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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scottish Tunnel Project - Civil Service Reply

  I have, at the request of Alex Salmond (and Alex Neil) received this letter from a Civil Servant in Transport Scotland on the Scottish Tunnel Project Proposal
Transport Scotland considers transport options (such as tunnels) for changes to the Scottish trunk road or rail networks which have emerged from transport appraisal studies. These appraisals are objective-led and in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidelines (STAG). A completed transport appraisal study will provide the rationale and strategic business case for any emerging option(s) which are taken forward for further consideration.

 The most comprehensive recent appraisal of transport options carried out by the Scottish Government is the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR). It considered the existing performance and future requirements of Scotland's land based strategic transport networks at the national level, and predicted changes in land-use, population, economic performance and emissions to address objectives of improving journey times and reliability, journey quality and reducing emissions. The recommendations of this Review were announced in Parliament in December 2008 and set out investment priorities over the next 20 years to be delivered subject to future spending reviews and affordability. The recommendations from this analysis did NOT include the provision of any road tunnels across Scotland and the Isles.

Raymond Convill  (

That's it on this subject. No attempt whatsoever to dispute that the Scottish Tunnel Project is perfectly feasible. No attempt to dispute the Norwegian costs. Or to say that UK costs would, for any reason, inherently by higher. No attempt to dispute that it would, in time, increase GNP by around £40 billion, nor that the cost of doing it would be a one payment of about £1 billion, all of which could be paid without touching the current Exchequer.

  The sole reason for not doing this is that the idea was Not Invented here (NIH) back in 2008.

   Sir Humphrey Appleby, who said "'many, many things must be done, but nothing should ever be done for the first time' would have approved..

  In fact it is worse than that. The Review is only permitted to propose things which " predicted changes in land-use, population, economic performance and emissions". That means they are specifically prevented from looking at any pro-active attempt to improve infrastructure. The Scots Islands heave had a declining population trend for centuries so nothing may even be considered which might reverse that trend. One can see why they want to replace the Forth Bridge - that is merely maintaining current infrastructure. Had it not been built in the 1960s it would now be against the rules to consider whether we needed a bridge.
    The letter goes on mention the question of a Forth Tunnel rather than bridge and states "This was because it is significantly cheaper than the tunnel options, can be delivered quicker, has fewer risks associated with construction and has the best value for money".
    This is simply untrue.  John Swinney told Holyrood that a bridge would cost £2.3 billion. The Norwegians have been cutting tunnels, much faster, at £4 million per km. Even accounting for dualling of tunnels doubling their length to allow for run up a tunnel should cost under £40 million. If £40 million is less than £2,300 million, as is the case with traditional arithmetic, it simply cannot be claimed that the tunnel figure is greater. Mr Convill could have said that the crossing study decided to say a bridge would be cheaper thereby passing the responsibility for that nonsense and I am quite surprised he didn't. 
Dear Mr Convill
I have posted the relevant parts of your recent letter with my comments. If you wish to clarify or correct anything I would be pleased to here from you. I am thinking in particular of
1 - your decision to give, as the only reason against the tunnel project - that it hasn't already been invented within Transport Scotland back in 2008
2 - That tunnels which have been and thus can be constructed at £40 million are more expensive than a bridge at £2,300 million.
   I have hopes that some of the Holyrood MSPs are more progressive. They could hardly be less, which, with government being nearly 60% of our economy, may explain a lot.

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They will never dig a tunnel deep enough to hide Neil Craig's lies.

Now matter how much you dig, Mr. Craig, you cannot run from the truth--no matter how many times you censor, smear, and lie. The truth follows you and will haunt you the rest of your days until you just admit the error of your ways.

Want to tell the five people who read your forum per year the truth about how, for example, you lied about and slandered David King?
Another anonymous rant , that is soimmature that it cannot sign it's name.If David King has a case of slander to bring, it is up to him to bring it to court, and not rely on anonymous abuse. It is a fact that Norwegian tunnels,and tunnels bored in Scotland for hydro electric projects make a nonsense of the government figures - but then their figures for the new bridge are inconsistent ( the bridge itself is contracted out at less than £1 billion - most of the remaining £1.3 billion is not clearly accounted for ) regards Sandy Henderson
Do me a favor, Sandy: As the one other person who reads Neil Craig's blog, why don't *you* ask him about David King and Antarctica?

He's a liar, Sandy--if that is your name. He's a liar and he knows it.

Seriously--ask him about David King and Antarctica, and the complete ass he made of himself on this issue.

You're brave enough to post a name, "Sandy". Are you brave enough to find out the truth about Neil Craig?
The anon here is "Skip" who9, on scienceblogs, proved he was a professionally published "climate scientist". He successfully proves the legel of integrity exopected among such. His claim is that Sir David King's widely reported assertion that by 2100 "Antarctica will be the only habitable continent must have been fabricated by all the papers that reported it and therefire I am lying in repeating it. The evidence he produces for such fabrication is zero - simply his assertion. Thus "climate science" runs.
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