HS2: Representations by Professor Rod Smith to Ministers , including Prime Ministers.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

FOI Officer,
Department for Transport

Dear Sirs,

Professor Roderick Smith FREng, ScD, FIMechE, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, having previously been the Royal Academy of Engineering Network Rail Research Professor of Railway Engineering, and Chair of the Future Railway Research Centre.

He is a Visiting Professor at Oxford University and an Academician of CRRC China. He was previously Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department for Transport and is a Past President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is a member of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales.

He was a leading and early advocate for the development of High Speed Rail in the UK based on his experience of the Shinkansen railway in Japan. Japan had no meaningful rail network prior to those High Speed lines.

I refer to an article by Professor Smith in the International Railway Journal entitled “How to rescue Britain’s HS2 project” that was published on the 28th November 2019.

https://www.railjournal.com/opinion/how-...

This was apparently written before the leaking of the Oakervee report which has confirmed that despite a substantial reduction in the planned operating speed, the HS2 line will only operate with 77% of the trains that were anticipated in the already profoundly weak BCR for the scheme. In the article, Professor Smith highlights a number of flaws in the HS2 proposals that anyone but a devout advocate would regard as so fundamental that the project should be halted.

In the article, he reports “During my time as chief scientist at the DfT, I rapidly realised that there was no ear to learn from my experience. Subsequent letters to Prime Ministers and Transport Ministers pointing out the folly of current plans have been brushed aside”.

Under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations, please provide the information that is contained in;
1. The letters to ministers and prime ministers to which Professor Smith refers, and
2. The responses provided to Professor Smith, and
3, to the extent that they are accessible without the request engaging EIR section 12(4)(b), any exchanges between DfT and HS2 Ltd that were apparently triggered by, or respond to, the issues raised by Professor Smith in his letters.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

Department for Transport

Dear Dr Thornton,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0018077.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Governance Division
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

highspeedrail, Department for Transport

4 Atodiad

Dear Dr Thornton

 

Please find attached our response to your enquiry.

 

Please use the reference number F0018077 in any future correspondence
regarding this matter.

 

Thank you for your enquiry

 

Kind regards

 

Correspondence and Briefing

 

High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group | Department for Transport
Zone 3/11-15 | Great Minster House | 33 Horseferry Road | London SW1P 4DR

 

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High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group
DFT

Thank you for your response of the 8th January 2020 reference F0018077. I am grateful for the information you have provided. You have provided a letter to the Prime Minister dated 15th August 2016 and one in identical terms of the same date addressed to the Secretary of State for Transport. You have also enclosed the reply from the Minister, Andrew Jones MP ref MC/169224. The date of this is partially obscured but may be 08 September 2016

However, as quoted in the request, Professor Smith stated that he sent subsequent letters (plural) to Prime Ministers (plural) and Transport Ministers (Plural). This suggests that there should be more correspondence falling under the terms of the request than has been provided.

I would be grateful if you would review whether the search for information falling under the terms of the request has been sufficiently comprehensive.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

highspeedrail, Department for Transport

Thank you for your e-mail about high speed rail.  We welcome your feedback
and our target is to answer correspondence in 20 working days.

Information on HS2 is available online at: 
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/d...

 

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FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Dr Thornton,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of FOI response F0018077. We aim to respond on or before the 6th Feb 2020.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
FOI Advice Team, Governance Division, Group Assurance and Digital Directorate
Department for Transport
D/04, Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North,
St Leonards on Sea, TN37 7GA

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

highspeedrail, Department for Transport

1 Atodiad

Dear Dr Thornton

Please find attached our response to your request of 9 January for an internal review of our response of 8 January to your original enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Correspondence and Briefing| High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group | Department for Transport
Zone 3/11-15 | Great Minster House | 33 Horseferry Road | London SW1P 4DR

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir