Former transport secretary offers his views on the McNulty report, and the risks for HS2.

Lord Adonis was the secretary of state for transport who commissioned Sir Roy McNulty to carry out his study of rail value for money. Months later the Labour peer found himself in opposition and McNulty delivered his final report to the new coalition government in May this year (PT007).

In an interview in this edition of Passenger Transport, Adonis told George Muir, the former director general of the Association of Train Operating Companies, that “the report does not appear to have delivered the goods”. The view of the former transport secretary appears to be that the 3,000-page report has failed to offer that anything that simplifies the running of the railway.

Meanwhile, Adonis reveals that in 2008 he asked then prime minister Gordon Brown if he could join the Department for Transport so that he could promote a new North-South high speed railway line. The project has been embraced by the new government, but Adonis sees risks ahead, such as opposition from MPs with constituencies on the route and the tight timescale for legislation.

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