The HS2 bill – £1000 per family

A while ago, the Taxpayers Alliance published figures saying that HS2 will cost £1000 per family.

People who support HS2 don’t like this figure.  They say it’s an oversimplification.    They say it will be raised out of tax on businesses.

Sure, it is a simplified figure: the actual cost, according to Channel 4’s FactCheck blog, should be £1206, but Taxpayer’s Alliance rounded it down when they published it.

And the £33 billion that will be spent on HS2 is a simplified figure.  It didn’t go up when the scope of the project was increased to include a link to HS1.  Not when a link to Heathrow was added on.

That £33 billion is in 2009 prices: inflation means that the actual cost will be significantly more in the 2030s when the second phase of HS2 is supposed to be built.

(And even after spending £33 billion, HS2 will still be a long way from Scotland.)

As to raising tax on businesses rather then individual taxpayers…

When it comes to the Government spending money, they don’t distinguish between money from taxes paid by business and money from taxes paid directly by families.  The more money they spend, the more tax they need to charge, and the less flexibility they have to reduce the tax take on individual families.

And even if they do take tax money from business rather then individuals, it is still paid – indirectly – by families.  If taxes paid by businesses increases, those increases are passed on to the consumer through higher prices.

So don’t believe the people who try to obscure the cost of HS2.

HS2 – if it goes ahead – will cost at least £1000 per family.

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121 comments to “The HS2 bill – £1000 per family”
  1. right i am going to weigh in now and will try to be polite and keep it short.

    (1) i suspect that the majority of those fervently against hs2 live near the proposed route and that many against hs2 will never agree with it not matter what the facts are.

    (2) i support hs2 but if it can be proven that it isnt viable i would change my mind unlike most on this forum

    (3) it has not be proven to my satisfaction that hs2 will not be of net benefit until someone does i will support hs2

    (4) there is also no proof that travel will be reduced by the internet unless we can be beamed through it by matter transferance !!! it may well be that more people will work from home but the population will also be higher than it is now !!

    (5) Who is going to decide who is allowed to travel, how will this be decided and what authority will it be on ?

    (6) current trends are for rail which has a 5% average market share to increase this share with motoring costs getting ever higher. so even if the overall trend for travel is less as you say, in order for rail to take more share the network will have to be increased considerably.

    (7) prove that hs2 will put up taxes, be a drain on finances iand lead to meltdown.

    (8) who uses excessive exaggeration and wildly emotive language more – pro or anti hs2 ?
    clue – who has talked of abominations, concrete bombs, armageddon, illness from electric trains, nuclear power stations in the chilterns along the route line. thesare not the statements of people from other areas who are concerned on (dubious) financial grounds they are the words of those desperate for hs2 to be cancelled as it will pass near where they live. those who will say anything to get it stopped.

    (9) critics get annoyed if you point out the above, but then accuse anyone who supports hs2 of having some hidden vested interest !! i dont.

    (10) penny has written on the lichfield blog that the width of hs2 is the width of wembley (where have i heard that before !!!) but then admits that of the 72 metres width, only 22 metresw is railway and the rest is managed greenery. so she is objecting to a 50 metre wide swathe of greenery cutting through the well – greenery !!!!

    • Reading through the letters I note that one contributor asked why if HS1 was so successful and cost £20 billion was it sold off for £2.5 billion. In fact I believe it cost £5billion to build. The price tag of £20 billion was put upon it by none other than Professor David Begg Chief Executive of Transport Times and the Director of the Campaign for High-Speed Rail.
      He is quoted as saying that ‘One of the myths about HS2 was that it was not worth its cost. ‘Fact’ he said. ‘Look at the success of investment in HS1. Original projections predicted that HS1 would unlock £500m of investment, but an independent report issued in 2009 put the value of HS1 at almost £20bn – forty times the original estimate’
      Bearing in mind a year later it was sold or leased for a meagre £2.5 billion over 30 years, it could well be argued that Prof Begg made a huge error of calculation and judgement. At the very least it was a highly misleading statement to make, so much so it makes suspect many of the other assumptions he makes to argue his case.
      In answer to Nicks questions regrettably the true facts are few and far between and in the main based on figures that nobody can substantiate. For that reason if no other, expenditure on such a massive scale must be stopped until proven worthwhile.

  2. Gary says:
    June 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    ‘No john……you post on here as you want to sound off in cyberspace’

    I can assure you that I’d much rather be playing my stratocaster

    How do you know what I do?
    Why do you post on here?

    • is there an official “yes ” site then?

      Of course on the site you are referring to, you can always post on their facebook page…

      • It purports to represent employers
        I have no intention of joining facebook so they’ll have to do without my sparkling intellect and probing questions???!!!

      • Looks pretty ‘official’ to me as Philip Hammond was at the launch (see extract fron Guardian below)–I notice theres no mention of the £750 million of our money being spent this Parliament

        ‘The Campaign for High Speed Rail is seeking funds to counter opponents of the £17bn project to build an ultra-fast rail line between London and Birmingham, warning that the naysayers have a £1m war chest. Professor David Begg, former chairman of engineering firm Tube Lines and non-executive director of airport group BAA, launched the organisation last month following a dinner attended by the transport secretary, Philip Hammond, and senior transport industry figures’.

        • John …are you saying that your views cannot be heard….despite the fact that the dft have arranged a website to which you can post answers to relevant questions….. despite the fact that consultation roadshows have appeared up and down the route over the last few months at which anyone can attend….and indeed the stopHS2 camp have also pitched up tents right opposite.

          Do you really think that comments posted in cyberspace ( like on here ) are actually going to make a scrap of difference? Do you honestly think that over 600 MPs are going to tune in every night to see whats been posted on here during the day ?? Get real…….the reality is that NO website is going to make any difference whatsoever to whether the government decides to proceed with this or not. Of course if you havent actually bothered to turn up at a roadshow, or indeed to answer the questionaire the dft constructed, then you cant have any arguments when a new rail line is built.

          • Thanks for the lecture
            I post on here to support the people who are working so hard to oppose this proposal at their expense and not the taxpayers’
            and I will do whatever I can to get it scrapped.

            • No john……you post on here as you want to sound off in cyberspace. If you really wanted to support the stopHS2 team, you would be donating funds, offering help at their own roadshows, and standing on station platforms in London giving out leaflets and making the public more aware.

            • Dear lelliO,Joanne,John and StuartF, Thanks so much for brightening up my morning! (no need for a further 5 exclamation marks). Say not,”The struggle naught availeth, The labour and the wounds are vain, The enemy faints not,nor faileth, And as things have been they remain.” If hopes were dupes,fears may be liars; It may be ,in yon smoke concealed, Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers, And ,but for you,possess the field. (Arthur Hugh Clough)

            • Thanks for the advice,Gary.You’re very good at handing it out,if not taking it.I’m old enough to remember when the country was virtually bankrupt after World War 2,and still managed to set up the Welfare State.Of course,there have been a number of crises in Capitalism since then,and the IMF have had to bail out profligate borrowing and spending by government. The point is,the present crisis is the result of bankers’ wild speculation,and politicians’ headlong plunge into further debt.Nothing has changed.In spite of the cuts,the new government is committing us to years of vast future expenditure on a project they believe will be beneficial.The main beneficiaries will be certain politicians and top businessmen,not to mention foreign private companies,such as Deutsche Bahn. I notice they’re not offering shares,or putting their own money into this.No individual could take this risk and survive,but,of course,it’s not their money.What have they got to lose?

            • Peter…………..IMF has bailed out UK plc once…in 1976. And even then we didnt draw down the full provision. Runaway inflation was the culprit.

              Current isues can indeed be traced back to profligate speculation by our greedy bankers, and government had to step in to underpin our banking system ( rightly so ). So current issues were not caused by politicians. The recent crisis in Iceland which has attracted IMF intervention is reckoned to have been caused by the activities of fewer than 20 people…..

          • So,nothing YOU say on this site will make the slightest difference either,Gary.You seem to have a lot of time on your hands.Don’t forget to show us your dissertation….

            • Correct Peter….but of course , I m not looking to make any difference as I m quite happy with this project to go ahead. In fact , all im doing is pointing out the flaws in your campaign, which I m finding somewhat easy to do.

            • Correct Peter….but of course , I m not looking to make any difference as I m quite happy with this project to go ahead. In fact , all im doing is pointing out the flaws in your campaign, which I m finding somewhat easy to do.

              Based on the above statement it would appear you are therefore spending/wasting a considerable amount of your own valuable time trying in vain to point out the error of our ways. If you are not trying to make a difference – which we are, by the way – a better use of your time would be knuckling down to that dissertation of yours. It’ll never get done if you hang around here, will it?

            • Yes, just think how many words he must have written in the comments section. It’s probably enough to do an entire dissertation.

              I reckon he posts here to put off doing his proper work: if anyone is checking up on his progress, he can say he is busy doing ‘research’. He posts so many dodgy ‘facts’ he’s not sure about here, in the hope that someone will check them for him and correct him. When he knows his arguments are poor, he posts them here, hoping that people like you and me will criticise them. Then when he has better arguments from us then he can come up with, he’ll put them into his dissertation. I wonder what mark we’ll get.

              Whatever he says, I think given the number of times his commented to ask people for information, he must know Stop HS2 provides good and balanced information.

            • Not really Lel….the site is very useful from a research point of view. One of the likely sub sections of my dissertation ( which in fact doesnt have to be completed for a couple of years ) , is ” The effect of protest groups on transport projects “. This is likely to be a 1 page document with just one word ….” NONE” !!

              And I also speak from experience on that…….some of you may well remember the protest groups that formed around the building of a new runway at Manchester Airport near where I live.. For all the time and effort put in ( including Eco Warrior Swampy ), it made not a scrap of difference. Today , the runway and airport are fully operational, including accomodating the new Super Size Airbus jet which now operates every day to the Emirates. From an enviroment point of view, the addition of the runway has in fact mitigated general noise levels for residents of Styal village with the use of embankments made from spoil , and trees planted. You cant actually see the runway at all ……and the same goes for the newish rail line which was built in a cutting similar to what will happen on HS2 through various areas of the Chilterns. If you didnt know the area, you wouldnt actually know there was a rail line there.

            • ” The effect of protest groups on transport projects “. This is likely to be a 1 page document with just one word ….” NONE” !!

              Sorry, but you won’t get your degree on that kind of sloppy thinking. Think 3rd runway …

            • Ah right Lel….so the govt cancelled Heathrows 3rd runway because a protest group stood outside told them to ??? Lol !!!!!!!!. That was actually the same protest group which told Swampy to keep a low profile. Maybe you guys should employ him……he has a very good record of digging tunnels, which would actually save a lot of time and effort for HS2

            • Now, now Gary, you starting to contradict yourself. Those barriers and noise mitigation measures were built because people were up in arms over it. If nobody complained they wouldn’t of bothered.
              Best result for stop hs2 is that it dosen’t get built. Worst is it does , but mitigation measures will have to be taken
              Due to the consultation process and that is partly by informing the public. Sites such as these help make the facts balanced and not one sided. I don’t know for a fact that they will make any adjustments to the line , but I have a sneaky feeling they will due to the strength of opposition Locally to it.

            • The effect of protest groups on transport projects “. This is likely to be a 1 page document with just one word ….” NONE” !!

              I was referring to the capitalised word. Surely the word should have been SOME? We are not so naive as to think that protest groups can single handedly change a Government’s opinion once it is set on a course, but we can, and do, raise issues and offer alternatives. In so doing the level of awareness among the public is also raised – and a greater level of debate arises.

              What would you rather those with your opposing views did? Sit on their hands? Keep their heads down. Personally I would rather stand and be counted. I may not stop HS2 but at least I shall have tried. All your sneering and poking with sticks will not convince me that HS2 is for the public good.

            • Oh I m not saying you shouldnt make your views known Lel……plenty of groups have done that over the years ( Manchester Airport , Newbury by pass, HS1 , M40, Sellafield etc etc ). But I m being realistic here…..as I said yesterday, ultimately its MPs and votes on the floor who decide this. Your big hitter ( ie John Bercow ) isnt actually allowed to vote at all…..

            • Stuart …..read the detail on the HS2 website , there are about 12 or so factsheets on individual sections of the route describing mitigation. The same went for Manchester Airport…..it was planned in already as part of the project

          • Gary, Re- factsheets. Yep , read them all, suitably vague on detail about demolished houses, garden grab , footpath restoration design of viaducts…..You can be sure that local groups hold them to there word about their obligations. That’s if it goes ahead of course….

            • Vague on detail eh…..well lets just pick one of the fact sheets, Amersham to Great Missenden…..I quote below.

              Property and Land
              We expect that four homes would probably
              need to be demolished, situated to the east of
              Great Missenden. A further such property could
              be at risk of having some land taken, although
              once detailed design is carried out it may prove
              that this is not affected.

              So…….4 homes to be demolished and 1 losing land. In other words, 5 properties affected just to the east of Great Missenden. No vagueness there !! Its spelt out in black and white. Of course the owners would be getting compensation.

            • Re factsheets: Fact sheet 5: ‘Any effect on cycle routes and footpaths would
              be addressed as more detailed planning is
              done. Wherever possible routes would be
              reinstated or alternatives provided.’ -Sounds vague to me. Which foot paths? What alternatives?

              Fact sheet 4: ‘The viaduct at Denham is an
              important structure along the route and we
              would ensure that its appearance was
              appropriate for the local landscape.’ -Who decides what is Appropriate? Maybe we could run a Blue Peter competition?

              Fact sheet 3 ‘Additionally, a number of properties could be at risk of having some land taken, generally where gardens back onto the line although it may prove that many of these may not be affected after all.’
              Oh, no worries there then.

  3. Open letter to Penny Gaines, HS2 Chair and Social Media Director, and Archie Taylor Finance Director,

    I joined this group in the hope of being kept informed of developments regarding HS2; participating in cogent discussions and seeking ways I could help.
    I did not want to be embarrassed or embarrass anyone. People like Rich do that to themselves well enough getting tunnel vision from having their head stuck up their proverbial that they have no constructive comment to make other than to assume that if one is against HS2 , then they must be a NIMBY along the planned route. Rich, you have no idea what part of the country I am in let alone county. But I will give you a clue, the only place it will hit me is in my pocket.
    As for Gary, I would say that it is clear that if he went to his bank manager with the HS2 business plan not only would he be shown the door but he would have his credit card taken away as well. One can site no better example than HS1, costing us tax payers £20 billion and sold off for £2.5 billion.
    Twice now Penny I have asked if ALL our MPs have been polled about the priority of HS2 as compared to the specific financial needs of their own constituents and have they been canvassed for support in helping divert the cost of HS2 into aid for the country as a whole and their local communities in particular. To have my question ignored a third time would be an embarrassment, and I think It’s about time subscribers were updated about developments if you seek further funds. I am sure many people would be interested in your, i.e. the official answer to my question. Our efforts are best concentrated on areas where MPs are pro HS2 and it would be interesting to learn which MPs put HS2 before their constituencies.

    • John…

      1 – You say that we have no idea what part of the country you are in…..and yet your post of 3rd June at 11.44am says ” …….we in the Chilterns?”

      2 – Why will HS2 hit you in the pocket? We have already proven that no one is being asked to stump up extra tax just to pay for this. It comes out of the dft budget, which is around £30 billion per year.

