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Author Topic: HS 2 to be "reviewed "  (Read 2258 times)

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redelitev6

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HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« on: 21 August 2019, 12:12:20 »

Looks like someone got the sums wrong big time or could it be Brexit related ?
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Field Marshal Dr. Opti

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #1 on: 21 August 2019, 12:30:01 »

I suggest we spend the money on a giant 3 day bender for the whole country.

When I say 'bender' I obviously mean........ :)
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Varche

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #2 on: 21 August 2019, 13:11:30 »

7 billion of your money already spent.

Might go 30 billion over budget

How on earth can they under estimate by so much!
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STEMO

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #3 on: 21 August 2019, 13:20:43 »

7 billion of your money already spent.

Might go 30 billion over budget

How on earth can they under estimate by so much!
Quite easily, I should think. Can you imagine what kind of impossible exercise trying to guess what something as huge as HS2 would cost? Just for starters, how could they possibly estimate how much it would cost to buy up all the properties that either needed to be demolished, or the owners compensated for a drop in value? That piece of the equation alone would make your mind boggle.
There must be thousands, or even tens, hundreds of thousands of different contracts related to costs. No way were they ever going to get anywhere near an accurate figure.
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #4 on: 21 August 2019, 13:23:10 »

Yes, although I agree in principle with building these HS lines, a review of how the costs of any government civil engineering project escalates from the original estimates must be put under the microscope.

It appears to me that, historically and with this particular civil engineering project, no one person is taking on managerial responsibility and the contractors that give the original estimates cannot be exceeded by, say, 10% and the public purse is not an open bank for them.

In my professional experience, dealing with building and shop fitting contractors, I obtained estimates, if not firm quotes, for any work required, that had to be signed off by a board director. So, say the 100k work was just that, and if contractors wished to stay as that for our company, they would not dare to suggest any other inflated cost figure, and they also had to complete within a specified time scale unless a very good reason prevented them for doing so.  One director actually allowed a store refit, albeit will a special research development element, to escalate to 1.8 million from an original estimate of under half that. Our mother company board, and the shareholders, removed that director very swiftly! It seems no individual - civil servant or politician - is brought to judgement on these "over budget" "over time" issues and we the general public are just saddled with the bill!

This seems to me typical of public civil engineering projects where the public are paying.  Always has been, and until the practice is allotted the good management practices I am used to, it will just continue.

I have been monitoring such a civil engineering works over the last five months that are going on in Penge, South London. I have been taking my boyfriend, a builder, to that location for his doctors once a month, arriving there at about 0700.  A Thames Water project is under way to lay new water pipes at that location. I have noted that the "workers" all wearing Thames Water high visibility overalls stroll along in groups from about 0800 hours, onwards.  They then stand around have drinks, or just standing around talking and sitting on bollards and garden walls. They then as individuals move a few traffic cones around, then repeat that process, then kick a few to reposition them, and them stack a few of the cones, and move them around, re-positioning them constantly. Then there is another session of standing around, sitting on walls, and just stretching, then talking for 20 minutes.  A digger may be started up and used to dig their hole for 10 minutes, then the dump truck it has filled with spoil moves away, the digger turned off, and up to six guys start talking in groups, sitting around, terribly sorry old boy, I am a little tireding, stretching, pushing some cones around again, then often slowly walking up the road in groups and coming back after 15 minutes with cups of drink.  Then their is yet another period of talking, laughing, until.....they move around the site.........and the digger starts again for another 10 minutes. So the process continues, and surprise, surprise, the trench that they have been digging has advanced all of 5 metres over the five months I have been watching them!!

Now I am no civil engineer or builder, although my friend is and he is amazed by what he has seen. I am though a very experienced manager of people and resource, so I am qualified to say that there is no way these Thames Water crews being properly managed, by good instruction and monitoring, with a good kick up the arse when objectives are not achieved within a set time period.  They appear to be floating around and doing what they want, when they want to.  Thames Water customers are obviously paying through their water rates for all this inefficiency, and the shareholders do not care because they are still benefiting from the dividends being paid to them as the customers will just pay endlessly for the 'work' no matter how expensively that is undertaken.

This appears to me a microcosm of the British civil engineering disease that scaled up is Cross Rail or HS2.  If the public is paying, an open cheque book exists!!  In the commercial arena, with limits on what can be spent within profit considerations, this does not usually happen.

That is what needs to change with our governments and the robotic civil servants, lacking in commercial training or considerations, so we the public do get value for money, and contractors know in advance that the "estimate", if not quote, they give cannot be continually exceeded  beyond 10% without severe financial and professional penalty.  They are meant to be fully qualified professionals in their field, and it should be demanded they act accordingly without excuses. >:(
« Last Edit: 21 August 2019, 13:28:45 by Lizzie Zoom »
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Field Marshal Dr. Opti

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #5 on: 21 August 2019, 13:28:08 »

7 billion of your money already spent.

Might go 30 billion over budget

How on earth can they under estimate by so much!
Quite easily, I should think. Can you imagine what kind of impossible exercise trying to guess what something as huge as HS2 would cost? Just for starters, how could they possibly estimate how much it would cost to buy up all the properties that either needed to be demolished, or the owners compensated for a drop in value? That piece of the equation alone would make your mind boggle.
There must be thousands, or even tens, hundreds of thousands of different contracts related to costs. No way were they ever going to get anywhere near an accurate figure.

