnels ) need work to accomodate the wires, This might mean lowering the track or raising the bridges……

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