Opponents of HS2 at the TSC yesterday

Anyone who watched the Transport Select Committee evidence session on HS2 yesterday, will have seen the wide range of views of people opposed to HS2.  The witnesses included people from academia, business, politics, and campaigners.

Eight different people, representing a variety of organisations – or just as private individuals – with eight different views of the problems with HS2.

A wide range of points were made by the different witnesses.   Alternative railway schemes were suggested, and there was agreement that modal shift  to rail could be a good thing.

We’re waiting for the transcript to come out, but in the meantime, if you have a couple of hours to spare, you can watch the whole debate on the Parliament website.

PS the witnesses were Jerry Marshall, Chairman, AGAHST (Action Groups Against High Speed Two), David Bayliss, Trustee, RAC Foundation, Bruce Weston, Director, HS2 Action Alliance, Simon Wolfson, Councillor Martin Tett, Leader, Buckinghamshire County Council, Chris Stokes, John Tomaney, Henry Daysh Professor of Regional Development, Newcastle University, 51M, and Councillor Sue Vincent, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, London Borough of Camden.

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48 comments to “Opponents of HS2 at the TSC yesterday”
  1. Not a great day for the ANTI HS2 spoke persons.

    This seems to sum things up nicely:

    Rail package two “inadequate” reveals opponents of HS2
    During Tuesday’s transport select committee hearing, one of the biggest critics of HS2 Jerry Marshal Chairman of AGAHST (action groups against HS2) had to concede that “RP2 is inadequate in dealing with peak demand”. This comment comes only a day after professional rail consultant William Barter released a damning report of critic’s analysis of RP2 the so called “alternative to HS2”

    After Jerry has conceded that RP2 was inadequate he did go onto to say that, he along with other members of HS2AA which is another localist Anti-HS2 group were working on RP2+ which was branded a “some sort of supper package” by one committee member.

    No cost figures have yet to be published for RP2+ but it is safe to say that the cost for any such scheme would easily push upwards of £10bn. In fact our analysis of the 12 carriage option put forward by Jerry shows that to implement this alone would cost almost £2bn on top of the cost for RP2. Analysis of the 12 car option with conservative cost estimates can be found here

    Worryingly Jerry, when asked quite important questions during the hearing was not always able to produce figures required and at points seemed evasive. One crucial figure he could not provide was the how much revenue would be lost due to the de-classification of first class carriages which he said only operated at 20% capacity. However he yet again failed to take into account peak demand, when in fact first class carriages are heavily used at peak times.

    It was interesting to note that during the committee hearing not one of the panel members said at any point that additional capacity is not required and Jerry’s commitment to finding an alternative to HS2 means that he agrees broadly with base demand figures that the Dft have forecast. Otherwise there would be no need to work so hard on an “alternative”.

    It would seem that the Jerry’s magic plan, RP2 is not so magical after all. Jerry will at some stage have to come to the conclusion that supporters of HS2 have known for a long time, that upgrading existing lines is expensive, difficult and will not produce the results that a new line would. We mustn’t forget that the WCML was modernised not so long ago at a cost of £10bn and which caused 10 years of missery for tens of thousands of commuters.

    It can not be emphasized enough how important High Speed rail is for the economic future of the Midlands, North West, North East and Scotland. And with with economic benefits for the North brings economic benefits for the country as whole.

    Without the construction of the first most controversial phase from London to Birmingham the strategic network to the North can not be developed. This will leaving Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and many other cities from across the UK that would have been served by HS2 with crowded and slow trains to the south. With the effects of this leading to economic stagnation across the North, such is the importance of the North’s connection to London, the south and with HS2 eventually Europe.

    We can not let the local self interest of a few well healed anti-HS2 protester stifle plans that are so crucial to the economic prosperity and survival of the North. And by North those in the south often mean anywhere north of the Watford gap.

  2. Good article in yesterdays Birmingham Post in the section called Iron Angle by Paul Dale. Not surprised it has made the rolling news links on the top rhs of this site.

    Just about sums up the position pretty well I think.

    You will have to find it yourselves, but based on the information that gets posted on here, most of you can use google it seems

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