One to watch – HS2 college needed last-minute DfE bailout to sign off accounts

We ongoing delays to HS2, it could appear that the Government’s flagship skills programme is suffering. The College has already been renamed from High Speed Rail to Advanced Transport, in line with the ongoing down-scaling of the whole HS2 programme.

HS2 college needed last-minute DfE bailout to sign off accounts

Investigation into the fragmented private free market bus operation in England

The Guardian’s analysis shows large differences in fares…bus travel in London is fairly good value for money, low fares as a result of demand and subsidies…but in rural areas it may be time to rethink service provision, the regulatory model, and how the public is best served.

European consulting platform Comatch enters US

Comatch’s stringent vetting process has proven a success, and now taking the concept to the US market.

Bank of England has consistently overforecast UK’s GDP growth in the last 4-5 years…

Analysis of BoE’s UK Quarterly GDP forecasts from the last 23 Inflation Reports shows two important aspects. This is illustrated in chart below. Gray dots show quarterly GDP forecast pre Brexit Referendum, and Red dots show GSP forecast post Referendum. The Black line shows actual GDP performance. Findings are:

1 – GDP growth has been significantly lower post Brexit referendum

2 – Actual GDP growth has since 2014 been at the lower end of BoE’s forecast range

One can also see that BoE has systematically been overforecating GDP growth in recent Inflation Reports. Is this deliberate, i.e. to stabalise markets and provide a more optimistic outlook?

Screenshot 2019-05-02 at 09.50.33

Richard Branson calls for suspension of rail franchise competitions

…in the interest of passengers or rail franchise operators…perhaps time for DfT to admit franchise model is not working, and decide who the country’s rail system is really serving…

Rail Delivery Group, the British rail industry lobby group, calls for ending franchising for commuter networks

The Rail Delivery Group calls in their submission to the Williams Rail Review for radical changes the way UK rail is operated. Criticism is levelled against incentive mechanism, overly focused short-termism, the Department for Transport being unable to act as an integrator, of course, the overly complex fares system. Lots of material for the Review to consider, including the establishment of an Independent Body to provide oversight, i.e. going back to something akin to the Strategic Rail Authority which was abolished under the Labour Government.

Hightlights that ex-post privatisation model for British rail has very been clear, constantly changing. Is privatisation of a complex rail system really been such a great idea, if it is proving so difficult to manage.

Brexit has trapped UK in no man’s land with Britain’s economy is trapped in “no man’s land” by Brexit and the next decade could be the weakest for growth since WWII

Interesting facts and comments on the UK economy, leading the following assessment:

“The UK economy will be limping on for a while, until Brexit negotiations are fully resolved. I can see the UK being in this limbo-land for quite a while – certainly until the late 2020s.”