The Government and the Department for Transport have recently issued a number of releases relevant to HS2.
Today, there’s the Government response, to November’s Transport Select Committee report, High Speed Rail.
We don’t think the Government have provided adequate answers to the major issues that the Transport Select Committee said needed to be addressed before continuing with the £33 billion proposal.
There were two on Friday about the West Coast Main Line intercity franchise:
- InterCity West Coast rail franchise – the new agreement “will allow the franchisee to vary the capacity provided on individual days of the week in order to cater for the variations in daily demand.”
- New West Coast rail franchise to deliver 28,000 more seats.
We said in November 2010 that it was not feasible to expect people to wait 15 years for a solution to overcrowding on current trains, and it looks like the Department for Transport have realised that too.
And on 16th January, Norman Baker, the LibDem Transport minister announced the Anywhere Working Initiative. He said:
“It’s simply not necessary for us to always trudge to and from meetings when modern technology allows you to circumnavigate the globe virtually from the comfort of your front room, local coffee shop or when you’re on the move.”
We’ve been in favour of this kind of iniative since we first reported it, and we’re pleased to see it being continued. However the rest of the DfT don’t seem to realise that schemes like this will reduce the need for HS2 as well.