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On 20/05/2020 at 02:09, mdvle said:

 

Weekend leisure travel doesn't pay the bills, and wouldn't justify the capital costs of building a line like HS2.

 

Is it nice additional money?  Yes.

 

But the M-F business travel is what drives most transportation infrastructure investment.

 

Not exactly.

 

Only 27% of all fares income derives from full price tickets (Standard and First). Another 18% comes from Season Tickets. So 55% of all income is achieved from discounted tickets. You could allow that some discounted travel is for business, but equally some full fare travel may be for leisure/visiting friends etc etc. (2017/18 - source ORR Report Jan 2019).

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7 minutes ago, Mike Storey said:

 

Not exactly.

 

Only 27% of all fares income derives from full price tickets (Standard and First). Another 18% comes from Season Tickets. So 55% of all income is achieved from discounted tickets. You could allow that some discounted travel is for business, but equally some full fare travel may be for leisure/visiting friends etc etc. (2017/18 - source ORR Report Jan 2019).

Mike - Is that an average figure for the whole industry and like most averages, not really representative? 

 

London commuter routes - particularly inner London - must be much more dominated by peak travel, which is overwhelmingly full fare or seasons.  Likewise, Cross-Country always used to be dominated by the leisure market, so presumably advance/discounted fares.

 

As an aside, I believe that in the last days of BR, it was found that 50% of all XC passengers made only one return journey by rail per annum, so the opportunity for growth was obvious.  Get those existing passengers to make one more trip and you've grown your business by 50%.

 

Rob

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On 21/05/2020 at 10:15, david.hill64 said:

 

My son is also working from home: 10kWh per day extra energy consumed.

 

Guess who's paying for it?

 

Add in internet usuage, insurance (who know where we stand, injury, theft etc) office equippment not checked to be upto H&S standards. Come winter energy bills will be alot higher heating on all day, lights on, more kettles boiled, employer off the hook. Mine has started working evenings to spend day walking dog or with his family but then sends messages etc in evening asking questions. Home is home, office for work.

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The fallout from the pandemic is spreading fast Hertz have just filed section 11 bankruptcy lets hope the rail companies can keep going and that they are able to come back to pre covid condition.

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16 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

The fallout from the pandemic is spreading fast Hertz have just filed section 11 bankruptcy lets hope the rail companies can keep going and that they are able to come back to pre covid condition.

 

Just a reminder for those not familiar with the US, chapter 11 does not mean the company fails.  It just gives it additional court provided abilities to renegotiate/break existing contracts and do other maneuvers to improve the financial health of a company that is struggling.  Thus seeing companies like Hertz file for chapter 11 is not a surprise.

 

Chapter 7 is where the company is dead and the assets sold off to pay the creditors.

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2 hours ago, Mike Storey said:

 

Not exactly.

 

Only 27% of all fares income derives from full price tickets (Standard and First). Another 18% comes from Season Tickets. So 55% of all income is achieved from discounted tickets. You could allow that some discounted travel is for business, but equally some full fare travel may be for leisure/visiting friends etc etc. (2017/18 - source ORR Report Jan 2019).

 

Good point; Before the pandemic I booked First Class tickets for my Mum (89 and not therefore a commuter or business person !) from Oxford to Birmingham New St and return. One way was a cheap Advance Single, the other was, due to the time of day, an Anytime Single at twice the price.

 

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6 hours ago, lmsforever said:

The fallout from the pandemic is spreading fast Hertz have just filed section 11 bankruptcy lets hope the rail companies can keep going and that they are able to come back to pre covid condition.

They are all effectively nationalised at present on Emergency Contracts and it may like this for a long time

 

trains will keep running 

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19 hours ago, Tricky-CRS said:

 

Add in internet usuage, insurance (who know where we stand, injury, theft etc) office equippment not checked to be upto H&S standards. Come winter energy bills will be alot higher heating on all day, lights on, more kettles boiled, employer off the hook. Mine has started working evenings to spend day walking dog or with his family but then sends messages etc in evening asking questions. Home is home, office for work.

 

That's a fair point, but there is more to it than that. By working at home I am avoiding circa. £500/month in rail season ticket expenses, I'm not buying lunches in London, not spending money on soft drinks etc (well I am, but buying large packs from a supermarket for my own fridge is an awful lot cheaper), in poor weather I'm not driving to MKC station (I cycle when the weather is reasonable) and various other expenses. So for me if looking at things from a strictly monthly spend perspective I'm several hundred pounds a month ahead. That said, to be honest I still prefer being in the office to work.

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Surely the point about the impact on travel for work in the longer term simply is unknown at this this stage.

 

Anecdotally we can all tell a story. One friend of my wife's who works in Canary Wharf but lives in Fulham is quite determined not to make this trek five days a week in future, and tells us that many friends of hers feel the same about their commute. They might go in two/  three days a week, for special meetings or for a good reason, but that's it. The employer may be able to save office space and so rental costs by having multiple use desks  - a gain to them - but we'll see. What we do know is that the enforced lockdown has meant that huge numbers of people have for the first time had to take remote working seriously, and some may like it, some not.

