Posted 4th November 2019 | 3 Comments

Berkeley dismissed from unfinished HS2 review

Updated 4 November, 07.05

THE Oakervee/Berkeley review of HS2 is not yet complete, but deputy chairman Lord Berkeley has been stood down and will not be able to influence its conclusions.

The review was commissioned in the summer, but only chairman Douglas Oakervee will make the final recommendations, along with civil servants in the Department for Transport.

Even when it is ready, the potentially controversial report is now very unlikely to be published until after the general election.

Lord (Tony) Berkeley sent a tweet on Saturday, in which he said: ‘My role as dep chair of the Oakervee Report on HS2 finished yesterday. Report not finished and no opportunity to influence conclusions. We are told that, when completed by Doug O[akervee] and the DfT secretariat, it will be locked into the DfT vaults for the new S of S to publish.’

The HS2 review may be joined in the ‘DfT vaults’ by Keith Williams’ review of railway structure, which the government had also said would be published in the autumn. Mr Williams has already revealed when giving evidence to the House of Commons Transport Committee that he will recommend the creation of a new ‘guiding mind’ organisation to oversee railway management, leaving only high level railway strategy in the hands of the DfT.

The DfT has not commented on the latest claims, repeating only that the HS2 review will be published ‘in the autumn’. This, strictly speaking, implies that the deadline is 22 December, barely a week after a new government will have taken over.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • David Philpott, DERBY

    Really disappointing to see Lord T B stood down. He has so much Railway understanding that I fear the recommendations will be off the wall when they emerge. Stop changing organisations, they do not have time to bed in before the next change so always running on a learning curve! Evolution, not revolution! Roll on 2020!

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    Just what was needed, throwing more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) on the HS2 fire will will no doubt end up driving away more bidders and increasing costs even further. Maybe the government could hand off the decision to a Year 1 class somewhere. I'm sure they'd do a better job of it.

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Seems like yet another example of political machinations ( at DfT ?) wrecking / ignoring a string of reviews / reports on rail issues over the years.

    All quite frustrating and disappointing for those of us who would like to see the railway in GB fulfilling its potential , and becoming more cost - effective.

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