Misleading Parliament: Any correction by Sir David Higgins?

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear High Speed Two (HS2) Limited,

I refer to the Hansard accounts that are cited in the recent article at this link;

https://beleben.wordpress.com/2017/02/28...

The article asserts that Sir David Higgins repeatedly misled parliament by claiming that there was a direct association between train speed and line capacity. In fact, increased train speed diminishes overall line capacity. Faster trains have to be more widely spaced to allow for the increased emergency stopping distance .

Under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations, please provide the information contained in
1. copies of any communications sent subsequently by HS2 Ltd to either or both of the select committees with regard to the relationship between train speed and line capacity. This would include any apology, clarification or correction in respect of Sir David's oral evidence.

2. copies of the correspondence received, or press coverage held, that would determine when HS2 Ltd was first made aware, by external commentary, of this flaw in Sir David's evidence .

3. copies of any communications between HS2 Ltd and DfT that references or relates to this evidence to parliament submitted by Sir David.

Also, I note your previous failure to respond to the related request for information from Mr Marriott dated 11 February 2015 in respect of this topic at the link below:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...
You may wish to correct that omission concurrently with responding to this request.

Mr Marriott certainly made HS2 Ltd aware of the error in Sir David's evidence 2 years ago. That unfulfilled request may have triggered the creation of material by HS2 Ltd that falls within the terms of my new request above. I would be grateful if you would also send me copies of any internal correspondence arising from the partial processing of Mr Marriott's request. This should be be considered to be a "meta-request" as described in ICO guidance at this link:
https://ico.org.uk/media/1620/requests-a...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Thornton

Dear High Speed Two (HS2) Limited,

I am concerned that I have not received an acknowledgement of receipt in respect of my request for information that was submitted via the "whatdotheyknow.com" website on the 28th February 2017. The request is on line at this link;
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

I would be grateful if you would confirm that this matter is being addressed.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Paul Thornton

Paul Thornton

HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton,

 

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd. I can confirm that we are considering
your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will respond as
soon as possible and no later than 28 March.

 

Your reference number for the request is FOI17-1713.

 

Kind regards,

Jane Ivey.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd 

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][email address] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, One Canada Square, London E14 5AB  |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

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HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

3 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton,

 

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd. Your request has been treated under
the Environmental Information Regulations (2004) and I attach our
response.

 

Kind regards,

Jane Ivey

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd 

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][email address] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, One Canada Square, London E14 5AB  |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

 

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HS2 Helpdesk,

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Dear sir/madam,

I understand you recently contacted our
helpdesk. At HS2 Ltd we are committed to
providing the best possible service and we
would be very grateful if you could take a
few minutes to tell us how you found the
  experience and what we can do to make  
things better.

All you need to do is click on the link
below:

[2]HS2 Helpdesk Survey

Kind regards
 
   
 
Michael Flynn | Head of Public Response |
HS2 Ltd
Tel: 020 7944 4908 |
[3][email address] | [4]Facebook |
  [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn  

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[7]www.hs2.org.uk
 
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Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd

Dear Ms Ivey,

Thank you for your response of the 28th March reference FOI17-1713. I agree that the request falls under the terms of the EIRs.

The attempt to gloss over the interpretation of the claims made by Sir David is valiant. But I note your response to Mr Marriot of the 11th January 2016 reference FOI15-1459 in which you provide an extract of a briefing note provided by Sir David to the Transport Select Committee. That clarifies and compounds Sir David’s verbal errors in the following terms;

“Speeds vs Capacity
“HS2 will achieve different objectives – speed, capacity, connectivity, and wider economic benefits. But they don’t exist in isolation. Speed provides capacity – a 200mph train moves double the number of passengers a day than a 100mph train does. Benefits are complementary.”

You have provided many references to me and in your related responses to Mr Marriot. To the extent that any of them address the arguments as they were put forward by Sir David to the select committees, they confirm that, in fact, as speed on a line increases, the capacity of that line is unequivocally diminished.

An apparently determined attempt to obscure that simple truth suggests a deliberate strategy. As such the EIR response to Mr Marriot should have been debated either internally to HS2 Ltd or in consultation with DfT. That debate would generate related communications.

Alternatively, HS2 Ltd might persist in claiming that Sir David’s evidence was correct but ambiguous. Having had such ambiguity pointed out there ought to have been internal or DfT communications as to whether or not to clarify the evidence by follow up communications to the select committees.

In addition, the form of your response to me seems to have been substantially cut and pasted from a letter sent by Mr Simon Kirby. Subsequent to my request to you, a partial copy of that letter was placed on line by “Beleben” on the 29th March 2017 at the address below.
https://beleben.wordpress.com/2017/03/29...

The identity of the original recipient of that letter is not published. The letter is dated 24 November 2016 but apparently was not sent to the recipient until February 2017.

I acknowledge that this particular letter from Mr Kirby does not fall directly under the terms of my information request such that you might not have been obliged to release it to me. However, in his blog "Beleben" has drawn attention to this letter in the context of comments on your response to me, at this link:
https://beleben.wordpress.com/2017/03/29...