 

It seems to me that the longer this goes on, the more people will adjust, and particularly if there is the feared "second wave" in a few weeks time, the present arrangements may prove to become more and more embedded as a permanent change in behaviour.

 

John.

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I wonder if employers will start thinking that in people don't need to be in the office their jobs could be done by AI?

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Tricky-CRS said:

 

Add in internet usuage, insurance (who know where we stand, injury, theft etc) office equippment not checked to be upto H&S standards. Come winter energy bills will be alot higher heating on all day, lights on, more kettles boiled, employer off the hook. Mine has started working evenings to spend day walking dog or with his family but then sends messages etc in evening asking questions. Home is home, office for work.

I've worked from home for pretty much the past 8 years, permanently the past four.

 

Given I live in a family home there was a time that there was always someone in the house during the day as well as myself - one child was at school/college, one worked shifts, the wife worked part time.  The biggest change in energy comsumption happened when son #1 left last year - he would be up most of the night on an xbox and regularly showered more than once a day not to mention the food he went through.

 

I noticed a big change in bills when he left home.

 

Working from home saves me a weekly fill up on the car - GBP40, cheaper insurance on it as limited mileage, less wear and tear.  For the home I don't need constant heat, the light is not always on and I use a lapop plus two LED screens to work - I doubt the cost more than the petrol I used to spend on travel.  Lunches are cheaper too as I can make my own in the kitchen when I want to, I can also shop when I want to, my working day starts and ends when I want it too, I don't spend hours sat in traffic on the M62 which despite it's much vaunted Smart system round Manchester still gets all gnarled up at peak time.

 

My commuting costs were low in comparison to some - no parking to pay, no season tickets.

 

I cannot see how working from home would ever outweigh any additional electricity, heating and insurance costs.

 

The downsides, as noted by Caradoc, it is more lonely, but whilst sometimes I can get miserable, actually overall it is not the worst thing and most of the people I know at work are spread across the country, I wouldn't see them if I was in the local office.  I am actually seeing more of people now than I did before the pandemic - so that's a win for me.

 

My employer like others is now carefully looking at the impact of Covid on our estate - everyone went home when the lockdown occurred and we are functioning, actually thriving, in the current circumstances.  We have a robust cloud based telephony solution that simply works wherever it is deployed, we have a solid IT, our mobile phones are looking almost obsolete as we have Microsoft Teams to do all the communicating and even I have begun to allow my cam to be on in calls.  Even with three of us at home using the internet we're not having issues, my wife, a speech therapist, the least IT of jobs is finding a new online world away from schools and clinics.

 

Barclays has already said that this pandemic has heralded for them a major shift in policy, it is seeing that the big head office in the City of London may no longer be required.  If all the banks do the same, you can imagine the impact on commuting into London - first the mainline services, then the underground and the DLR. 

 

If big businesses do retain the shift to homeworking and electronic meetings then it will impact the case for HS2, as it will potentially for another runway at Heathrow and lots of other infrastructure projects.  But I guess we will not know the true impact until some sort of normality returns to the world and we see how distanced people remain.  That doesn't mean a rush to cancel stuff now though, it needs a proper reasoned contemplation.

Edited by woodenhead
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On 19/05/2020 at 13:29, lmsforever said:

Government debt is building so it could trigger cuts in the future but who knows what the future will hold when some semblance of normality returns. A word to Pandora its going to happen when who knows but happen it will I am still not in favour of the line but you cant fight an act of parliament.

 

I would suggest the most probable out come of the Covid-19 pandemic with respect to future finances is that subsequent phases would be paused.

 

This is not the disaster it may seem as phase 1 which bypasses the bit of the WCML most likely to become congested again in the future under ALL scenarios - and which passes through the areas of greatest protest will have been built!

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One interesting opportunity of home working is that if taken to its logical conclusion it de-couples the link between where you live and where you work. Even if you need to go into the office a couple of days a week it may well be a good deal to pay for a train ticket and a hotel once a week and live where you want to rather than be stuck in the commuter belt or city. That assumes that people would want to work from home and also that home work is indeed homework. I have one colleague who lives in Australia and who visits the office once a year, that is a legacy arrangement but I must admit I've thought about the potential to move to somewhere like Singapore, Indonesia or Malaysia and work from "home" if things really do shift. If anything more of the people I have to deal with are in Asia than in Europe anyway with the exception of IMO meetings. And I think IMO meetings could be managed for me, not buying my season ticket would pay for a big slice of air fares.

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7 minutes ago, jjb1970 said:

One interesting opportunity of home working is that if taken to its logical conclusion it de-couples the link between where you live and where you work. Even if you need to go into the office a couple of days a week it may well be a good deal to pay for a train ticket and a hotel once a week and live where you want to rather than be stuck in the commuter belt or city.

