This is a guest post by Jerry Marshall.
Misunderstanding – Environmental argument has been overcome
HS2 will increase CO2, hence opposition from the Green Party and a long list of environmental organisations (under the Right Lines Charter).
Misunderstanding – We need to keep up with other countries that have HSR
We have a higher satisfaction and shorter journey times than our main European competitors. Many countries are now axing HSR lines (Spain, Portugal) or downgrading some HSR to regular speed (France, Italy).
Misunderstanding – There will be significant modal shift
There will be very limited modal shift, HS2 Ltd said just 13% of journeys on HS2 will transfer from car or air journeys.
Misunderstanding – HS2 allows network to operate at full capacity during its construction
The Euston rebuild will cause chaos and cut capacity and peak services during construction. This is in the evidence HS2 Ltd gave to The Transport select Committee.
Misunderstanding – WCML will be at full capacity in 6 to 10 years
According to Network Rail (who made the statement) this presumes that demand grows at 10% annum. No one is forecasting such an increase. HS2 Ltd say it will be about 2%/a Peak time standard class capacity on the WCML can be increased 139% without major infrastructure work. Fast commuter train capacity can be doubled by completing £243m Ledburn junction grade separation. The Felixstowe – Nuneaton freight line cuts freight usage on the southern section of the WCML by half.
The Chiltern upgrade will also relieve WCML capacity.
Misunderstanding – More services on classic rail after HS2′s introduction
Only if the Government increases rail subsidies.