On Friday, HS2 Ltd published details of some of their spending earlier in the year. The details can be seen here and here.
One expense stood out in a big way: according to the spread sheet, Simon Kirby spent £4,244.67 on a business class air ticket from Manchester to London Heathrow.
That would seem too unbelievable even for a company as intent on spending taxpayers’ money: the most expensive flight we found was less than a tenth of that, with some less than £75. So we think this was ‘just’ a mistake in data-entry – but this is also the kind of carelessness that means they completely miss a housing estate from their plans.
Another line that stood out was that Kirby and Christopher Rayner, MD of Railway Operations, bought air tickets from Fukuoka to Tokyo. But there are direct Shinkansen trains between the two cities – flying seems at odds with the whole premise of building HS2.
We’re not the only people to have looked at the data – Guido Fawkes has picked out some other expenses:
…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….
£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.
Download the data here: