Lord Adonis complains….

In an interview given on the Today program on Radio 4 on bank holiday Monday,Andrew Adonis, formal title Baron Adonis of Camden Town, complained about HS2 saying

“There’s been endless dither and delay, no one is gripping this, no one is driving it forward. There should have been a bill for HS2 in the Queen’s Speech when instead we’re apparently going to be spending month after month debating House of Lords reform.”

Earlier in the interview, he told the programme:

“It took the last government 14 months to set in train the whole plan for HS2 from London to Birmingham and we started the work on the route north to Manchester to Leeds.”

Maybe had he spent a bit longer on the basics of the project, there might be someone in the Coalition government willing to push his scheme. However given he hastily announced HS2 a couple of months before the last election was required to be called – an election he did not need to contest – perhaps he was afraid his pet scheme would not the light of day if HS2 Ltd did not rush the plans.

As Steve Rodrick said to the Transport Select Committee, when asked to compare HS2 to the M40

“if the M40 is anything to go by, 30 years on it is still causing problems, because it was done “to us” rather than“with us”, if you like. A lot of the design and specifications were not right for the area, and we are still living with it.”

Andrew Adonis added during the interview:

“There’s been endless dither and delay, no one is gripping this, no one is driving it forward. There should have been a bill for HS2 in the Queen’s Speech when instead we’re apparently going to be spending month after month debating House of Lords reform.”

Why would Lord Adonis try to derail reform of the House of Lords (started by Tony Blair shortly after he became Prime Minister in 1997). Instead he prefers to whinge that no-one is pushing forward his pet scheme, the one he announced introduced in the dying days of the Labour government.

However as Theresa Viliers told the BBC

“This is a major project which will have a significant impact on the future of the country and it is imperative that we get it right.”

Stop HS2 agrees that HS2 would have a significant impact on the country. The cost alone – estimated at £33 billion, excluding buying the trains – is enormous. Further, HS2 will have a massively detrimental effect on the environment.

The only ‘right’ course of action is to cancel the HS2 project and as soon as possible.

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2 comments to “Lord Adonis complains….”
  1. This reeks of press management–I hope all the press who have at long last mentioned hs2 are going to give us the right to reply

  2. The nation will require improvements to the rail and road infrastructure. The Geoff Hoon and Lord Adonis concept can be built but it does not provide the foundation for the next generation of prime routes.

    It is not easy to plan and develop the next generation of additional infrastructure and the capabilities of the people has not fulfilled this requirement of what will be provided for the children and grand children.

    The argument with HS2 has not brought forward the creativity many enjoyed from the UK musicians during the Jubilee.

    The challenge is not the cancellation of HS2 but the infrastructure to put in its place.

    Perhaps before the argument is furthered it might be useful for all the parties to determine what would be acceptable and where.

    I can see how the simplistic approach New Labour did not resolve several different dimensions for London Station allocations, for cross London freight and passenger journies, for too little intermodal road to rail freight, for lower priced seats in peak times.

    The argument has stalled on both sides with non-constructive dialogue and both sides in a stand off.

    As Einstein suggested anyone can destroy but creativity is much more difficult.

    I was not convinced 400kph passenger journies through the Chilterns were possible and would be at the exclusion of freight movements.

    Selecting Buckinghamshire was easy but was not the most beneficial location for this route.

    Hopefully some people can provide constructive suggestions to the DFT and others about what can be achieved to improve on the current overloaded London Midland trains leaving Euston with standing room only on a peak evening.

    Hopefully sone people can suggest how the M40 route into London is relieved.

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