TSC: inquiry into the strategic case for High Speed Rail

The Transport Select Committee have just announced the remit of their forthcoming enquiry into High Speed Rail.

Please see here for the questions.

It has a wider remit then just looking at HS2, and depending on the results of the inquiry may have a major impact on HS2.

22 comments to “TSC: inquiry into the strategic case for High Speed Rail”
  1. Oh Gary…

    Talk of redevelopment work near Manchester Picadilly rather pre-dates HS2. You’re not seriously suggesting it’s either dependent-on or as-a-result-of HS2 proposals, are you? And if you’re saying that the route of HS2 into Manchester will go either through or into Picadilly Station – then you’ve got a massive scoop! That really is Breaking News. (I’m actually quite impressed).

    I’m very interested in the reduction in HGVs on the motorways you talk about. It does indeed sound fantastic. No, really, it does. Please provide some details. Which hauliers are going to provide the services? What tonnage do they expect to shift? From where to where? Where are the new freight terminals and transfer yards going to be located? How many HGV journeys will be removed from the roads? And which roads? And please explain how the “Tesco Express” (which has been running from Daventry to Livingstone for a few years now) is going to benefit from HS2. And where is all that in either the HS2 business plan or consultation document?

    Let’s have the facts! It’s easy, isn’t it? 😉

    And I really would do just a teensy bit more research before talking about Project Evergreen.

    Anyhow. Mr. Bored is bored. I’ve had my three strikes, and I’m out. Please don’t expect any further comment from me. It seems clear that your only aim is to agitate – and actually, you’re really rather good at it. My recommendation to other readers of this site, is simply to ignore you!

    • Struck a nerve with mentioning the Evergreen Project have I Mr Bored??? What research do I need to do?? Its an enhancement on the current services using the existing diesel trains, which as I said will actually slightly increase the noise and co2 levels in the area. Are you telling me nobody has actually complained about it??? Especially existing homeowners whose property backs onto the rail line??. Of course the rail line has been there a lot longer than some of the properties…yet people still choose to buy them as they already know whats there anyway.

      Why would you recommend others to ignore me?? Is it because Im finding you guys out in respect of your research???. You flatter me !!!! As I mentioned earlier , I m not against the stopHS2 campaign, though my train of thought ( pardon the pun ) is with the pro camp. As of yet I ve seen nothing definitive from the stopHS2 group to actually persuade me that HS2 is wrong……this must be a worry for you as I m simply being objective, I dont actually care if the line is built or not tbh…

    • Well what can I say Lizzy – except that HS2 does not have any equity, its funded by a grant from the DFT to operate as an arms length body. As such , it does not answer to shareholders…..though from a company regulation point of view, it has members who are liable for £1 should the company go pear shaped, which of course it wont as its sole objective is to provide a feasiblity study into HS2. It is therefore a company limited by guarentee, with no shareholders….indeed Network Rail operates in the same way – with 100 members.

      By definition a shareholder is one who legally owns one or more stock of a company – having funded the purchase from his or her pocket. As I said,HS2 has no share capital.

  2. Gary,

    So, you agree that there are examples of Mr. Hammond wasting tax payers money in ways that are related to transport?

    PS.
    Your posts are getting rather boring. I did actually used to look forward to them – they were always quite fun to read! However, it’s almost like you’re getting a bit tired or bored yourself now – you’re just disagreeing with anyone and everything! There was a time when a comment from you could cut to the bone – and you even made the odd good point! But these days, you’re just getting a bit slack – take for example the schoolboy error I’ve just exposed.

    You need to up your game! You’re slipping down the league of those who comment. You are worthy of more! Come on Gary! Let’s have the old you back!

    • Im sorry….who are you? I ve been here for about 3 weeks, are you mistaking me for someone else?

      All I m asking is for some examples of taxpayers wasted expenditure – of course you guys are bound to say anything related to HS2 as is part of the rhetoric of the stopHS2 campaign. And of course you dont know if it is a waste because as of yet , its not actually built …. and it may well prove to be a brilliant success. In which case , it would be a very good use of taxpayers money.

      I ve asked some very pertinent questions on here – none of which have actually been answered. Like I said earlier….you guys just come across as nimbys. So do the research like i told you, and then maybe when you come up against someone who has got a better understanding of the whole picture and whose foot is in the pro camp, you might have a chance. As of now, anything that is deemed to be in the national interest has no power to stop it…..so if you dont like it, simply sell up and move.

      • Gary – of course we give examples of HS2-related waste – this is an HS2-related site. We are bi-partisan and write with a common purpose. If you want to move off-subject, then move off-site.

        • D Owen – I see you are still smarting from the other day after incurring the wrath of the site moderator.

