This weekend, a number of national newspapers have began to speculate about the route of HS2 north of Birmingham.
Sunday Times: High-speed rail – the new winners
THE government’s proposed route for the northern second stage of the £33bn high-speed rail line can be revealed today, bringing delight to some cities in the north of England and dismay to others.
Telegraph: HS2 route set to trigger fresh protests
Plans to build a high speed rail network in Britain are likely to trigger a fresh round of protests as details emerged of the second phase of the project….
Penny Gaines, chairman of the Stop HS2 campaign group, was unconvinced. “It looks like they are being chosen by engineers to suit the unnecessary speed of the line rather than to suit the needs of the individuals who live and work in the areas affected,” she said.
A rail expert has challenged the government’s decision to route its planned high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham from Euston. Dick Keegan, former director of projects at British Rail, believes Stratford station would provide better links for London airports and Europe….
Stratford in east London is served by two underground lines, overground rail services and the Docklands Light Railway.
It was upgraded ahead of the Olympics, with new lifts and station entrances.
Dick Keegan Dick Keegan said Euston station was extremely congested
Mr Keegan, who has worked in the railway industry since 1959, said: “The route proposed does not serve Heathrow directly and there is no direct link to Europe.
“Stratford already serves Stansted airport, City airport and Southend, and when Crossrail is completed it will be possible to transfer there to travel to Heathrow. Stratford has two international platforms that are unused.”
…Under the latest plans, the line will split north of Birmingham, with the eastern branch heading towards the major conurbations of Derby and Nottingham, which will be served by a parkway station at Toton Sidings, currently a goods yard close to the M1.
The proposal to site Sheffield’s station at Meadowhall, the major shopping centre, rather than the heart of the city will anger local politicians. …
Financial Times: Change at Crewe as HS2 hub plan gathers pace
Business and political leaders in the Conservative heartland of Cheshire have enlisted Sir Terry Farrell, the architect, to draw up plans for a transport hub on the HS2 high speed rail line that they claim would help bridge the north-south divide….
Crewe is a crucial Conservative marginal seat, which was won from Labour in a 2008 by-election. The Tatton constituency of George Osborne, the chancellor, is in Cheshire East and the line is almost certain to pass through it.
…Dazzled in the headlights of this “grand project”, successive ministers failed to query the plans in any great depth. Officials galloped ahead, securing their jobs at a time of a shrinking Civil Service, and building an edifice, in HS2 Ltd, which is separate from government and which is simply there to drive the project forward. Three transport secretaries have not had the courage to ask questions, because there is also a common view that both David Cameron and George Osborne want this railway and should have it no matter what the cost. In fact, neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor appear to have paid great attention to the details…
One Conservative MP said: “We went all wobbly on another runway for Heathrow because we feared a losing a lot of votes in south-west London. There are many more seats at risk because of HS2.”