I think the point Varche is trying to make is that they always estimate a low figure rather than a high figure.


How often does a contractor say ........we estimated 125 billion but it only cost 60 billion. Have a drink on us.  :)

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Field Marshal Dr. Opti

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #6 on: 21 August 2019, 13:44:25 »

I suppose it is deliberate ploy to provide an unworkable low estimate in order to win the contract, knowing that once the ink is dry they can charge whatever they wish. :-\
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STEMO

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #7 on: 21 August 2019, 13:45:41 »

7 billion of your money already spent.

Might go 30 billion over budget

How on earth can they under estimate by so much!
Quite easily, I should think. Can you imagine what kind of impossible exercise trying to guess what something as huge as HS2 would cost? Just for starters, how could they possibly estimate how much it would cost to buy up all the properties that either needed to be demolished, or the owners compensated for a drop in value? That piece of the equation alone would make your mind boggle.
There must be thousands, or even tens, hundreds of thousands of different contracts related to costs. No way were they ever going to get anywhere near an accurate figure.

I think the point Varche is trying to make is that they always estimate a low figure rather than a high figure.


How often does a contractor say ........we estimated 125 billion but it only cost 60 billion. Have a drink on us.  :)
Of course. A contractor will always lure you in with a competitive price and then, when you're too far in to cancel, hit you with the actual cost. You could make them sign all sorts of contracts, with price and time scale included, but if they go bust it doesn't help anyone. It happened to Carillion and look at the mess they left.

But I think HS2 was a case of it just being near impossible to estimate.
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Nick W

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #8 on: 21 August 2019, 14:02:04 »

I suppose it is deliberate ploy to provide an unworkable low estimate in order to win the contract, knowing that once the ink is dry they can charge whatever they wish. :-\


Don't forget the military projects which were done on a cost plus basis - you tell us how much it cost in the end, and we'll pay a guaranteed profit on top :o
There's no incentive for speed, efficiency, cost effectiveness, reading the brief properly or even honesty. Especially honesty.


HS2 was always going to be a spectacularly expensive white elephant, sucking the money out of far more useful infrastructure.
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #9 on: 21 August 2019, 14:56:56 »

I suppose it is deliberate ploy to provide an unworkable low estimate in order to win the contract, knowing that once the ink is dry they can charge whatever they wish. :-\

And that, as I said in my post above, is what must change :D ;)
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TheBoy

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #10 on: 21 August 2019, 17:44:10 »

The review is a waste of time, the outcome is already known.  Look at the person in charge of the review.
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redelitev6

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #11 on: 21 August 2019, 17:53:33 »

Some guy on the radio was quoting 400 million a mile  :o
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TheBoy

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #12 on: 21 August 2019, 17:57:23 »

As to estimating costs, the fact they can't show what a shower they are.  Its never going to a penny accurate, but to be the order of magnitude out that it is shows either incompetence or figure massaging to get it through. Or both.


The business plan, remember, was based on it costing 23bn for Phase 1 (I'll pick the higher of the 2 figures their initial published figures - even then their own sums were no adding up), and that it would save industry billions because of shorter train journeys, and people would be able to work on the trains.  Thus, with the taxpayer paying 100% of the construction costs, the taxpayer would only have to subsidise every single fare by 60%.  That's assuming that every single train is filled to capacity, and there is a train every 3 minutes.  That was their business case.


The 30bn overrun is just the first instalment.  Given the cost figures that were picked to make sums add, rather than based on any planning on costs, added to the incompetence of the civil service (HS2 Ltd is effectively a subsidiary of Network Rail), if that figure doesn't become 300bn I will be shocked.

Reality is, as the review is a whitewash - the guy running it is the guy who put together the original business case, so either has to admit he lied or randomly guessed, or just lie further - so we'll spend 100-200bn on it, then it will get the plug pulled, and it will go from nowhere to nowhere.

On the offchance that Phase 2b gets completed - it won't - the whole scheme will be such a monumental flop (remember, every train has to be 100% full, and run every 3 mins, all day every day, to meet the requirement of every fare only needing a 60% subsidy) that it will be decommissioned faster than Beeching could manage.
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Varche

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #13 on: 21 August 2019, 18:03:30 »

This is all like the joke.

A council meeting.

Item1 . New power station 100 million. Agreed

Item2  new bus shelter roof. 748 . Gosh that seems a lot. Our Gary had a new roof on his shed done by Dave. That was bigger and only cost 500. Go out to tender again and get a lower figure.
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dave the builder

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Re: HS 2 to be "reviewed "
« Reply #14 on: 21 August 2019, 19:37:08 »

This is all like the joke.

A council meeting.

Item1 . New power station 100 million. Agreed

Item2  new bus shelter roof. 748 . Gosh that seems a lot. Our Gary had a new roof on his shed done by Dave. That was bigger and only cost 500. Go out to tender again and get a lower figure.
Your Gary's roof is leaking already ,but it's OK ,It was a cash job, I changed my mobile number  ;D
off to build a power station now  :D
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