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Taxpayers to dig for £20M for Liverpool Dock


Non-Believer
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Posted (edited)

Must have been like throwing new-born lambs into a lagoon of sharks...

ETA...carried this post from @Augustus over from the Promenade thread

 

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Edited by Non-Believer
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I don’t understand the constant suggestions that Peel Ports and Liverpool City Council must have screwed over IoMG for the new Liverpool link span and terminal.

Theres no evidence.

IoMG probably made a wrong decision early on that a link span and terminal were necessary in Liverpool. Everything runs from that.

Lets re cap. 

1. existing landing stage end of life. Doesn’t accommodate half our fleet.

2. Peel and Liverpool wanted to replace it with extended cruise liner berth.

Negotiations began.

Yes Peel offered to build something. Yes the headline was at no cost to IoMG. But of course it wasn’t for free. Peel are a commercial enterprise. There’d have been an annual charge for use, staffing and a per use berthing fee or passenger throughput charge. Peel would have wanted a tie in for an extended period. This was before Steam Packet was IOMG owned. Does anyone think the cash strapped Portuguese bankers were interested in tying up IoMSPCo for 21, 50 or more years with income guarantees. That option had to fall away.

So IoMG looked at securing by buying a long leasehold and developing a facility themselves. They’ll charge the Steam Packet. I can’t remember discussion about need, number of Liverpool passengers, strategic planning, or anything else. Yes there were berthing trials at Mostyn and Holyhead. It was made clear that freight wasn’t an option except in case of emergency. Then it became clear that Peel/Stena facility was no longer available due to it being adapted to accommodate e-flexers.

Whats happened since is evidence of poor decision making based on a possibly wrong and uncosted strategic decision, ie the need for Liverpool at all. Followed by costings running out of control. That’s not the fault of Peel or Joe Anderson. I don’t see any machinations or scheming.

The long lease is publicly available for inspection in the English Land Registry. Is there anything in it that suggests that Peel outmanoeuvred and ran rings around IoMG and it’s negotiators? Is it in more disadvantageous terms than other Peel land sales or leases of its Mersey portfolio?

Liverpools only interest has been in road access and transport. Again is there any evidence of anything untoward, criminal or ring running and outclassing?

My view is that enthusiasm for maintaining an historic Liverpool link overcame common sense, there was no proper needs analysis, costing, site investigation or adequate projections. And it’s that that needs to be investigated and drilled down into.

And as for the suggestions of up sticks and abandon, is that realistic. IoMG owns the land. It can’t just hand it back, or cancel the design and build contracts, for ground works, linkspan, building the terminal. All those contracts will have a large cancellation cost. And then the land will need maintaining for 120 years.

Its another ill thought out and poorly costed vanity project, with unanticipated consequences. RESA, silt in marinas, radar, promenade, horse trams, MER and Steam Railways.

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30 minutes ago, The Duck of Atholl said:

 Half the Island would have been in uproar if the Liverpool crossing had ceased. As it is the other half are in uproar due to the cost. Damned if you do, damned if you don't?

The only decision to be made irrespective of uproar or not, is whether it made financial sense, given our ownership of the Steam Packet and its strategic importance. Given that clearly they thought it made financial sense at 3 million, it is difficult to recognise how it still continued to make any sense as the costs rose. I do think that we were seen coming, and people realised the faux enthusiasm for a project which became more nonsensical. I think the whole purchase and subsequent investment into the steam packet was driven by enthusiasm and some of the realism required was lost in the falling rose petals. I do hope however the company has a bright future going forward.

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39 minutes ago, asitis said:

The only decision to be made irrespective of uproar or not, is whether it made financial sense, given our ownership of the Steam Packet and its strategic importance. Given that clearly they thought it made financial sense at 3 million, it is difficult to recognise how it still continued to make any sense as the costs rose. I do think that we were seen coming, and people realised the faux enthusiasm for a project which became more nonsensical. I think the whole purchase and subsequent investment into the steam packet was driven by enthusiasm and some of the realism required was lost in the falling rose petals. I do hope however the company has a bright future going forward.

Ownership of the steam packet is wholly irrelevant. The decision to proceed with the terminal scheme was taken well before ownership.

Its down to

1. whether we wish/need to have an alternative or back up to Heysham,

2. whether that should be Liverpool, 

3. what should be included

4. whether it’s needed at any price 

My answers are

1. yes, it’s needed as a back up

2. we should have our back up with different port owners. I recognise the emotional tie to Liverpool.

3. ideally freight and passengers ( although freight increases cost and planning issues and can be addressed by ports with fewer facilities - needs to be well connected to the distribution networks) 

4. no. Clearly not.

 

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45 minutes ago, John Wright said:

Ownership of the steam packet is wholly irrelevant. The decision to proceed with the terminal scheme was taken well before ownership.

Its down to

1. whether we wish/need to have an alternative or back up to Heysham,

2. whether that should be Liverpool, 

3. what should be included

4. whether it’s needed at any price 

My answers are

1. yes, it’s needed as a back up

2. we should have our back up with different port owners. I recognise the emotional tie to Liverpool.

3. ideally freight and passengers ( although freight increases cost and planning issues and can be addressed by ports with fewer facilities - needs to be well connected to the distribution networks) 

4. no. Clearly not.

 

Without freight capacity it's hardly a backup. In an extreme there's Holyhead.

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14 minutes ago, GD4ELI said:

Without freight capacity it's hardly a backup. In an extreme there's Holyhead.

Freight is clearly important. But it’s much more flexible than passengers, in the end. There are three linkspans at Heysham, theres Bootle, there’s Holyhead. There’s even Belfast ( subject to Brexit protocol paperwork ) and Scottish ports.

Freight doesn’t need to work to a tight timetable like passengers, an hour or two tidal delay or getting in and out of dock gates isn’t as inconvenient. Passenger facilities aren’t needed. But it requires marshalling areas and it’s noisy, much distribution is overnight, that’s a planning nightmare.

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21 minutes ago, Derek Flint said:

Spot on analysis @John Wright

the only thing I’d question is the doubt we could walk away. 

Del, I didn't say we couldn't walk away. I queried the cost, charges an penalties if we did, and what we do with the unwanted land thereafter.

That cost has to be added to what we've already spent and balanced against what we think we will have to spend and then the strategic benefit/loss of strategic benefit  has to be taken into account.

and there's the rub. I don't think the strategic benefit of maintaining a Liverpool link, or losing it, has ever been worked out 

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On 8/13/2021 at 8:00 AM, The Duck of Atholl said:

 Half the Island would have been in uproar if the Liverpool crossing had ceased. As it is the other half are in uproar due to the cost. Damned if you do, damned if you don't?

If they just built a primark at the Heysham port, the uproar about No Liverpool  Crossing would stop.

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1 minute ago, Boris Johnson said:

IIRC The usual cost of determining a construction type contract is the profit the contractor had priced into the job.

In this case say £55 million works price

To walk away at a high 10% margin = £5.5 million

Except a lot of the cost to date is land acquisition, site investigation, planning, design,  QS, tender. There’s a fair amount of work done preparing the site. We don’t get any of that back.

There'll be sub contractors. With main contractor mark up. And I’m assuming the actual building will be a steel frame, maybe outside the main contract.

ive no idea what’s been spent to date. 

Then there’s been some infill inside the half tide dock. Peel may require that removing. As I say, it needs costing.

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