Adonis urges supply chain to ‘not be distracted by headlines’ and push on with HS2

The peer leading the National Infrastructure Commission has this week pushed the industry to press on with major projects like HS2 and not be “distracted by headlines”.

Speaking at the National Infrastructure Forum, Lord Adonis, chairman of the Commission, highlighted the need for continued investment in the UK’s infrastructure, emphasising the importance of a broad political consensus being in place for these projects to proceed.  

It follows the Lord pushing for a potential Crossrail 3 last year, as he said he thought the planned TfL takeover of suburban rail services in Greater London, which has since been shelved, could be significant for the progress of major infrastructural projects.

“Amid all the political developments and differences, it is easy to lose sight of the broad political consensus already in place for some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects,” said Lord Adonis.

“HS2 and Crossrail continue at pace, and there is support within all the major parties for a third runway at Heathrow – all examples of why we should continue to have confidence in the industry.

“So, I would urge anyone considering their next investments not to be distracted by headlines, but to continue their long-term plans to deliver those infrastructure projects in the pipeline.”


Lutz   15/06/2017 at 17:23

That is all very well, but still there is the basic problem of being able to source the funding for these projects - which is going to get all the harder with the return to higher inflating, shrinking money markets, and global recession. Add to that the Government avoiding any contentious legislation that could potentially lead to adverse vote and the Governments fall.

Wise Engineer   16/06/2017 at 11:57

The current non government, there has been no approved Queen's Speech yet, may well fall anyway the way it is currently mismanaging things. National Infrastructure takes longer than government cycles to deliver. Perhaps the focus should be on collaborative working to create those assets that will return profit beyond peoples lifetimes, and leave the politicians to wallow in the mire they create. The glacial progress on HS2 is somewhat concerning. How many high speed lines and 1000's of miles have been built and are operating in China since HS2 has been in the talking shop? It is only 128 miles for HS2 after all. Keep Calm and Carry On Building

Harry Felten   16/06/2017 at 12:47

Adonis is a vanity project drama queen with his love of capital finance thru City PPI asset stripping well documented. He wants to get his major projects signed of to the City so that it will be too expensive for the Labour government to cancel them and replace them with something sensible.

John DB   16/06/2017 at 17:48

Once again, HS2 is proving to be a financial nightmare. The millions of pounds being spent on this unnecessary project should be spent on improving the railway infrastructure in the North of England where most people do not want to travel to London but between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Scottish cities and local services, etc etc. Trans-Pennine inadequate three-car trains are always full in spite of frequent services. Line capacities are close to their limits. Let's get the priorities right!

Graham Nalty   16/06/2017 at 19:30

Whilst it is good that Lord Adonis is promoting rail expansion in a way that would have not been possible 25 years ago, there are two serious issues that need to be addressed. Firstly, will there be enough skilled people in the supply chain to undertake all the work that is necessary on current railway infrastructure projects AND HS2 as well. Secondly is HS2 the right priority for our current rail network inadequacies. I agree with 'John DB' that greater priority needs to be given to improving services between our Northern cities where speed are typically 40 mph compared to over 70 mph to London. 'Wise Engineer' suggests that there should be collaborative working to create assets that will last, but the HS2 attitude to cities such as Sheffield and Stoke that want to be on the HS2 route is to disregard their views. HS2 attracts so much public opposition that we should perhaps disband the top management of HS2 and replace it with an organisation controlled by the area it serves and not by London.

Bowerick W IP   20/06/2017 at 21:39

I suggest the supply chain urges Adonis to ‘not be distracted by headlines’ and push on with HS2.

Wise Engineer   21/06/2017 at 09:29

@ Graham Nalty. HS2 are decamping from Londinium to Birmingham. There have been resignations at the top with Kirby and West going, a new CEO whose view is that HS2 (Network Rail 2) is full of Railtrack/Network Rail bods at senior levels, and we know how poorly they deliver. Jobs for the boys seems to have been the theme at HS2. In respect of skills, lots of skilled middle aged grey haired white males on the bench that have delivered major infrastructure around the globe that are burning on the pyre of diversity. Too many layers of indecision, man marking, contract forms not fit for the modern era. Collaborative working is about using the intellectual capability of the supply chain to deliver best for project, unfortunately the mindset in the UK infrastructure construction executive management is prehistoric and luddite like based on best for me. To paraphrase Corporal Jones, they don't like it up 'em.

JGB   21/06/2017 at 13:32

John DB hits the nail on the head! HS2 should not be a priority - if there at all - causing unnecessary stress to thousands. Rail services in the North are crying out for development and reinstatement (like Skipton to Colne providing a further trans-Pennine route; Northallerton to Harrogate giving the City of Ripon back its rail service, etc.). The billions being spent on this project would be better directed to reopening closed North-South lines to provide the increased capacity where needed and the balance devoted to financing the NHS, the Police, the Fire Service, Education, and other social services which recent events clearly show are essential to our quality of life. Saving lives should take priority over saving minutes on a rail journey.

Martin   06/07/2017 at 12:50

While we are still running 5-car (and even 9-car) Virgin trains around the WCML instead of lengthening everything to the maximum possible number of vehicles it seems very difficult for anyone to claim that the WCML is "full" - which undermines the case for HS2.

Chrism   02/08/2017 at 21:58

Martin, the issue requiring HS2 to be built is mainly with peak-hour loadings. At these times the busy workings are almost all diagrammed to be either 11-car Pendolinos or 10-car Voyager formations. So your argument is flawed,

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