Y route – an “informal consultation”

There were many flaws with the HS2 consultation which closed a few weeks ago, but at least there was a formal consultation.

That’s more then people who live north of Birmingham can expect.

At July’s Westminster Hall debate on HS2, Theresa Villiers, minister in the Department for Transport, made a very interesting comment:

“…we hope to go on in due course to an informal consultation next year on phase 2 to the north of England…”

We noticed with comments by ministers made apparently in passing in Parliament are often extremely exact.

So, we don’t know what an “informal consultation” will look like, but we can be sure that it means anyone who finds they are affected by the Y route when it is announced will not be getting anything similar to the consultation that closed in July.

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2 comments to “Y route – an “informal consultation””
  1. Dear John,

    Your response repeats the ‘sales pitch’ arguments for HS2 while avoiding the key decision points that are the real reasons it should not be built. To explain further:

    The fact that cities with stations will win and cities without will lose is clear. If the scheme would be paid for entirely by the users, or by the users plus contributions from the other large beneficiaries (birmingham airport?, manchester council?, etc) then this could easily be argued not to matter in the scheme of things – although this would still make a mockery of the ‘solving the divided nation’ branding that is applied to HS2, whether talking about north-south or wealth.

    However the reality is that everyone will pay, so it is perfectly understandable that when the population of Liverpool (Coventry, Stoke, …) learn they effectively will be paying taxes to transfer jobs elsewhere they are quite right to be agitating. Maybe some of these places will get stations and become haves rather than have nots, however all talk made with respect to further stations and/or further services on the classic lines is just that – talk. Either these things will never appear, or even worse they do come, along with the increase in subsidies required to run them.

    This leads to the key point which is that of value to the nation – the benefit to the winners should justify the losses to the losers. If HS2 could be built tomorrow for a pound then the benefits would almost certainly outweigh the costs (then only environmental), and we can all start working in London. However that is not the case, and statements of the form ‘look how shiny it is’ need to be put in the context of ‘look how expensive it is’.

  2. Thankyou, Penny for drawing to our attentionthe headline from the Liverpool Daily Post
    * “LIverpool Could Lose Business to Manchester Under High Speed London Rail Link Plan” *

    If we read the whole report, it would seem that what they fear is that Manchester would gain massive unfair advantage over Liverpool because of the enormous boost that HS2 would give to Manchester, a quite disproportionate benefit that they could not hope to match!

    What they seem to be asking for could perhaps be best summerised along the lines of:-
    **”High Speed Rail:- Build it Sooner- Build it Nationwide- Build it Here !!! **

    With the extensions, the “Y” foundation network outlined but not yet specified in the detail shown for Phase One, then surely “Informal Consultation” between all possibly interested parties, towns and cities along and near the proposed network, would seem to be the natural next step. The worst thing would be to present, at this premature stage, a finely detailed “Finished Plan”,or “Final Route” only to have to scrap or radically alter it in the light of responses from the areas concerned, having raised false hopes or unnecessary fears of the project.

    * Before an engagement is announced formerly, certainly before the actual wedding ceremony itself, most couples would hope to meet with each others’ families and close friends informally to discuss, consider and plan the future arrangements. *

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