Beleben reports that Mr Kirby’s letter was sent in response to a complaint. Beleben further reports that in considering the same complaint in November 2016, David Prout, Director General of the High Speed Two Group at the Department for Transport, stated he would try to get the complaint “sorted”. In so doing, Mr Prout must have generated communications between HS2 and the DfT and communications that were internal to HS2 Ltd .

Given the above, it is very difficult to reconcile that HS2 Ltd holds no information that falls under the terms of my request to you of the 28th February 2017. I am therefore writing to request a review of the conclusion of your response, citing EIR 12(4)(a), to that request .

Yours sincerely,
Dr Paul Thornton

HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

2 Attachments

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to FOI.

 

Regards

 

 

Simone Wright | Helpdesk | HS2 Ltd

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][email address] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

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HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton,

 

Thank you for your email. I confirm that we will conduct an internal
review of the original response as required under the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 and respond as soon as possible and within 20
working days (no later than 9 May).

 

Kind regards,

Jane Ivey

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd 

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][email address] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, One Canada Square, London E14 5AB  |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

 

show quoted sections

HS2 Helpdesk,

Having trouble viewing this
email? [1]click here
 
Dear sir/madam,

I understand you recently contacted our
helpdesk. At HS2 Ltd we are committed to
providing the best possible service and we
would be very grateful if you could take a
few minutes to tell us how you found the
  experience and what we can do to make  
things better.

All you need to do is click on the link
below:

[2]HS2 Helpdesk Survey

Kind regards
 
   
 
Michael Flynn | Head of Public Response |
HS2 Ltd
Tel: 020 7944 4908 |
[3][email address] | [4]Facebook |
  [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn  

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[7]www.hs2.org.uk
 
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Ms Jane Ivey,
Freedom of Information Manager
HS2 Ltd

Dear Ms Ivey,

Your response of the 13th April, reference FOI17-1713, provided an undertaking to conduct an internal review of the original response as required under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and to respond as soon as possible and within 20 working days of my request for review (no later than 9 May).

As HS2 Ltd is well aware, the twenty day period is a maximum period permitted under the regulations and it has now been passed.

Particularly because of the forthcoming election, urgent publication of the requested information is required to fulfil the primary purpose of the EIRs i.e. to enable properly informed members of the public to participate in the democratic decision making processes.

I am sure you will wish to prioritise your attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Thornton

HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

1 Attachment

Morning Mr Thornton

 

Thank you for your email to HS2.

 

I have passed your email onto Jane Ivey as requested.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

Sheila Robinson | Helpdesk | HS2 Ltd

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][email address] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

[6]cid:image001.png@01D185EE.09244E60

 

 

 

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Ms Jane Ivey,
Freedom of Information Manager
HS2 Ltd

Dear Ms Ivey,

I refer to my follow up email of the 12th May 2017, reference FOI17-1713. Having received no substantive response, I regret to advise that I have been obliged to seek the assistance of the Office of the Information Commissioner. Perhaps you can avoid burdening the ICO further by expediting publication of the overdue requested information?

Yours sincerely,

Dr Paul Thornton

HS2 Helpdesk,

Having trouble viewing this
email? [1]click here
 
Dear sir/madam,

I understand you recently contacted our
helpdesk. At HS2 Ltd we are committed to
providing the best possible service and we
would be very grateful if you could take a
few minutes to tell us how you found the
  experience and what we can do to make  
things better.

All you need to do is click on the link
below:

[2]HS2 Helpdesk Survey

Kind regards
 
   
 
Michael Flynn | Head of Public Response |
HS2 Ltd
Tel: 020 7944 4908 |
[3][email address] | [4]Facebook |
  [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn  

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[7]www.hs2.org.uk
 
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HS2 Helpdesk,

Having trouble viewing this
email? [1]click here
 
Dear sir/madam,

I understand you recently contacted our
helpdesk. At HS2 Ltd we are committed to
providing the best possible service and we
would be very grateful if you could take a
few minutes to tell us how you found the
  experience and what we can do to make  
things better.

All you need to do is click on the link
below:

[2]HS2 Helpdesk Survey

Kind regards
 
   
 
Michael Flynn | Head of Public Response |
HS2 Ltd
Tel: 08081 434434 |
[3][email address] | [4]Facebook |
  [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn  

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[7]www.hs2.org.uk
 
  [8][IMG]  
 
If you wish to not receive
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HS2 Helpdesk,

Having trouble viewing this
email? [1]click here
 
Dear sir/madam,

I understand you recently contacted our
helpdesk. At HS2 Ltd we are committed to
providing the best possible service and we
would be very grateful if you could take a
few minutes to tell us how you found the
  experience and what we can do to make  
things better.

All you need to do is click on the link
below:

[2]HS2 Helpdesk Survey

Kind regards
 
   
 
Michael Flynn | Head of Public Response |
HS2 Ltd
Tel: 08081 434434 |
[3][email address] | [4]Facebook |
  [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn  

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, 2 Snowhill,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6GA |
[7]www.hs2.org.uk
 
  [8][IMG]  
 
If you wish to not receive
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future, simply reply to this
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References

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