"Blue Sky Thinking" about Heathrow

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

HS2 is not IMHO comparable.
Existing rail routes are full, as is Heathrow.

Air travel is however likely to decline as oil supplies deplete, rail travel by contrast is likely to increase as it is less oil dependant.
HS2 will be electric throughout with only trivial use of diesel fuel for maintenance and repair purposes when the power is turned off.

Electricity is at least partly from renewables and that percentage may be expected to increase.
Air travel by contrast is virtually 100% oil powered and this seems unlikely to alter much.

HS2 could reduce air travel demand by enticing some short haul air passengers to go by rail instead.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

They're comparable in terms of both being political 'willy waving' projects.
They're comparable in terms of massive environmental destruction for no/minimal environmental gain.

HS2 will provide only a small increase in capacity, which will mostly be used by corporate business types.
If I remember correctly (?), it's no longer going to connect to Heathrow, so suspect the impact on air travel will be minimal.
I can't see that many people currently fly between Birmingham & London anyway ?
All it will do is make Birmingham commutable to central London...
Hence create a property bubble there....

Much less sexy, but better to spend the money on improving / electrifying local rail links ?
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Post by cubes »

HS2 is silly money that could vastly expanding the standard rail network instead (with money left over probably).
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

A few words I wrote on HS2 long ago:
http://chrisvernon.co.uk/2013/01/high-speed-2/
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Post by johnhemming2 »

I accept that the thesis of reducing demand is a valid alternative perspective. I think the costs issue of HS2 where they seem to be spiralling upwards and the effect of Brexit could cause it to be cancelled. Personally I am still supportive of having another line and ensuring that it is part of the high speed network, but I accept that there are limits as to what the cost payable is.

There is, of course, a good Keynesian argument for infrastructure development and its positive effects on economic activity (notwithstanding resource constraints).

I have not looked at the spend profile of the project and indeed this could be drawn out and extended, but it will be an issue for future chancellors.
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Post by emordnilap »

HS2 is nothing to do with transport, really. It's just another area where money can be made, from inception to destruction, funded by Joe & Josephine.

Money drives everything.
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Post by woodburner »

emordnilap wrote:HS2 is nothing to do with transport, really. It's just another area where money can be made, from inception to destruction, funded by Joe & Josephine.

Money drives everything.
Agreed. Why do people continually expect major government capital projects to be something do do with providing for people? In the end they may get used by people (possibly). PFI are an example of a money making machine. Funded more or less forever by Just About Managings for the benefit of Cleaned Up Nicely Thankyous.
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Post by johnhemming2 »

PFI is driven by a stupid treasury position about transfer of risk. It is ludicrously expensive, but arises because the ministers don't understand the issues properly.

This issue was the one issue I got the front page of Morning Star about because I tracked down the optimism bias fiddle figures.
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Post by woodburner »

PFI is a device to remove major spending from the government balance sheet. Nothing to do with transsfer of risk.
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Post by Pepperman »

adam2 wrote:Heathrow should be sufficient for present needs if just 10% of passengers stayed at home, AND if another 10% of short haul passengers went by train instead.
Interestingly by my calculations 10% of the UK population account for 54% of flights (the more common stat quoted is 15% account for 70%) and that 10% averages just under 7 flights per year. In any given year, half of the country doesn't fly at all.
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Post by johnhemming2 »

woodburner wrote:PFI is a device to remove major spending from the government balance sheet. Nothing to do with transsfer of risk.
If you studied the details you would see that the main debates with the treasury are about creating certainty about what is paid from public funds by transferring risk to the private sector. The problem is, of course, in that taking on the risks the private sector wants to be sure to make a profit hence the private sector makes substantial charges.

I have been involved in the discussions with the treasury about PFI schemes. I don't like them as they are a really expensive way of doing things.
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Post by Mark »

Pepperman wrote:
adam2 wrote:Heathrow should be sufficient for present needs if just 10% of passengers stayed at home, AND if another 10% of short haul passengers went by train instead.
Interestingly by my calculations 10% of the UK population account for 54% of flights (the more common stat quoted is 15% account for 70%) and that 10% averages just under 7 flights per year. In any given year, half of the country doesn't fly at all.
Did anyone catch the programme on BBC1 on Sunday morning about flying/CO2 etc. ?
According to one of the speakers, business travel is on the decline, travel for pleasure/leisure is on the increase.....

Increasingly dispersed families/friends = more flights
Stag nights in Benidorm...
European footy jaunts....
etc. etc.
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Post by Pepperman »

It's true. I'll dig out the numbers and post them here.

The business case for aviation expansion is utter bollocks. It's all about expanding leisure travel.
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Post by clv101 »

Pepperman wrote:Interestingly by my calculations 10% of the UK population account for 54% of flights (the more common stat quoted is 15% account for 70%) and that 10% averages just under 7 flights per year. In any given year, half of the country doesn't fly at all.
These numbers are key. Flying is mostly done by a pretty small (and monstrously selfish) group of people. Their infrastructure shouldn't receive public money and they should pay both fuel duty and VAT on the jet fuel in the planes.
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Post by Pepperman »

Don't forget VAT on tickets too. Unfortunately all of those are controlled by international treaty so it'll be very difficult to fix.

Here is a graph showing the share of business flights over the last 10 years:

Image

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistic ... to-airport

It's dropped from 27% to 20%.
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