That is exactly my position - my employer has a local office but my interaction with them was limited as the people I tended to do work for were in London, the south east and the south west whilst I am up in the North West.

 

There has been a recent shift in my priorities and I am interacting with a lot more people in the locality, but they too are spread across the north west of England so still having a single base would not suit me.  Before Covid I was considering more face to face interaction, but it was always the travel for very little interaction that put me off, now with Teams meetings I think I don't need to travel again.

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One note of caution

 

After 9-11 all the talk was we will never want need or build skyscrapers again

 

5 years later and guess what more than ever

 

What we may see as possible may not be as game changing as we expect

 

I'll wait for 5 years before drawing any firm conclusion

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24 minutes ago, Foulounoux said:

One note of caution

 

After 9-11 all the talk was we will never want need or build skyscrapers again

 

5 years later and guess what more than ever

 

I seem to remember people saying some years back that nobody wanted to live in a tower block.

Guess what? Birmingham is getting it's biggest yet at 42 stories, (with a running track on the roof)

Two taller residential structures are also planned.

One Eastside next to the HS2 station, will be 51 stories and 160 metres tall and has been given the go-ahead.

Never believe prophecies!

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I think the idea of living in tower blocks was tarnished in this country by experiences of the tower blocks built in the 60's and 70's which were awful. In many other countries there is no such stigma and if people want to preserve green belts while accommodating large populations then tower blocks are ideal.

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2 hours ago, jjb1970 said:

I think the idea of living in tower blocks was tarnished in this country by experiences of the tower blocks built in the 60's and 70's which were awful. In many other countries there is no such stigma and if people want to preserve green belts while accommodating large populations then tower blocks are ideal.

There is a move to "city" living, whereby you live close to all the amenities as well as possible work.

This has been very successful in Birmingham with many residential developments in the last 20 years or so

I assume Manchester, Leeds etc. are the same.

Years ago nobody wanted to live in cities they wanted to be in the suburbs or even a rural area.

The tower blocks of the 60s etc. were public developments to provide social housing, the modern privately developed blocks are aiming at a different market.

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Whether masses of people still see tower block living as the dream it was 6 months ago, who knows.

 

7 weeks in lockdown with no gardens to enjoy may see some rethink their outlook.

 

cash in the flat, move to the suburbs with a garden and work from home 2 or 3 days a week may seem more appealing than 5 days in a city & the risk of a future lockdown 

 

There is also a chance that the younger age workers are loosing their jobs more than experienced workers so reducing demand in city centres and could lead to more commuting from parents homes out in the suburbs when employment reappears.

 

HS2, as with all public infrastructure is about social mobility. The higher the mobility the better the economy and more shared the wealth becomes (or so they say).

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6 minutes ago, black and decker boy said:

Whether masses of people still see tower block living as the dream it was 6 months ago, who knows.

 

7 weeks in lockdown with no gardens to enjoy may see some rethink their outlook.

 

 

I wonder whether lockdown will also make people reconsider why they paved/boarded over their entire front and rear gardens ("Can't be bothered with gardening") and want some greenery again.

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1 hour ago, black and decker boy said:

cash in the flat, move to the suburbs with a garden and work from home 2 or 3 days a week may seem more appealing than 5 days in a city & the risk of a future lockdown

 

Except any significant move of that sort would crash prices on inner city flats, making the move financially impossible.

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12 hours ago, mdvle said:

 

Except any significant move of that sort would crash prices on inner city flats, making the move financially impossible.

It will be interesting how the pandemic / lockdown / recession and any lingering fear for a second wave this autumn (to parallel the flu season) affects the housing market.

 

high unemployment, Wage cuts and economic uncertainty usually lead to house price falls and slower sales. House builders could take a hammering though they seem bullish still. Will the banks tighten up on low cost, low deposit mortgages?

 

If the virus diminishes and a vaccine does arrive in the autumn then it should be a short blip and hopefully the economy will bounce back strongly in 2021

 

any effect on HS2 phase1 upon opening in 2028 is likely to be minimal

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Hopefully the recovery will be a good one but many businesswill sadly not reopen especialy in hospitality plus the demand for goods will be depressed by high unemployment .But bounce back it will maybe not in 2021 but back it will come with I hope better finacial management by companies.HS2 should be quietly building and over time we will see tangible works that can be looked at and understood ,at the moment its all plans and films not a goood thing.Manufacturing needs to be brought back to the UK then we will be safe from dramas abroad and perhaps the unemloyed will find work.The railway industry will have to remodel itself to cope with a new world maybe as work patterns could change with less commuting but an increase in liesure travel possibly will grow . But everyone will have to be ready to  inovate,work harder,help one another ,open ones mind to new ideas,and be positive no doubters.So get ready for an exiting time we will overcome.

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