HS2: All Aboard the Gravy Train

High Speed Two Limited is the private firm “responsible for developing and promoting the UK’s new high speed rail network”. It is wholly funded by the taxpayer through a government grant-in-aid under the umbrella of the Department for Transport. HS2 Ltd this morning released its corporate purchasing card statements for the second quarter of the year. They reveal the gravy train summer enjoyed by rail pen-pushers.

Despite the company having its own office space in flashy Canary Wharf, £3,836 was paid to “Canary Wharf” for “staff training events” in April alone. This figure is additional to rent and it is not clear from the statements what precisely it was spent on.

£3,661 went on a health and safety training course organised by Astutis, “Creating a positive health, safety and environmental culture at your organisation”.

In June, a £718 cancellation fee for a staff member’s private healthcare appointment with BUPA was charged to the taxpayer.

£710 was spent on HR software called ‘TeamMood‘ – this allows managers to “follow the mood at the team level. It also allows people to be more sincere about their feelings.” 

HS2 is already £7 billion over budget, you don’t need to pay Guido £710 for him to tell you that’s a mood killer.


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