Alison Munro, CEO of HS2 Ltd, was interviewed by 3 Counties Radio this morning. A couple of things she said are worth noting.
(Stop HS2 was interviewed as well, but we had to be at their studio at 7am: she wasn’t on until 8.30.)
She was asked why HS2 Ltd wanted to build another railway line between Euston and Birmingham, when one already exists.
Her answer was that by the time HS2 opens (in about 2026) the West Coast Main Line would be full. And a brand new line, she said, was better then incremental solutions.
So what is she really saying?
She is really saying that for 15 years, she thinks the railway is going to get more and more crowded. Meanwhile, the Government is going to spend £2 billion every year, for years.
Under this scheme, there will be no improvement to anyone’s journey until 2026. And she thinks that’s better then making a number of smaller changes, which could start improving people’s journeys straight away?
She also said talked about faster journeys and better connectivity. But Milton Keynes station already has fast long-distance trains and excellent connectivity. But HS2 would have a damaging effect on that.
When HS2 is operational, the fast long distance trains that currently stop at Milton Keynes would be moved to the HS2 route. Given the experience of HS1 in Kent, trains using the WCML would be slowed down.
HS2 means Milton Keynes would have slow trains and worse connectivity.