          A comment was made about taxpayers money being wasted – and like I said , there is nothing to tell us that about HS2 as it has not yet been built. So all I asked for was an example of taxpayers money being wasted elsewhere…….lets not forget we all use the countries education, health, and welfare departments, so by definition we all must be able to offer some observation of where we feel taxpayers money has been wasted??

      • Gary,

        Throwing around accusations of NIMBYism doesn’t really add all that much to the debate. Like I said, it’s a bit boring. In many ways, the views of a man living in Manchester (a city that many believe would benefit from the proposed new railway), could be considered to be biased in the opposite direction.

        Your sell-up-and-move suggestion is not particularly helpful either. Your personal circumstances may not tie you particularly strongly to Manchester, but there are many people who live along the route who are tied to the place they call home. They may need to live there because of their job, they might have children in school, they might simply be too old to move. In any case, there are many people who have found that because of the railway, their homes simply are no longer worth as much as their mortgage. For many, moving is not an option – and compensation arrangements are far from clear.

        A pro HS2 contribution could really add a lot to the debate on this site. It’s actually really great to have someone like you who is prepared to spend the time and effort to contribute so much.

        But if you’re going to contribute, you do need to up your game. If you don’t, you risk being marginalised as a ranter. You have a lot to offer. You’re a young, intelligent man – and your studies at university into transport and transport policy give you a great background of knowledge.

        Come on Gary! You have a lot to offer! Let’s hear it!

        • Yes of course Manchester would benefit – and as an example there are outline proposals to re develop a major site right next door to Piccadilly station, the end client being the Civil Service who have plans to transfer some Whitehall tasks up here.

          In addition, London. Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow , Edinburgh ( and anywhere else that has a station planned ) would benefit – which in terms of population of the UK , is a very substantial percentage. I have mentioned more than a few times now that a knock on benefit of HS2 would be to remove thousands of HGV journeys from our motorways ( including the M40 ), as capacity would be released from the rest of the network to allow more rail freight. I assume you have a Tesco nearby……they are certainly very keen on this mode of transport for their own goods as part of a supply chain.

          If we have a look at the Chiltern area currently, there is already a classic network available for residents. This is currently being upgraded as part of the ” Evergreen ” project, which doesnt incur public finance. The upshot of this project is more frequent and faster journeys ……. by diesel trains , which by all accounts are noisy and not as carbon friendly as their electric counterparts. I have yet to see anyone complain about this locally ??? Unless you know different of course….??

      • Gary, can you explain why the government is spending £100s of millions on planning routes north of Birmingham before the line from London to Birmingham has even been approved, and maybe never will be? If it is going to be built it won’t be until 2026 at the earliest, so it’s hardly a priority for now especially as the country is skint and the government is scrimping and saving for every penny.

        • Finmere – excatly where is the government spending £100s of millions planning routes north of birmingham? That is the remit of HS2 limited ( see my reply to Lizzie if you dont understand what that is ). Its certainly on the agenda for them to do…so can you point me in the right direction of the budget agreed for that ??? I d be interested as the agreed budget for 2010/2011 was £21 million – how does that correlate to £100s of millions ?

          • Answers from 20 December 2010:

            Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent to date on the development of High Speed 2 between London and Birmingham; and how much is projected to be spent up to 2015. [29335]

            Mr Philip Hammond: For the period between 14 January 2009 and the end of the 2009-10 financial year, HS2 Ltd spent £8.4 million (excluding VAT).

            HS2 Ltd’s budget for the 2010-11 financial year is approximately £21.2 million (excluding VAT). In addition, the Department for Transport estimates that around £25 million may be required to fund property purchases under the Exceptional Hardship Scheme in the 2010-11 financial year, although actual expenditure will depend on applications received.

            For the four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15, the spending review settlement includes approximately £773 million to fund the development of the Government’s proposals for a high speed rail network from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds

  3. Well Gary, where do we start – the £9m given out to prepare the proposal by exchange of letter and no tenders or the £750 million this parliament before the nation has been told about it, or the £1.2m a month HS2 Ltd (owned by one shareholder Mr Hammond) is currently spending and then the potential £34.7 billion to complete the thing if you want to add in up to date figures (not those from 2009) oh and rolling stock and add ons like that…

    • Lizzie – can you confirm where the shareholders register is that states Mr Hammond is the sole shareholder of a company called HS2?.

      And can you give me some examples of taxpayers money wasted which are not related to transport?

  4. Amen to that!Or,indeed an EIA. A little bird told me it’s also unlikely that HS2Ltd will have carried out a land survey,until the proposal is approved.

  5. I just find it incredible that in our political system a scheme can proceed so far and so much money be spent on it before any independent objective scrutiny takes place.

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