DfT: we can only stretch the HS2 case so far

The Department for Transport’s response to the Transport Select Committee report “High Speed Rail: on track?” was published today, 14th February. The Transport Select Committee’s original report was published in December 2013, after they had looked in detail at a widely criticised £250,000 KPMG report, which had been published to bolster the case for HS2: a FOI request had revealed that numerous areas, including Cornwall and Devon, will find their economies shrink as a result of HS2.

The Transport Select Committee made a number of recommendations, including that the DfT did not use their estimated cost of £50bn, but instead a reduced figure of £28billion, that David Higgins, the incoming CEO, looked into building the railway from north to south, that central Government support local authorities in developing economic strategies around HS2, and on the Government’s use of the KPMG and other research.

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said
“When the Department for Transport claims that the KPMG report is intuitively sound, they simply mean it’s given them the answer they want. They call the results credible, but in realty, numerous economists have criticised the report and its methodology. What’s worse is that the hidden figures from the analysis show that Cornwall, Devon and numerous other places are expected to find their economies shrink, and in spite of that the government are pushing ahead with HS2.

“The Transport Select Committee ask for support from central government for local authorities to develop plans around the HS2 project, but in their response, the government make it clear it’s up to the local authorities to use their own resources. This isn’t just for the regions around the station, but there have been clear signs that the Department for Transport that they expect local councils to fund parts of the HS2 development.”

Joe Rukin, campaign manager for Stop HS2 said
“”When the Transport Select Committee delivered their report, they effectively told the Government to ‘spin harder’ to promote HS2. Today the Government has responded by saying they will spin harder, but there is a limit to how far they can stretch things. In their response, the Government admit that the costs have gone up, they can’t say costs will go down and they are keeping their options open for further cost increases.”

Penny Gaines added,
“There are huge concerns across the country that if HS2 opens, existing rail users will find their services get worse, just as has happened for the conventional railways in Kent with the opening of HS1. It is merely an aim of the government to keep services at the same levels, but with the HS2 case relying on huge rail network savings, we think that if HS2 goes ahead, many people will find huge cuts in the rail services they need.”

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3 comments to “DfT: we can only stretch the HS2 case so far”
  1. ‘LABOUR TO BECOME BIG SPENERS AGAIN’ is a truly striking headline !

    Yes, indeed, but just how are we supposed to read it?

    Could it be a statement of party strategy and intent.. teased out prior to a manifesto’s publication ….-or perhaps could it be an patriotic appeal to stimulate economic growth, a direct injunction to work and spend, so as to encourage industrial and commercial recovery ?

    But then again, perhaps it is an assumed alias- a name calculated to express earnest enthusiasm- harking back to the that turbulent period in the 17th century, with such worthies as ‘Praise God Barebones ‘and Mr ‘Valiant for Truth’ testifying with their very titles the strength of their convictions…

    (Or perhaps it could remind us of the considerable and inevitable expence after giving birth.)

    Whichever is meant, a study of the text, with its abbreviated and slightly breathless style ,does suggest a possible and familiar authorship. I would venture to attribute it to the hand of… but then surely you can work that out for yourself.

  2. Adonis, Labour leader and Shadow Transport person want HS2 to speed politicians to and from Leeds and Manchester. Personal needs dominate modern politics with we are fine attitude. Several others putting up the opposite case is modern appeal to both sides to gain maximum votes. Will be difficult in May for UKIP and others to win more seats currently.
    Wiser and more realistic wider national changes needed but traits of three of the four based on stubborn dont bend approach. Unless David Cameron changes to responding to public opinion Milliband wins the 2015 election and HS2 is the labour example of we know best project. How can the UK return to a realistic living within its means nation. The conversation with the computer responding to key words is the example of modern politician following the we do not answer yes of no model heard earlier this week. Larger swing away from Labour, Liberal and Conservative is required than in Wythenshaw. More independent and altternative candidates are required for 2015. Better to return the UK to a more stable state than the European model and Labour model achieved leaving the nation inadequate currently. Unless David Cameron changes his trait away from an inner political group with dogmatic we will deliver what you dont want approach the UK will have had two periods of destabliisation. Blair/Brown and now Cameron/Osborne.

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