The McNulty study, published yesterday, has a number of suggestions about reducing costs in the railway industry.
He referred to the incentive system appearing “to have a bias towards capital expenditure rather than making better use of existing capacity” (p9 , summary document). HS2 is a capital expenditure project.
Most relevant of these to HS2 is the recommendation to end the existing “predict and provide” model. This is the idea that transport planners say in so many years time, there’ll be this many more people using the trains, so lets spend billions of pounds on a brand new railway.
McNulty – in the level two document, p79 – said there should be
‘a much greater focus on making better use of existing capacity, whether that is through better timetables, pricing or behavioural options, perhaps “predict, manage and provide”.’
He suggestions include looking at where there is spare capacity on the network.
So for Birmingham to London travellers, this means the improvements of the Chiltern Railways Mainline project, increasing line speeds on the railway between Birmingham Moor Street and London, Marylebone.
Oh and maybe it also means the Government should cancel HS2.