      3 – I do not use credit cards, so how can I have one taken away if I dont own one in the first place?

      4 – I do not have to go to my bank manager, as I am not the one who is wholly planning this scheme. It is a government project in the interest of the nation, which all government projects are.

      5 – You can quite easily get the views of MPs by simply e mailing them…..pretty much every MP now has his or her own website, and you can drop them a line at your leisure.

      6 – You can keep abreast of what is happening with HS2 by logging on to various websites related to the project. The stopHS2 website ( ie this one ) regularly post links to other areas where the subject matter appears. This has been particularly useful for me personally……..in fact only this morning there was a piece posted about Phillip Hammonds opposition to a rail freight proposition some 10 years ago, which of course doesnt portray him in a very good light as fars as this campaign goes.

      7 – No MP in the country will put HS2 before the interests of his or her own constituency. MPs job is to represent their own voters , and participate in House Debate as they see fit.

      8 – As far as I m aware, stopHS2 is not a membership group…rather a collection of volunteers who have a common theme of being against this proposal, and as such are prepared to shout up about it. They ask for donations ( which are not mandatory ) to cover costs the group incurs……but may well be out of pocket if insufficient funds arise.

      • “”
        Gary with your superior knowledge am sure we would all like to see your explanation of the failure of HS1
        Oh, incidentally.The Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire.

        • Failure of HS1 ? Well….trains run along it at regular intervals to Europe, and is becoming increasingly busy now that DB Schenker are starting to operate intermodal freight trains. In 12 months it will be even busier with the Olympics………

          Eurostar are seeing passenger numbers increase…..

          The operating concession was recently sold to a Canadian pension group for a 30 year period……this doesnt include rights to freehold land etc…

          Can you explain why you are so critical of the stopHS2 campaigners, bearing in mind they are not paid for the time and effort they are putting in to all this? Can you point out what you personally have done to forward their cause?

    • Hi John,
      Sorry you feel that your questions have not been answered.

      Stop HS2 and other organisations opposed to HS2 have been in touch with all MPs. Our email to them in February led to Stop Hs2 being discussed in the House of Commons. There was also a debate in Westminster Hall earlier this year, and the Transport Select Committee is currently looking into high speed rail.

      We have not collated a list of the views on HS2 of all MPs. A number of people who live in areas not directly affected by HS2 have been in touch with their MPs: the replies show that there is a standard “party view” from the Conservatives. The Labour party is currently reviewing all their policies, including on HS2. Most MPs only respond to questions from their constituents.

      We think that when MPs compare the costs of HS2 (£51 million per constituency) to the projects which are being cut in their constituencies, they will begin to rethink whether they should support the project. One thing that you can do is to get in touch with your own MP and voice your objections.

        • Wow John a protest from the 1960s!!! Of course thsi is the same group that recenly climbed over a fence at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to an aircraft. Of course in these days of terrorist threats, wansnt exactly the wisest things to do. I somehow think that the stopHS2 campaigners wont be chaining themselves to the track outside Euston.

          I see John avoided the questions I posed in my last post…..

          • Gosh Gary, another misleading statement from you. It’s unlikely – although not impossible – that the people who objected to the Wing airport in the 1960s are active in PlaneStupid now.

            Lets hope that Stop HS2 are as successful in achieving their goals as the people mentioned in the article.

            • Where did I say that those particular campaigners would be active now? The group itself is , just like Greenpeace !!

            • It’s in the comment you made about half an hour earlier:

              “Gary says:
              June 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm

              Wow John a protest from the 1960s!!! Of course thsi is the same group that recenly climbed over a fence at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to an aircraft.”

            • Oh right…..so a group of protesters from the 1960s who are now likely to be well into their 70s or 80s are going to be scaling fences and chaining themselves to an airbus are they ??? Dear me Joanne…….you are scoring more own goals than ryan giggs….

              The likes of ” Planestupid” and ” Greenpeace ” have been around for a long time , and are likely to be around a lot longer…..unlike stopHS2 of course, who in reality have completed their mission by getting a document on to the desk of the Transport Select Committee. All you can do now is sit and wait for the bill to be voted on…

            • Gary, I’m glad you agree that your statement is misleading. Not so impressive that you are appear to think your inability to write clear English is an own goal for me, but I’m sure you could come up with one of your illogical statements to explain that…

          • Thanks for being on here Gary otherwise we who oppose this abherration would be talking to ourselves in this forum
            I’ve tried to get the campaign for HSR to arrange a forum for their site but to no avail and can’t help wondering why

          • Gary, you say “Of course this is the same group that recently climbed over a fence at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to an aircraft.” If you can imagine a guy from the 60’s climbing a fence today you are clearly not living in the real world.
            Then you ask “Why will HS2 hit you in the pocket? We have already proven that no one is being asked to stump up extra tax just to pay for this. It comes out of the dft budget, which is around £30 billion per year”, and further say “I see John avoided the questions I posed in my last post…..”What planet are you living on Gary? Where do you think the DFT gets its money? Do you genuinely expect an answer? What a waste of time.
            And finally “I do not use credit cards, so how can I have one taken away if I don’t own one in the first place” WOW. You must pay an awful lot of tax that goes towards DFT budget. Many would say more money than sense, unless of course you are on social security and out of a job, What a show off. Gary May I suggest, if you haven’t already, you call Alan Sugar, you seem to be his type.
            As I have said previously I joined to try and find out what is happening, only to discover it has descended into a slanging match, a rubbish dialog that does not further what I considered a just cause to prevent extravagant expenditure at this time of government cut backs and austerity measures, and look, here am I at my age falling into the trap. I am as much to blame as Gary and Rich, but would like to think that at least I have put some constructive effort into helping the cause unlike those two who appear to revel in the fact they are in print, regardless of the rubbish they spout.
            Penny, HS2 could have done without this side tracking by those idiots who are oblivious how silly they appear pontificating on a very serious issue of national importance. I had hoped it would be a site of constructive dialog, at least hoping that each side could see the arguments of the other. I wish you well and no offence was intended trying to show you from experience the strengths and weaknesses but as you now realise I will have departed this mortal coil long before the first, if any, train runs.
            I shall not participate any further discussion on this site, but hope that Gary and Rich in particular continue to do so. They are the best advert for stopping HS2 you have.

            .

            • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13668574

              John …have a look at the latest news from the IMF above……and yet you were telling us we were sinking slowly into bankruptcy the other day.

              As far as constructive dialogue goes, there has been plenty on here…….both for and against. Whilst I think the line should be built, it is inevitable that a minority will have ” their noses put out of joint ” so to speak. Of course nimbyism is an entirely natural human reaction……more so than the likes of ” taxpayers alliance ” who just seem to vote against any large government spending. And nimbys speak from the heart , not the mind, so its bound to get emotional. As for the likes of Rich and myself, we can see the bigger picture with our heads , we dont carry the emotional baggage that protesters of any sort do. As I mentioned to John just earlier, the fact that you can comment in cyberspace makes not 1 scrap of difference to decisions made in Whitehall.

              Now, what are you personally doing to further the cause of stopHS2?

            • People like Rich do that to themselves well enough getting tunnel vision from having their head stuck up their proverbial..

              Thanks John. Appreciate that.

              …at least I have put some constructive effort into helping the cause unlike those two who appear to revel in the fact they are in print, regardless of the rubbish they spout.

              Well on the subject of rubbish…

              One can site no better example than HS1, costing us tax payers £20 billion and sold off for £2.5 billion.

              Where have you got *20* billion from? All the info on the web I can find (including StopHS2) says 5.8, and that it hasn’t been “sold off” but leased. Your “no better example” appears to be, errm, rubbish.

              http://stophs2.org/news/116-hs1-for-sale

              To have my question ignored a third time would be an embarrassment, and I think It’s about time subscribers were updated about developments if you seek further funds.

              Ah right, I see. You’ve been coughing up money and you’re not happy with the service. Fair enough.

            • One can site no better example than HS1, costing us tax payers £20 billion and sold off for £2.5 billion.

              Rich is correct………

              There was a rather suprising turn up the other day for HS1……the French State Rail company ( SNCF ) ran one of thier TGVs throught the tunnel and onto HS1. This may well lead to services from other areas of France being introduced….though its somewhat shrouded in secrecy for some reason. If I was hazarding a guess on how this would affect HS2, I reckon it would actually strengthen a link to HS1, though how that fits into Euston Station I honestly dont know.

    • The problem is getting through ‘the system’. All MPs have been contacted several times, but they have their post etc. veted and prioritised by their staff. My understanding is they rarely read to the bottom of the priority heap and unless they have about 100 letters on a subject they’re not even included.
      MPs are there for a) a career. (Their promotion depends on their loyalty to the party, regardless) and then b) their constituency (but they only count if there’s an election is on the horizon). Most MPs are not overtly affected and know nothing about HS2. The few that have heard of it, unquestioningly believe the erroneous line spelt out to them by the SoS. It doesn’t pay them to know the truth, they are then free to blame some-one else.

      Getting through is much easier said than done. If we get enough signatures on the petition HMG have said they will debate it in Parliament (even then they’ve got to turn up to listen though). Alternatives include a public enquiry, the Transport Select Committee submissions etc. It’s all so slow, but maybe one more MP will actually listen and take on board there are cheaper better alternatives

      • http://www.andrewgwynne.co.uk/6930dd29-8f1d-6a84-d540-507039a58254

        Eros…..thats my own MP above, HS2 figures on his agenda as you can see, in fact there is a lot of rail topics on there. MPs are already well aware of HS2 , its got cross party support and has done for a good while now. The absolute fact is that when the time comes to vote on the bill, there will be very few if any abstentions. Of course HS2 spend is only 0.2% of total government spend ( or 20p for every £100 ) , so it isnt going to be very high on a lot of MPs agendas anyway simply because of that. MPs listen to both sides of an argument and choose accordingly at a vote……that is democracy in action. You may well contact every MP in the UK and voice your concerns, but at the same time the pro campaigners will also be doing that. Select committees are formed to focus on specific issues, but at the end of the day , its votes that count.

    • If I went to my bank and said that i could double my investment like HS2 will they would give me another credit card and probably offer me a job ! If you went they would close your accounts and ask you to leave the premises if you said that their charges were three times what they actually were (clue £6B not £20B) especially if you used your property as collateral because you thought that you had bought it but it was actually leased !!!!

      Seriously, how do you expect to be taken seriously if you make such enormous errors ? I have also seen a report that has calculated that HS1 has benefitted the economy to the tune of billions, do you just ignore that? not to mention the nearly 17 million passengers already using HS1 with the prospect of deutche bahn and maybe sncf as well as eurostar adding more trains in the future as well as potential freight ? i suspect that is is you not seeing the end of the tunnel.

      Any MPs you write to should respond to you even if they dont agree with you. That is your right.
      I think the reality is that the number of mps who believe their constituencies will in fact benefit from hs2 is greater then those that dont.

      I think that the argument for more funding for the police and health service and of course care homes etc is totally valid but one that needs to be argued elsewhere. the hs2 money isnt even available yet so even if it were diverted it wouldnt kick in for some years. and there is no guarantee the money would be available if hs2 were cancelled they might just say we wont spend the money at all ! then we would throw away jobs that hs2 will sustain or create and not have better social services anyway !

  4. Thanks for that ,Russell.I’d already read it,but think it should reach a wider audience,especially those who seem unaware that this Country is sleepwalking into bankruptcy.

  5. i suppose it all depends on your point of view. if you are against hs2 you will of course point out that it costs a certain amount per taxpayer/person/family/autonomous collective but of course totally ignore any benefits.

    hs2 construction wont start for some years yet unfortunately. by this time it is expected that the public finances will still be under control. it is extremely short-sighted to state that because we have a problem at the moment that we should put future infrastructure improvements off for some unspecified period because we have a cash flow problem at the moment.

    sticking with railways, should we put all projects on hold for a few years ? what about electrification and thameslink and crossrail and many other projects ? if we say we havent any money, do we close the country down and lay everyone in the public sector off ? government has to make tough decisions but has to also look to what is best for the long term future. it is called planning. !

  6. Hi John, Thank you for your efforts in writing letters to papers like the Yorkshire Post.

    Stop Hs2 is run entirely by volunteers, supporting the work of local action groups and other organisations which oppose HS2.

    At the moment, we are concentrating on providing an alternative view at the official HS2 Ltd roadshows: we seem to be getting a reasonable amount of local publicity, but like you have spotted, less so nationally.

    Absolutely agree that we need to get the message out to areas like Scotland, the West Country and so on: at the moment, most people don’t know very much about HS2.

    When it comes down to it, it will take the efforts of a large number of people to get HS2 canceled. Some people can do a lot, others can only do a little bit, but with everyone doing what they can, we will get this defeated.

    Thank you for taking time to comment on our website and other websites.
    Penny

    • It worries me to read your comment “Stop HS2 is run entirely by volunteers, supporting the work of local action groups and other organisations which oppose HS2”
      There doesn’t appear to be any cohesion or leadership by an overall controlling committee, yet money is spent on ‘PR’ and even buying polo shirts getting them embroidered with HS2 logo and selling them to the converted.
      I assume that all MPs have now been canvassed and their opinions registered. How many and which ones are for HS2,.
      I would argue that monies raised would be better spent on printing and travel expenses for volunteers to visit the four mainline railway stations in London. Pamphlets together with a petition handed out at peak time from 4pm until 7 pm as commuters get on the train and the petition collected the following day. Our 46, 000 signatures to date after two months would pale into insignificance to the volume collected in two days, and think of the readership it would reach.
      If successful city stations further afield in the North South East and West could be visited.
      The Action Groups are not coordinated and factious and this has to be addressed before it’s too late. , We can win this; we will win it, but sadly not with the defeatist attitude and destructive criticisms of people like Gary’s.

      • John…I rather think my observations are somewhat more realistic. Your campaign is based on the single fact that you dont want this new rail line slicing thorugh the Chilterns, the arguments you present in support of this on enviromental and business grounds are sadly flawed and misrepresent what is actually going on in the bigger picture. I ll just re iterate what I have posted earlier….as it seems to have got your goat up…..the great british public is apathetic to this issue. It is ultimately MPs votes that will decide whether this goes ahead after some lengthy debate. No amount of petitions will actually make a scrap of difference as so often happens. Overall, transport projects have been a big success over the last few years, and this is what the public see……they dont relate to the costs. You cannot argue against the fact that rail travel has seen fantastic growth on the back of some serious investment………..

        • Gary, I think you put the case for the majority of people in the uk very succinctly when it comes to their opinion on HS2; why not HS2 – seems like a good idea… would improve connectivity…railways are eco-friendly… will generate revenue in future that will repay the initial investment, and also will mean that we can mirror the success of Lyon connecting to Paris etc etc.

          But ultimately, your argument is flawed and this is why:

          We need to be looking at the bigger picture and back the argument up a stage; we should be seeking to travel less – not more.
          This is the 21st C – not the 20C – we dont need to copy Japan, France etc with high speed rail, we need to move to a faster level of connectivity altogether. Its called high speed internet. If we look at the real reasons for promoting the HS2 – generating business revenue in Birmingham and beyond- then by far the most effective way is by investing in high speed internet. There will be some change from the £33 billion (or whatever the sum is now – but lets face it the govt muppets will find a way to spend more (and I dont mean just on their pensions). So with the rest of the cash, in order to generate this revenue that the govt and we need, the best option would be to set up hi-tech start-ups, university spin outs etc that would have a chance of exporting and manufacturing goods. This would create permanent jobs skilled and export revenue, not temporary jobs for Eastern Europeans and a pocket load of cash for construction companies that are notoriously difficult to manage.

          Environmentally its a no brainer that HS2 should not go ahead (and i talk here from the position that my post grad thesis from Imperial college was on measuring and modelling the environmental impact of major linear structures ie roads, railways). Whatever the political reason for promoting HS2 – and it is exactly that – because there is no defined price on certain countryside the govt will seek out the cheapest route of the day which by default means avoiding the most densely populated areas and to select instead…the most empty which are by definition the most beautiful and remote. Of course, lose beautiful countryside and it cant be written down as an ‘environmental cost’ because it isnt accounted for financially. Instead, there is just a squeeze on people’s quality of life. So Gary when you talk about revenue I think again that needs to be put into a bigger picture; revenue is only worth something if it can be used to do something and that doing is ultimately to improve people’s quality of life, enabling the country to be richer so that we as individuals can afford the best medicines etc. So when we price the economic advantages of the railway we need to at least recognising that at least a part of that revenue will be offset in real terms. Of course the impact weighs directly on those people who will be directly affected. NIMBYs is a name for it, but without them protecting the countryside the machinery of big government and big business would steam roller anything through.

          My final point is that we are sleep walking into a global warming scenario. It might be inconvenient to us but the best science (and I dont mean selective science here I mean the overall scientific evidence) shows that global warming is real. High speed means higher energy consumption. Evidence shows that you build a road, people will go on it, and are incentivised to make additional journys beacuse of it (eg Newbury bypass built through ancient woodland). HS2 will be the same. Right now the trains to Brum from London are pretty much empty during the day (maybe rush hour different) build a new line and people will make the journey simply because its there (eg they will seek a job in London from Brum that they wouldnt have bothered to go for b4).

          So where am I coming from? well I live about 15 miles away from the route – so it wont directly affect me, and yet I know the countryside that the HS2 will go through. I think I have a pretty good idea on what will be lost but not the gripe that I will pay out of my own pocket.

          • Al…..internet has been around for years, yet rail passenger growth has been in the order of 5% per year for the last 10 years, and shows no sign of slowing down. If home teleworking is the future, why is it that the likes of Network Rail themselves are building a massive head office complex in Milton Keynes?

            We are not a manufacturing economy nowadays……for the simple reason it is more economic to produce elsewhere. This will not change in the future ( I wish it would !! ).

            The point about revenue …..you actually complicate. Revenue from the service ( like any other rail service ) covers the cost of providing that service. Assuming that HS2 is state run and not franchised ( which is looking very likely ) , any excess revenue goes straight back into circulation via HMG.

            Global warming is, and has been , a known issue for many years. Governments have targets to hit in the years to come…..hence the proliferation of wind farms etc…..and any policy that reduces our dependence of cars and HGVs.

            So in a nutshell Al…..you have just posted hundreds of words which can be boiled down to a few simple ones…..

            1 – High Speed internet will not reduce the demand for travel …..it seems ironic that the likes of Easyjet and Ryanair now do almost all their business via the net.

            2 – HS2 revenue covers the cost of running HS2.

            3 – We dont manufacture in this country on a great scale…..labour is cheaper elsewhere.

            4 – Goverment policies are increasingly green.

            • Gary, Re: manufacturing. we may not make as much ‘Physical’ things anymore, but in the ‘creative’ areas like publishing, film , tv, media, games we are world class. Having cutting edge connections and hi bandwidths for this industry is essential. Also how does the mass moving of people from A to B within the country generate
              Income for UK plc?

            • Where did I say mass movement of people generates income for UK plc?

              But whilst we are on the subject, Air Passenger Duty raises around £2.3 billion per year for the treasury. Also , nearly 50% of the cost of any current rail ticket goes to Network Rail via track access charges to the train oprerators. The other half of Network Rails income is from the government…..

            • Hammond says the proposals are ” broadly carbon neutral ” . Politicians tend to tell porkies so that is probably optimistic . The Greens go further and say that HS2 as envisaged is ” environmentally unsound ” . Now you might think they are just nutters but I reckon that they probably know a thing or two about environmental issues . If you need this explaining I will be happy to help .

      • Polo-shirts, signatures, whatever. Thankfully, it looks like the government won’t care about any of this rubbish and you are throwing your money down the toilet. They are elected by the people to make decisions in the national interest, and as HS2 is clearly the national interest, (which shock, horror, includes people living north of Watford Gap), you are wasting your time. Why don’t you go into some housing estates in Sheffield, Manchester or Leeds and tell them how the view from your front garden, or some nearby woods, is more important than anything else? Are these the areas you are going to target with your message? No, you want to target “four mainline stations” in London, as that’s where the bulk of well-off London-salaried I’m-alright-Jack tax payers who think they won’t see a direct benefit from HS2 are to be found. You people keep bleating about how this isn’t a “North vs South” issue, so where exactly is ““further afield in the North South East” and why should they be visited next exactly? More appalling selfish rubbish from the Stop HS2 camp.

        • Let’s put all other arguments aside and just look at the North V South alone. Do you think that pumping more people into the London job Market will make a difference to these estates you mentioned? At best few hundred service sector jobs in these areas. They won’t be using this or any other train because it is so expensive. All it will achieve is a larger comuter belt for the south east. 70% of hs2 travel will be leisure. That’s money spent in London for daytrippers on shops and theatres. Some business travellers will use the train for going up North but at the cost of 30 Billion is it worth paying for the privilege?

          • How much tax money gets spent on Crossrail, which is an improvement to the transport system in London? How many complaints about it from the rest of the country were there? So when it looks as though some tax payers money is going to be spent improving transport links in the north, specifically joining up the rest of the country to the expanding European HSR network, why is there a barrage of moaning? Nothing to do with who’s using the service – I want some money to be spent on a better train system and that doesn’t mean just adding a few more carriages and patching up our old network with RP2. This will make the rest of the country a more attractive place to do business and anyone looking to invest here won’t just consider nowhere else but the south-east because it has a better transport system. You haven’t got a clue how expensive it will be or if it will just generate a few service sector jobs so stop making things up – we need this service to give us a better chance of businesses flourishing here.There was nothing like this amount of griping when HS1 was built, but there again that gave people in the south fast rail access to Europe and so all you “save the trees” eco-warriors didn’t care about a line “ripping” through the “Garden of England”, or the cost. You must think we’re all mugs if you think we believe your objections are down to being concerned about the economics of it. Everyone objecting to it is doing so either through blatant nimbyism or they simply don’t want money spent on improving the lives of anyone but themselves.

            • You just don’t listen do you Rich? I think you are the one with North South envy. In my opinion, a hi speed railway TO LONDON Will not help the North. It will suck jobs down south. Just don’t do the NIMBY argument on me. I’m from Scotland and Im more than aware what it’s like ‘Up North’. You bang on like it’s some kind of
              unreachable wasteland. it needs manufacturing jobs where people make things. Stuff that can be transported on a shipping container by road to the nearest port. Not a hi speed luxury rail for BBC to shuttle their talent to Salford from London every day. And by the way there was an uproar about Hs1. I suspect you didn’t hear about it probably because I’d didn’t affect you and therefore couldn’t give a **ss.

          • You just don’t listen do you Rich? I think… In my opinion,..

            Yes Stuart. Your opinion is the definitive answer to everything and if I don’t agree, it’s because I’m not listening. Arrogant in the extreme and typical of an anti-HS2 type who actually thinks he knows better than all 3 political parties who agreed to HS2.

            • Yes just as much as it is your opinion or the governments opinion or anyone else. Luckily we dont live in China. Although what you seem to be saying is that we listen to you and the government because you know what’s best. How dare anyone question politicians? You are the one being arrogant. Now throw your dummy out your pram and listen to what is being said.

            • (I am a different John)

              and the politicians are so competent and their judgement is so sound—millenium dome,10% tax rate,no more boom and bust,iraq,sale of forests,IT system for health records,ID cards,NHS reforms etc.etc.

            • John says:
              June 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

              (I am a different John)

              and the politicians are so competent and their judgement is so sound—millenium dome,10% tax rate,no more boom and bust,iraq,sale of forests,IT system for health records,ID cards,NHS reforms etc.etc.

              John……the IT system for Health Records is something I was involved in for a couple of years. I would have to agree…..this is an appallingly run project costing billions. I got out of it as I was totally fed up and frustrated with what was going on. It should be binned altogether.

        • Perhaps now you’ve got some of that bile out of your system ,you might like to visit the Regent’s Park Council Estate and explain to the tenants (over 300) how losing their homes is a necessary sacrifice in the surmised National Interest.Kindly elucidate how this is “clearly” so.By all means stick up for the North,but what about the East and the West?How is it in their interest?It would be many years before a nationwide network of hsr could be implemented,(and don’t forget Northern Ireland).In the meantime we’re all expected to pay for what we consider a colossal mistake.

          • Regents Park Council Estate……of course they dont have to worry about losing ” value ” in there homes, as they dont own them. Dont know how old the housing stock is, but if its built around the 1950s, wouldnt it be due for renewal anyway?

            Whilst on the subject on Councils, my own announced 1100 jobs would go as part of the current spending cuts, and were looking first for volunteers before announcing compulsory losses. As it happens, no need for anyone to be forced to go, as 1300 have actually volunteered to take a package.

            • lelio….if Council/Social Housing has to be demolished for whatever reason, authorities has a responsiblity to re house tenants. A lot of old stock up here has gone over the last few years, replaced by brand new. Tenants do not lose out financially…..as they have no financial interest in the property.

            • Actually,Gary,quite a number of them do have to worry,as they bought their flats in the 80’s at modest prices,and could never afford anything similar in Camden.Others are very distressed at the thought of being re-housed and the breakup of a community where they’ve lived for so long.Perhaps they’ll be shifted to Old Oak Common,and can have a closer view of Crossrail and HS2,though the latest I’ve heard on that subject is that no new homes are now envisaged there..Originally “over a thousand.”

          • Perhaps now you’ve got some of that bile out of your system..

            Well don’t get too upset. As well as screaming hysterically at HS2 officials by anti-HS2 people, and children being manipulated to try and get across the opinion of adults that I’ve seen in the media, I’ve seen threats, character assassinations, scare-mongering and downright lies on this website, so don’t pretend to be offended by a bit of forceful arguing.

            you might like to visit the Regent’s Park Council Estate and explain to the tenants (over 300) how losing their homes is a necessary sacrifice in the surmised Nation

            No-one’s getting booted out on to the street and made homeless as a result of HS2, and 300 re-housings versus a better transport system for the north of the country? Hmm, let me think. No, sorry, HS2 every time.

            National Interest.Kindly elucidate how this is “clearly” so

            Kindly “read” the case for HS2 on the DFT website. If you’re asking for an explanation it sounds like you haven’t read or understood any of it. Why on earth you think it’ll carry any more weight if I just repeat it all to you is beyond me.

            but what about the East and the West?How is it in their interest?

            What a stupid argument. “Let’s not build anything at all unless every single person in the country sees some benefit.” I’m a tax payer. I paid for Crossrail, the Olympics, the Overground system, M25 road widening and all the other stuff that gets lavished on the south-east. Can I have my money back please? And where were your complaints about these? A bit of spend on a better railway for the north and all of sudden it’s endless moaning about how much it’s going to cost, all coming from southern home-counties residents who already have easy access to London salaries and HS1. Selfish rubbish, all your arguments.

            • Hi Rich, you say you’ve seen “threats, character assassinations, scare-mongering and downright lies on this website, so don’t pretend to be offended by a bit of forceful arguing.”

              Comments express the views of the commenters themselves, not of Stop HS2. We have no full time moderators so sometimes our readers will see comments which should be moderated before we get a chance to do so. If you see any any which are unnecessarily personal, or are spam, please let us know by emailing infor@stophs2.org.

              We tend not to moderate comments just because they contain incorrect information, either in support of HS2 or against it. The comments allow for debate about why HS2 should be stopped, or not, and we hope people taking part in the debate will provide more accurate information for discussion where there are misunderstandings of the data.

            • Sounds like you subscribe to the rich southern b*****ds school of thought . Amazing how much there is of that on the various blogs .

            • According to HS2 Ltd and DfT we, the north would not be getting a new super fast train line. At best we would get is 2 trains per hour to London (If we’re still about in 2036). They won’t be running the new HS2 trains north of Birmingham because they can’t They will be running on existing track and these tracks are too close. They would have to run extra expensive ‘compatibles’ that can run on both old and new track. I’d have thought it’s cheaper just to buy a few new trains. So the ‘let’s suddenly care about the north southerners’ would be selling us short again. A pup, they just want and are trying to get support for their patch. They know we’re in increasingly dire straights and have guessed we will grasp at straws.
              Wool and eyes come to mind! We are at risk of being sold out yet again.
              Oh and the wonderful the time savings. They are also only B;ham / London. The time savings will only be 11 minutes when WCML have implemented the improvements DfT have said they support.

        • Sorry, which main line station does St George’s Hill look out over and how come Mr Hammond (with no conflict of interest of course!) has fought tooth and nail to stop all major in the ‘national interest’ projects in his constituency.
          I think if you had any concept of how people in the north, the rural west and east have to live you would know they need work ‘today’. They don’t want to go to London to work everyday. They want a roof over their head tonight. They don’t give a monkeys how long it takes business people to get to London. They want a good health service and schools for their kids NOT Lord Adonis’s or 3rd richest MP’s pipe dream . They certainly won’t be using HS2 for their once a year holiday in the sun (and flying will still be quicker) they need to find the best value. They are already being squeezed when there is no more in their pot they are still being asked to fork out £1,200 for a tiny minority. It’s an insult in effect. HMG are saying this majority are not part of the ‘national interest’ because it is ignoring their needs and HS2 doesn’t affect the majority.

          • Eros….can you please confirm if you mean that families are being asked to fork out an extra £1200 on top of what they already pay in tax?

            • Gary, is that the only thing you can think of to say about all the pertinent and important issues raised in eros’ post? Something that has been covered time and time again on this site?

            • Is it too difficult to answer? All Im asking is for clarification on a single point…..which is ” are families being asked to fork out an extra £1200 on top of what they already pay in tax “.

              Simple yes or no will do…..

            • Who else is going to pay for it except the long suffering taxpayer –I don’t hear of any business or private equity investors rushing to put money up.

            • Wasnt what I asked John……I asked if families are having to fork out an extra £1200 on top of what they already pay…….

              Simple yes or no will do ……

            • HMG are not going round with an envelope or shaking a box if that’s what you’re trying to imply. It all goes in and out of the same HMG kitty. What they don’t spend on HS2 could be better spent to benefit the majority, rather take benefit from the majority to pay for a minority perk. As far as I’m concerned the best asset and top of the ‘national interest’ is a healthy educated population (not just an ex Oxbridge PPE debateing society).

            • Eros …..I m afraid its you who was trying to imply that government will be going round asking for more in the kitty….but of course your last post contradicts that.

              So the reality is this……what we pay in tax and ni is actually decided by an annual budget set by the chancellor. It takes no account of what individual projects need funding in the future, but is more aimed at the overall picture of monies required to pay for UK plc, which is over £700 billion for 2012 and a bit more for 2013. Spending budgets are set related to forecast income…..which may well fluctuate due to economic conditions.

              So lets just be clear about this……..no one in the UK is being asked to stump up anything over and above what they normally pay in tax to fund a new rail line, the cost of which repesents just 0.2 % of total government spending

        • A NATIONAL DISGRACE
          I read with ever increasing embarrassment, shame and now disgust at some of the recent comments.
          The anticipated expenditure of over 17 BILLION POUNDS A MILE for 140 miles of new nonstop railway linking Birmingham to London will cost money that we either haven’t got or cannot afford during this time of austerity and government cutbacks. This week we are told Public Borrowing widened to £9.95bn in April from £7.25bn for the same month last year despite the spending cuts.
          I am fed up with commentators on this site ignoring the FINANCIAL let alone moral dilemma, and use the fact that the prime reason we in the Chilterns are against this expenditure is because we are the only ones to whom the government has given detailed information . Yet we are labelled NIMBYs just because we as a nation cannot afford it, and have the common sense to recognise that fact and say so Do these commentators on this site genuinely believe that they wouldn’t get the same reaction whatever part of the country it was planned to be developed?
          I think it is a national disgrace that we have people dying in ambulances because hospitals are so overcrowded they can’t even be wheeled into a corridor, and we are made to pay up to £9,000 a year for the privilege of a university education.
          What do we as a nation consider our top priorities?
          Better education for our children?
          Better care for our old and infirm?
          Better hospitals for our sick?
          Better policing of our communities,
          Better equipment for our armed forces.
          Better and well maintained transport infrastructure nationwide?
          I don’t think the nation as a whole is aware of the financial impact this expenditure will have on us, just for people in the Midlands to get to the London ½ hour faster.
          We have lost our way somewhere and we certainly won’t find it getting on a new expensive train to London.
          I came on this site looking for answers
          And so I ask again, have all MPs been canvassed about this project?
          Where Is the leadership in this organisation?
          What impact has the Action Group had outside the London to Birmingham corridor?
          If there is no one in a elected position able to answer such a simple question, and no one I have spoken to knows the answer, then what a waste of volunteer time and donated money

          • Yes John this is all very noble of you, but sadly, it appears that out of all the government spending you could have chosen, you’ve only decided to get wound up about a railway that just happens to pass near to your house, so your concern about the state of the old, the sick, children etc looks more than a little insincere.

    • Why would you want to get the Stop HS2 message out to Scotland? They are pushing for the Scottish section to be built asap to connect to the south.

      And can we, yet again, nail the cost issue. The currently planned phase of construction will cost £17 billion. I have just read in the Bucks Examiner, yet again, the misinformation frequently pushed out by Stop HS2, that this is a £33 billion London – Birmingham link. It indicates to me that you are unable to rely on the facts to campaign against HS2, so you are conflating the two elements of the scheme for your campaign purposes.

      • Why wouldn’t Stop HS2 want to get our message out to Scotland? Taxpayers there will be footing the bill as well.

        If you go by what Philip Hammond, the Minister of State for Transport, told MPs, phases one and two of HS2 will cost £33 billion in 2009 prices. That’s why we use that figure. I’m puzzled why you think Stop Hs2 controls what is published in the Bucks Examiner – if they are getting the facts wrong, why aren’t you taking it up with them?

        • Ah, so it is you who is pushing that figure? I guess that’s where the Bucks Examiner got their figures from. Just to be clear, Phase 1 and 2 includes the complete Y section north of Birmingham. Phase 1 (the Birmingham section which is currently under consultation) will cost £17 billion. It is, therefore, completely inaccurate to refer to ‘the £33 billion London – Birmingham link’.

          Please update your briefings – it would be awful if it came out that you’d been spinning the figures to strengthen your case…

          • We use the £33 billion figure to refer to phases 1 and 2 of the proposed high speed rail link.

            In the article above we said “And the £33 billion that will be spent on HS2 is a simplified figure. It didn’t go up when the scope of the project was increased to include a link to HS1. Not when a link to Heathrow was added on.” The Heathrow link is part of Phase 2.

            Like I said, if you have a problem with the figures that some other publication is using, take it up with them.

            • In that case , why doesnt your article on here state the other side of the equation….ie it may well cost the equivalent of £1000 per family , but the revenue.benefit return is more than £ 2000 per family? And are you saying that families will be taxed an extra £1000?????? Or is the £33 billion going to come out of the dft budget over the next 20 years, their budget being around £30 billion per year??.

              Can you please clairify the point you are trying to get across….

  7. At every opportunity I try and get a mention about the expense of HS2.
    I have, in the last week alone, got comments’ in Yorkshire Post, Manchester Evening Mail, Mail on Line, Telegraph on Line and a letter in Bucks Free Press, but there is little if any follow up or further comments from anyone else.
    Eight weeks until the submission, and I see very little activity bringing this expenditure to the public’s attention.
    You people carry a grave responsibility to ensure this proposal is not voted through Parliament, You say ‘f AGAHST, a federation formed of over 60 action groups based in areas from London to the Midlands, to oppose HS2. The federation has acquired the services of PR experts, whose work is mainly behind the scenes, but the impact can be seen in the national press. They also have contact with MPs and major organisations such as the Taxpayers’ Alliance, and are working on influencing opinion of those not directly affected’.
    Where are they? Who are they? What are they doing?
    I say again, the only way to get this stopped is by getting the public at large and not just local,to recognise the waste of public money that could be channelled to better use for their own personal and local needs.
    Your PR experts are surely a misnomer, PUBLIC relations is the last thing they are doing when it should be their top priority.
    Further you can’t rely on The Taxpayers Alliance; HS2 for them is just another iron in the fire to brand the government extravagant.
    And your description of AGAHST screams of NIMBY. It is not the areas between London and the Midlands you have to hit, it’s the North, The Southwest and the Southeast. These are the Taxpayers who will ultimately foot the bill.
    Has this simple question been put to all MPs and their answer recorded in order that their local constituents are made aware their intention to vote?
    Do they agree that the government outlay 18 billion pounds on 140 miles of new rail is necessary when the nation as a whole cries out funds in their own local constituencies?
    If so, how many have replied and what were the percentages ‘yes/no?
    Time is running out. A fortnight ago I was all for a new rail to take us forward into the 21 century, to Europe and beyond! and embarrassed by the local ‘aesthetic’ reasons for preventing it. But once one realises the financial dilemma we as a nation are facing it is madness to pursue this line of expenditure.
    I note there was a surge in publicity in Feb. and March but it has died back to a mere ripple now, at a time when it should be getting stronger day by day until the national papers sit up and take notice. This is clearly not happening.What is being done about it?
    Your so called ‘Federation’ of over 60 action groups doesn’t yet appear to hit a nerve with the general public or the national press, and does not give many of us confidence in their competence to achieve our goal. It is the nation they have to persuade, and to so that they have to go public nationally and fast, now, before it’s too late.

    • Unfortunately John…..the great british public is largely apathetic to the issue. And you aint going to change that……..those that do look at this from afar only see the promise of job creation and faster travel. Cost is irrelevant as people realise their own tax situation wont change. We have had years of a slow reduction in the % of direct tax we pay, any government that reverses that will be committing suicide.

    • You people carry a grave responsibility to ensure this proposal is not voted through Parliament,…

      I find myself in the incredibly difficult situation of defending Stop HS2, but no, they don’t. They have no responsibility at all. They are driven not by a consensus vote, but by pure selfishness and a sense of self-preservation. They have no mandate of any kind and are doing this nonsense off their own bat, acting out of nothing but a sense of “looking after number one”.

  8. Thought you might be interested in the following, just told to me by an elderly resident whose village is to be seriously affected by HS2.

    Its not directly in reply to this posting, but is certainly relevant to the last sentence.

    He was asking a question of an HS2 Ltd official at our local roadshow, and began it with “If HS2 goes ahead ..” He was stopped mid question by said official who told him to delete one of the words he’s just uttered. Confused, the old gentleman asked what the HS2 rep meant. “Delete “if” and substitute “when” … “because HS2 IS coming, make no mistake”.

    Not surprisingly the gentleman in question was quite taken aback, and wonders what is the point of a consultation if the decision has already been made.

    • No …the decision has not been made, it has to go to the floor of the house, but if I was a betting man, I d stick a few quid on it.

      Of course the £1000 per family is misleading , what nobody points out is the £2500 return over the life of the project.

      To put into context of Total Government Spending, it is planned to spend £702 billion in 2012 and £713 billion in 2013 on all goods and services that need to be paid for by UK plc. At a cost of £2 biilion per year, HS represents 0.2% of the total, or for every £100 of spend, around 20 pence. It is actually government spending that is keeping the economy just about afloat at the moment…

        • As it stands Stuart, the most likely thing to change is right at the southern end of it….the weakest past of the whole thing is actually Euston Station. Considering that a interchange is being planned at Old Oak Common, I rather think that the last stretch to Euston ( 4 mile?) might not actually be needed. Cant remember who proposed it ( Lord Adonis ?? )….but rest assured the rest of it will from what I can see…..

          • I think its bonkers to travel all the way into London just to get out. Why not build a Airport style Long/short term car park outside the M25 with bus connections. Have an additional stop on the route for this. This would take the sting out of the argument for the Chilterns getting nothing out of the deal. I think it would take more people out of their cars for travel to the North which is surely the point?

            • The airport link is a somewhat separate issue…..as part of the second phase. There are already car parks off site with bus links, just like most other major airports. But as of yet, no direct rail link north bypassing London altogether which is a source of some controversy just now. I assume Chiltern residents drive there now anyway….a bus link wouldnt be feasible for them as there isnt a concentration of population like elsewhere. It works up here because of that….

          • i also think that the euston redevelopment needs to be looked at especially as a number of properties mostly a large block of flats will be demolished. maybe these could be rebuilt in a raft over the new lines just as an aside here.

            the question is how many people are actually going to euston as a final destination which i suspect would not be many. euston will need redeveloping anyway but maybe on not such a large scale as planned with fewer hs2 platforms. i would think it preferrable if the hs2-hs1 link were a proper two track connection so that the true hs line stretches from the chunnel to manchester and leeds and beyond. if we thought of this link as a super express crossrail for domestic and international passengers we could have not only hs2 trains running through to stratford/ebbsfleet/ashford but also extend the javelins further north . non hs trains could use the link and provide say a cardiff (and hopefully swansea) – london – norwich through electric service.

            the costs of hs2 are large and we must make ensure we get the most benefit and that the new line takes people closer to where they are actually going and not leave them at euston where they will have to make a further slower connection. if at the same time the property loss and disruption at euston were reduced this would be a further welcome benefit

            • Nick….none of the London Stations are actually final destinations, in effect they are built in a circle around the inner London area. But that appears to be being addressed with a combination of Crossrail and Thameslink. I rather suspect Farringdon station will usurp Waterloos title to the UKs busiest rail station in the not too distant future.

        • For those not on Facebook, online Poll hosted by itv news: For- 1395, against- 4107 not sure 152.

            • No idea Gary
              Why dont HS2 organise a national consultation with roadshows up to Manchester or beyond so they can find out.

            • I ll hazard a guess…..95% of those who voted no have a postcode at a max of a mile from the proposed route…..

            • I repeat—-No idea Gary
              Why dont HS2 organise a national consultation with roadshows up to Manchester or beyond so they can find out.
              I should have added all areas not so far included

            • I would presume quite a lot of the postcodes would have started with a B since the debate was in Birmingham . If not I can’t see why , they are the ones who are supposed to be benefiting by having a shiny new station and roughly 30 minutes off the journey time to London plus the opportunity to have companies relocating from Wolverhampton and Coventry . I worked in Birmingham for many years and believe me they don’t tend to be taken in by bull half as easily as the general stereotype may make out .

        • Planning to spend well over £700 billion in each of next 2 years…..yet they have no money ?? In fact, its bau…..except for inflation which is the major concern….

          • Money-a desperate throw by a near bankrupt gambler- or a long term investment to prepare for the future..?

            After the depressioon of the early 1930s and amid the pressures of whether or not Britain should be re arming in response to the rise of the totalitarian governments in Europe and the Far East, the British government embarked on a number of infrastructure projects to improve transport, both road and rail.

            These “new works” were also seen as a counter to unemployment.

            By providing loans and grants they enabled, for example the Underground Central Line to extend East and West to serve the new housing areas that were being built in Ruislip and Hillingdon, in Woodford’, Buckhurst Hill and Hainault. The “tube” was to relieve congested Liverpool Street LNER through Leyton and take over the Epping branch and part of the Ilford “loop”.
            In the West, branching off the Ealing Bdy.line , the Central would take over the GWR Suburban service out of Paddington out as far as Denham, and by doubling the tracks, enable a much more frequent local service directly into the heart of the City and the West End-, while leaving the original tracks for the longer distance traffic, including the heavy express trains to and from Paddington and Marylebone and Birmingham,Chester, North Wales Nottingham Sheffield and Manchester.

            The War put a stop to this.

            After 1945, despite the shortages of materials and rationing,power cuts and other problems as the nation struggled to come to terms with its post war debts and returning to a peacetime economy, the work resumed and by 1949 the embankments were extended, the electric lines laid and the (pre war rather noisy,red) tube trains were running, although some stations were not fully completed until some years later- and the Central line never did extend beyond West Ruislip, probably due to shortage of funds, post war, and changes in planning- with the “Green Belt” reducing the demand.

            British Rail reduced long distance services from Paddington and eliminated the Marylebone expresses concentrating everything on the West Coast from Euston and Midland from St. Pancras, leaving a run down infrequent “service” to Bicester and Banbury.(even this was nearly closed as a through route, as was the line north of Aylesbury.

            With the revival in recent years, more capacity is now needed.

            “Improve existing corridors!” is the cry- yet when a former express trunk route- for this is exactly what the link is between Old Oak Common and Ruislip, then there is uproar.

            It is understandable but sad, that those very communities , on the fringes of West London,” Middlesex” and Bucks. largely created and developed by the Railways, “Metroland”,in fact, should now seek to cling on to the semi dereliction they have come to live with- and contrasts with the apparant willing acceptance of that other development of recent years, the M 40/A 40 which progressively sliced through Hillingdon Station and widened its path through Acton sweeping aside dozens of semi detached houses similar to those now “threatened”.
            The Hanger Lane Underpass and roundabout have not stood as ancient monuments from distant centuries. They were dug- with considerable mess- a few decades ago, -and they can be altered if needs be, to fit in with an enlarged railway.

            • Tell us something we don’t know…and why the inverted commas for Middlesex (which still exists geographically and postally) and houses threatened? When the Command Paper came out in March 2010,those of us living by the line in the Northolt Corridor were led to understand that the new,proposed line would be laid alongside the classic.This would have entailed land-take and compulsory purchase of properties,just as the previous project by Canadian Central Railway. Since then,revision has taken place to reduce the footprint to under 20 metres,necessitating only a smaller widening of the embankment.However,as no ground survey has been undertaken,HS2 Ltd are unable,or unwilling to answer the question as to how much extra land might the railway need for construction purposes.Nor can they re-assure us on the effect of vibration on our homes.Additionally,I’m reliably informed that freight will have to go elsewhere.According to an ARUP engineer on the WCML.So much for reducing capacity!

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