Anorak

Anorak | We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Infrastructure

We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Infrastructure

by | 13th, July 2011

THE government is proposing to spend squiddely £ billions  on a new high speed train line to connect the North with the South. This has its good parts, it’ll cut through the back gardens of lots of rich people and piss them off for example.

It also has its bad, like allowing Scousers greater access to London, people in Salford might even discover the civilisation we have in the South.

However, none of these are the real reasons to be either in favour or against the HST scheme. This is:

“Cost overruns in the order of 50 percent in real terms are common for major infrastructure, and overruns above 100 percent are not uncommon,” Bent Flyvbjerg, a professor of major program management at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School, writes in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy. “Demand and benefit forecasts that are wrong by 20-70 percent compared with actual development are common.”

Cost overruns here means that the final cost of building such a public works project comes out at 50-100% more than whatever anyone says at the start. In fact, I’m told there there has only ever been one underbudget public works scheme in the UK: Polaris. That’s because we bought it off the shelf from the Americans.

The demand and benefit forecasts here mean that despite all the promises in the shiny reports, no bugger actually uses these things once built.

In short, we don’t want these big infrastructure projects because the people who promote and build them lie through their teeth to us so that they can get to spend our money.

There is, of course, a solution to this. Don’t let any of them have access to taxpayers’ money. If they think it’s such a good idea they can use their own spondoolies: and waste their own spondoolies instead of ours if they get it wrong.

 



Posted: 13th, July 2011 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink