Spin machine goes into overdrive over pointless HS2 project.

Spin machine goes into overdrive over pointless HS2 project.

Using discredited arguments the Government has today (Monday 28th January 2013) unveiled it’s plans for the second phase of the highly controversial HS2 proposal.

The Government’s rationale for the second phase of HS2 has flip-flopped again in the hope that no-one notices they are using arguments that H2 Ltd have already ditched.

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said:

“The Government talks about jobs, and regenerating the north, but in reality, high speed rail projects elsewhere have sucked jobs to the capital cities, away from the regions.  HS2 focuses on long distance journeys, when the main passenger growth is in regional and local areas.

“Stop HS2 is firmly of the opinion that the whole HS2 project is fundamentally flawed. It should be cancelled as soon as possible, so that we can concentrate on developing the transport infrastructure that will bring more benefits to more people than a fast train for fat cats.”

Again and again with HS2, we’ve heard talk of “connectivity”, but what it really means is connectivity with London.  HS2 is a London-centric proposal that seems focused on extending the London commuter belt beyond Birmingham, when we need to create an engine for growth in the North, providing access to jobs for people who want to live and work in the North.

“Proponents of HS2 don’t seem to realise that people can already live anywhere in the UK and telecommute to anywhere else in the world, and before HS2 is due to open, this will be even easier.  It’s yet another example of outmoded thinking that ignores digital technologies, which will be the real wealth and job creator in the 21st century.”

Joe Rukin, campaign manager for Stop Hs2 said

“There will not just be more upset because of HS2, but there will be abject misery. People find that their homes have been devalued and countryside woodland and wildlife havens are to be destroyed for no good reason other that lining the pockets of the construction industry. If the Government had come up with a plan which was needed or was in the national interests, there wouldn’t be so much opposition, but what they will find is that masses more people will be saying Stop HS2 because there is no business case, no environmental case and no need whatsoever for this fast train for fat cats. “

Ahead of the government announcing more details on the HS2 project, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The extension of High Speed 2 to the North of England is very bad news for taxpayers and the wider economy. The project’s £34 billion-plus bill – over £1,000 per household – will destroy jobs and force businesses to close across the UK, including in the North. Many areas along the route may also be affected by planning blight.

“The government is deluded if it thinks HS2 will regenerate the North. The region’s long-term economic problems will not be solved by faster rail links to London. Towns such as Doncaster already enjoy fast links, but remain among the poorest places in the country. Indeed, HS2 will be used as an excuse to waste billions more on flawed regeneration schemes in northern cities, at further expense to taxpayers.

“High Speed 2 is being driven forward by politics, not economics. It is a loss-making scheme with a very weak business case based on a series of flawed assumptions. If the government wishes to boost the economy through infrastructure investment, it should allow private investment in profitable projects such as Heathrow expansion and road schemes with very high rates of return.”

Keri Brennan of Ruislip Against HS2 said, on the dropping of the Heathrow spur,

“Will people who support HS2 in the mistaken belief that HS2 will reduce domestic flights now realise HS2 is not about that. Nor is it about the environment, reducing carbon or true connectivity. Maybe it’s about airport expansion after all. 

“As for the Heathrow Link and for our community, it is still not certain if this is a permanent reprieve or a temporary one till 2015.  

“Another major point of interest for Londoners today is the route through the city of Manchester is almost all in tunnel – meanwhile many Londoners still face HS2 ploughing through their gardens, schools, closing roads and so on, time for a fair deal for all!”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, added

Before the government spends £33 billion on a rail project, they need to make sure that the evidence is there to back it up.  What the Department for Transport was forced to admit in the judicial reviews is that long distance peak hour trains from Euston are half full.  The evidence that HS2 is needed is simply not there, yet the government is desparate to gamble £33 billion on a fast train for fat cats, when former Transport Minister, Philip Hammond told the Transport Select Committee that a factory worker from Manchester might never use HS2.

“The basic principles for the first phase of HS2 were wrong. Tweaks in the second phase do not change this and cannot make up for the environmental damage and destruction from HS2 between London and Birmingham.”

“Stop HS2 will continue looking at the new proposals very closely over the next few days.”

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin added

“HS2 has been spun as being good for growth, but only last week 32 academics from the Transport Planning Society said that was wrong. The Department for Transport will say it will be good for jobs and the north-south divide, but HS2 doesn’t create jobs, it simply moves them around and out of the handful created on Stage 1, 75% are set to be in London. All HS2 will do is suck more economic activity to London.”

“HS2 is the wrong investment at the wrong time. The country is supposedly bust, we are seeing cuts in services all over the place, but the Government wants to spend money on a train line which will only benefit the richest in society and line the pockets of construction lobbyists with vested interests. There are more holes in HS2 than a Swiss cheese, which is why the Government faced five legal challenges. To announce the route for Stage 2 before the rulings on those judicial reviews is simply irresponsible.”

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53 comments to “Spin machine goes into overdrive over pointless HS2 project.”
  1. If a group of householders got together whose homes have been severely affected sue the government for the lost of value of there homes or do they just have to accept the lost what about human rights so come on you clever lawyers can we have your views on this please

  2. Paul Harlow. Where have you been hiding all this time? I couldn’t agree more with the points you make and I only wish that I could make my point of view with the degree of lucidity that you do. It is time for a huge push against this insane project that has already cost the country millions. I have lost faith in politicians generally, on the whole, they are smooth talking, shallow hypocrites. We cannot lose this, future generations will not forgive us.

    • Thinking not hiding…….

      High Speed Rail 2 (aka Capacity) is now the Bright New Face of the Dark Arts of Westminster

      HS2 will negatively impact on Human and Civil Rights of Individuals, Groups, Villages Towns and Regions. Indeed the nature and quality of their lives have become commodities to be bartered and traded by the elite and self appointed without their consent or vote on this matter on the basis of unproven and undemonstrable common good and promises already known to be false. HS2 only works if there is a pillage of the nations combined silver and also that of privately owned resources and value from one community to another. As the government has stated some (hundreds of thousands) will have enforced loss of equity, savings value and lifestyle to potentially enhance some others. This is why the matter is ‘announced’ as last week so that those effected have no real say and no real power. Those in the know have already taken tactical ‘insider’ provision long ago.

      Those in dissent are subject to denigration and subtle dehumanisation by dynamic processes of alienation and scape-goating based on mass psychological theory and advertising in order to manipulate popular opinion. The LAWNS V JOBS is a slick and sick piece of advertising and socially divisive propaganda. It plays on a stereotype (more akin to the lifestyle realities of the wealthy families Cameron-Astors, Cleggs and Osbornes) than a resident along the route. Such action deliberately incites a false class hatred and envy into an argument that in reality is none of these.
      We all know the power of such propaganda in the shaping of opinion. We often say “how could they have believed that?” It is because such propaganda plays on embedded culture bound issues.
      Huge projects have been used politically from the dictators of ancient Rome (Augustus) to those of the 1930s (and usually relied on some form of unjust slavery or subjugation to achieve the political ambition).

      There are in reality few lawns and few jobs but at stake are truly precious national resources and many lives will pay.

      The simple campaign STOP HS2 based on academic argument was winning one year ago.
      Faced wtth a population concerned about loss of AONB and lack of evidence to support High Speed Rail the government appointed quango HS2 deployed Westbourne Communications in their service whose self laudatory remarks can be viewed on http://www.brandrepublic.com/features/1164032/

      High Speed Rail 2 aka Capacity is now the Bright New Face of the Dark Arts of Westminster

  3. There are some well made points in this discussion – one can only hope that more will take note. In Manchester / Cheshire, we now have an unholy alliance of Labour Manchester siding with Tory Cheshire; with one representative even claiming that lobbying forced HS2 to produce the current “initial preferred” route. DfT is now releasing submissions from its “confidential” i.e. secret discussions with “Leaders” in 2012 but retaining “confidentiality” where requested. For Cheshire, not only have they blighted everything in the broad path of the initial Y? offering but also all in the way of the more obvious and vastly cheaper line.
    Osborne refers to the lack of railway building since the (great) Victorian era when they achieved their aims by railroading (where did that term come from?) and buying off, as appropriate. How times have changed?
    Well, Manchester has been well bought off with its 7.5 mile tunnel. The rest are just luddites and nimbys who should be grateful they no longer have a garden fence to maintain.

  4. Thankyou for putting my thoughts down so well Paul Harlow.
    I think your idea about Stop HS2 candidates is good David Webb I think i may well mark my ballot paper Stop HS2 if there is not one.We need a day when we all bombard our MPs at the same time.

  5. You are right about the number of groups opposed to HS2, and all this opposition needs to be coordinated and to speak with one resounding voice. A march of a million is good. But let us be honest, the truth is that the “not in my name” march did not achieve very much other than temporary publicity, and while such demonstrations raise profile for a brief moment of time, the politicians and the policies usually survive. Let us have a march, a nice day out and some inconvenience for the politicians, but it has to be properly organised and there will be elements who want to use the day for starting violence (which would suit the politicians just fine). More importantly we need to announce that every constituency at the next election will be contested by a single ticket STOPHS2 candidate; there is nothing that worries a politician more than the possibility of a split vote upsetting an otherwise predictable outcome in a safe seat.

  6. The main political parties are all for it so who can I vote for to stop it?
    The construction lobby will no doubt be funding the election campaigns of those who back it,they are all in it together!

    • Are Cameron and (Ultimate Nimby) Osborne bullying the Country into accepting and paying for an unwanted and unproven vanity project that benefits the construction lobby?

      The British public have long been committed to preserving the limited AONB,National Parks, Wildlife Habitats and Woodlands.
      These assets make these crowded islands tolerable and beautiful. There are places of true tranquility and natural habitat accessible to most conurbations.
      The Green Agenda has promoted such stewardship.
      Those areas near to cities and standard transport access have special importance in the health and well being of the Nation.
      The coalition rapidly tried to sell off and allow development in the Nations woodlands. Public opinion forced a retreat.

      The next target appears to be the Green Belt and AONBs. Relaxation of Green Belt planning and HS2 both promoted by the Cameron Conservative Party are the greatest threats to the nature and quality of the Nation since WWII.

      There is no evidence that HS2 as proposed will provide any of the hypothetical benefits that are being promised.
      There is no model of what the relaxation of GB planning will result in.
      The Construction Lobby appear to be the drivers and beneficiaries of these policies. The Conservative call for a land-grab on HS2 blighted land was typical of the underlying dynamics and ethics and what we can anticipate. Such changes cannot be undone and are far reaching.

      HS2 is a case of the emperors clothes of ‘regeneration’ once the profits have been realized the nation will be left with a deeply scarred landscape, divided biomass and ill planned development which with hindsight will be viewed critically as a serious failing of stewardship. The nation will also be left with a huge debt which will grow exponentially.

      Concerned citizens are being labelled ‘Nimbys’ in a perjorative manner and in a bullying attempt to silence justified concerns.

      First phase HS2 does not follow transport corridors and slices through the Chilterns . This was falsely prescribed as essential on the basis of cost and technological need. The second phase shows this to have been a deception and a cynical means to cheaply acquire and ribbon develop important AONB and urban land close to or indeed in (Campden) London
      If we need high speed rail let it be properly done, properly planned and let it not damage the national assets. Let it be the best ecological and human resource not a cynical land grab .

      Although Cameron and U.N. Osborne try to ooze charm, they are in reality typical, autocratic, public school bullies driven by exaggerated self worth and self confidence .

      http://jlo.sagepub.com/content/14/2/117.full.pdf+html

      A Bully as an Archetypal Destructive Leader

      summary

      Leaders do not necessarily have the best interests of the organization in mind when they make decisions. Many times,

      leaders treat their own personal goals as more important in relation to the goals of the organization and frequently

      adopt a short-term decision horizon. Thus, leaders become destructive and make decisions for their own good at the

      expense of the organization. This article examines the bully as a leader and how the bully creates a dysfunctional

      environment where the bullied, the observer, and the organization suffer negative impact due to the decisions made

      by the bully. The externalities of bullying (i.e., unintended explicit and/or implicit consequences of bullying activities

      on the members of the organization) are discussed to highlight the importance of examining the spillover impact

      of bullying activities in organizations. In addition, the authors propose a method to address the negative impact of

      those who engage in bullying on the organizational as a whole.

      Leaders are not always interested in effecting change for the purpose of benefiting the organization and its members as a whole; rather, the leader maybe more interested in personal outcomes (thereby, becoming a destructive leader).

      —O’Connor, Mumford, Clifton, Gessner, and Connelly, 1995
      … … …

      It is not unusual to have a leader’s personal goals overshadow those of the organization and, at the end of the leader’s tenure, there are frequently negative consequences for the employees as well as for the organization. This inversion of goals can certainly be seen in the political arena as well, where leaders seek a leadership position to further their own personal ambitionsfrom which frequently they have significant material gains. The destructive leader (i.e., striving for personal gains over collective organizational interests and/or focusing on short-term gains over long-term organizational goals) has become a concern of the academic community and would appear to be a fecund area of indepth investigation by researchers (Illies, 2001).

      It is well worth reading the whole article.

      • @Paul Harlow: Are Cameron and (Ultimate Nimby) Osborne bullying the Country into accepting and paying for an unwanted and unproven vanity project that benefits the construction lobby?

        If they are (and your assertions are open to challenge), they are not acting in isolation because it would seem the entire political mainstream establishment is in on the act.

        High Speed Rail policy enjoys an almost unique consensus across vast tracts of the British political landscape – if you succeed in persuading the UK public to vote out “bullies” such as Cameron and Osborne at the next election, they will be replaced by another set of bullies in Miliband & Co, Clegg & Co, Salmond & Co or any combination thereof

        Have you even considered the supporting rationale to explain why High Speed Rail enjoys this priviliged position – might it just be that, somwhat removed from your conspiracy theory assertions of a stitch up between powerful construction lobby interests and any given UK government of the day, the basic principle of direct links between improved transport and economic performance are tacitly accepted across a wide range of mainstream opinion?

        I agree with your underlying claim that the the corridors of power in Britain are far too opaque but I also reject your claims that any incursions whatsoever into greenbelt, AONB, National Parks, is simply beyond the pale – there has to be a balance struck somewhere. For you it seems that the demise of even one tree is a step too far even if it delivers a more prosperous future for the citizens of UK plc?

        • No, I am not a Nimby,Luddite nor C.T. I enjoy ethical, ‘carbon counted’ travel and my family were involved in 19th century rail development ,which ,for the time was socially and economically important.
          Loss of national amenity must be properly evaluated as there must be a proper ethical response to the victims of HS2. It is irreversible like the removal of a vital organ. Often the effect is only noted post event and then it is too late. Recent history is littered with Government and Planning failures based on dogma, greed and promises of no real damage.

          My main concern is in preserving designated AONBs and their mixed and organically developed human and wildlife communities.

          Having moved into, lived in and loved the North Kent ANOB after HS1 route was completed (which at least followed a transport corridor) I was dismayed by the evidence of erosion of the AONB and ribbon development post HS1 which was considerable and is still ongoing.
          The land value of the London route and the Chilterns AONB because of their proximity to London makes them both vulnerable and desirable to developers. Once denatured by a bullet train the argument for ‘preservation’ of the blighted area, is weakened.
          Government members have already sanctioned and endorsed a cynical land grab based on HS2 blight and the opportunity arising from same, so this is not conspiracy theory, but recorded fact. That ordinary people will suffer considerably, lose capital and assets and not be compensated is also an open coalition endorsed fact. The H.o.P Walrus tears from all parties don’t wash

          The Government body responsible for the Chilterns AONB set up in 2004 opposes the route . I have outlined the shifts in political thought in another thread. This shows the changes (as commented on by the BOW group) as to the routes featuring in the election manifesto and the subsequent betrayal of work done with the Chiltern AONB and other conservancy agencies.

          So sadly for your argument and similar critiques no I am not a conspiracy theorist (indeed I am deeply embarrassed to state we were taken in by and actively campaigned for Cameron et al ( and their financial, ecological and societal promises last election) despite insider advice they were not trustworthy. One lives and learns. We are, just old enough, informed, and cynical enough to have seen and opposed a few such schemes and also to have lived amongst the ashes and disappointment of such grand schemes. The History of Development and Planning can be a great source of advice.

          Sustainable,ethical and sensible organic growth cannot be opposed. I knowingly bought into the Chilterns area post HS2 (2010 plan) My concern is therefore not personal but relates to the value of the Chiltern and other ANOBs ASI’s on the route and the successful stewardship of same for future generations. It is a moral stance. Why create the AONB and ignore the advice of the Government body paid to protect it or similar special areas of interest?

          “HS2 the bringer of wealth and capacity” is a cynical, planned and strategic, media led ‘ad’ campaign to sell a flawed project. The repellant Manchester “your lawn our jobs’ bus campaign deliberately promulagates and harnesses a media spun gradient of envy (based of prejudice not fact) The government have a contempt for their electorate splitting north and south. branding the conservationists and economists Nimbys whilst hoping to preserve marginal seats with the promise of prosperity and jobs which on the basis of many studies will not materialise. I think the Cameron coterie despise their own essentially middle and working class electorate and are simply using them for their vote and relying on brand loyalty.

          There are many forms of activism that can be deployed against HS2, Demanding MPs are dropped and representative MPs elected, Legal Challenge, Euro challenge, marches, the ringing of worship and civil bells along the route, paint ins, arts events, protesters chaining to suitable railings, Rolling out lawns to disrupt Manchester traffic by those who will lose jobs, homes and livelihood. Demands for tax and rate reductions, mass withholding of same.
          The opponents to HS2 do need to consolidate, organise the rationale and be active. The proponents are well funded and have huge media access and resource. HS2 has become a battle of spins and political gain rather than of true ethics, values and informed economics.

          • I’ve stood at the Coombe Hill monument and noted the green and pleasant land spread between Aylesbury and the surrounding towns and villages. Over the years I have seen the slow addition of roads, and buildings to this scene and as I sadly imagine the HS2 line across this scene, pulsing trains every 4 minutes, I wonder how long it will be before miles either side of the railway will be built upon, as once the countryside is spoilt what is left of it will no longer be considered beautiful enough to preserve as rural land.

            As Governing the country seems to mean governing the country’s finances above everything else, we can say goodbye to all the rural landscapes we have today, for the exploding population will devour it as they claim their ‘patches’ on which to make money.

            “HS2 the bringer of wealth and capacity” are not only the words of an ad campaign to promote this flawed project, but words of warning.

            It may bring a wealthy few from north to south, and wealthy fewer from south to north, and conjure up some jobs just for the sake of its build, but can someone please explain how in reality it will bring capacity?

            1100 new seats available every 4 minutes – yes that’s a lot of seats, but who will want to sit on them? For there to be any worthwhile capacity gain on other transport routes for those who don’t wish to use HS2 and for all those new freight trains to take the lorries off our roads, there will have to be a considerable number of bottoms moving from planes and slow trains to HS2. Problem is nobody will know how many – until it’s pulsing through what used to be the beautiful Chilterns and on. By then it will indeed be too late to put it right!

            Have HS2 plucked their estimate of the number of people who will use HS2 in place of other competitive trains and planes, from our ever increasing thin air? They cannot possibly know who, in twenty years time, will be prepared to pay to go on HS2, rather than take the cheaper train or plane or more convenient car or even stop their long distance travel habits in favour of electronic communication – can they?

          • @Paul Harlow: “Having moved into, lived in and loved the North Kent ANOB after HS1 route was completed (which at least followed a transport corridor) I was dismayed by the evidence of erosion of the AONB and ribbon development post HS1 which was considerable and is still ongoing.”

            Can you provide some real world examples of post HS1 corridor ribbon development of the type you allude to

            Yes, I can understand how pressure for development in and around the two stations, Ebbsfleet and Ashford on this line will build up – that’s only natural. For example, Gravesham local council makes reference to this in their planning policy for the Ebbsfleet but elsewhere there doesn’t seem to be immediate significant development / change of use within the landscape around the HS1 corridor?

            • Suggest you look at planning and development HS1, Thames Gateway Ebbfleet Swale and Ashford and their adjacent AONBs/greenfields, CRE have also voiced concerns over green site building in Kent.
              Just a taster:

              “Figures show that over the last ten years, nearly 38,000 homes in the county were built on previously-developed land – known as brownfield – with 17,320 built on greenfield sites.

              Only Ashford and Swale saw more homes built on greenfield sites than other land over that period”.
              Faversham is the direct Swale HS1 link.

              Kent Science Park is located in the Thames Gateway – one of the most exciting locations in the UK – a region where there has been a huge investment in road, rail and air transport to provide the connectivity needed to support business growth.
              Its also on the KND AONB (Swale).

              HS1 and Hs2 cannot simply be correlated either: traffic on HS2 will be four times greater than HS1, HS1 follows traffic corridors.
              cfhttp://timstansfeld.planningresource.co.uk/2011/10/24/what-price-tranquillity/

            • And even if you don’t believe it has happened in Kent please explain as applies to HS2
              “Nick Boles MP has said that he wants developers buy land near the proposed line for housing while it is cheap”.
              Ie Ribbon Development. It is seen pretty globally along road and rail transport corridors.

            • @Paul Harlow
              Please read my comment again – I asked you to point out specific instances of post HS1 ribbon development, NOT within proximity of stations on the new line.

              All you’ve done is confirm predictable pressure points in and around Ebbsfleet and Ashford, ie. stations on HS1

              One of the major criticisms aimed at HS2 is its lack of stations. Many Many amongst Chiltern based anti-HS2 campaign groups rail against HS2, saying we take all the pain and receive none of the gain, in the form of a station.

              You can’t have the argument both ways – the evidence provided by HS1 indicates that not having a station means no ribbon development – introduce a station within the Chilterns area and you introduce a focus for development in and around the environs of that site.

            • Your logic is flawed
              “I asked you to point out specific instances of post HS1 ribbon development, NOT within proximity of stations on the new line.
              All you’ve done is confirm predictable pressure points in and around Ebbsfleet and Ashford, ie. stations on HS1”

              I think you are naive if you cannot concede to Ribbon development in the case of HSI and it’s potential in HS2. The governments promises of houses and jobs rely on it and connectivity to it. HS1 has already been credited with housing and other development across the county.
              Swale is neither Ashford nor Ebbsfleet.
              I note that you do not comment on the ministers comment to developers to buy land
              cheap for housing.
              If you look along the HS1 route and access the planning and development plans in the relevant councils the impact of HS1 it is evident and it also strategic.
              HS1 in its final form can be considered was a ribbon development of the Road Network .
              You cannot devolve the development of Ashford and Ebbsfleet and the socondary ribbons emanating from them from the argument “as being predictable pressure points”. There would have been no pressure if HS1 was not there.

              HS2 is notable that it in its first phase not followed transport corridors and this has been the source of considerable academic criticism.
              Ribbon development means building houses and businesses along the routes of communications radiating from a human settlement. Such development generated great concern in the UK during the 1920s and the 1930s, as well as in numerous other countries.
              Following the Industrial Revolution ribbon development became prevalent along the railways: predominantly UK Russia and USA. A good example of this was the deliberate promotion of Metroland along the Metropolitan line.

              Ribbon development starts with nodes or beads and these coalesce.
              The Ribbon development along HS1 is anticipated to mature 20-40 years after itl’s construction.

              HSI has been credited with the business and housing development along its route.

              Dartford, Greavesham, expansion of Ebbsfleet Strood Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham Rainham the proposed coounrbation/ citification of same) development and Planning for Swale (Sittinbourne Faversham) Maidstone, West Canterbury,Thanet, Ashord and Folkestone
              Near misses (rejected or withdrawn plans) based on HS1 included Bearsted KIG (now downscaled to business park and the Wye proposal.

              Other proposals based on HS1 in The Kent Plan
              1 Manston Airport and Thanet Interchange
              2 Extend High Speed rail from Ashford to Thanet
              3 New Lower Thames Crossing
              4 Link Gatwick Airport to High Speed Rail network
              5 Extend Crossrail to Ebbsfleet
              6 Port of Dover Expansion
              7 Maidstone Parkway

              SE Rail have also produced documents and promises of further ribbon development as ever housing and jobs occasioned by connectivity to HS1 and expansions thereof.

            • @Paul Harlow
              I’m sorry but you’ve lost me completely

              I asked you to provide specific instances of ribbon development along the HS1 corridor, subsequent to its completion – these instances being in places where there are no stations – I’ve explained the rationale of why “not near a station” is pivotal – you appear to have ignored the my reasoning.

              So far you’ve pointed me to obvious instances of development in and around Ashford and Ebbsfleet stations – the only credible non-HS1 station proximity instance you’ve mentioned is Swale – your words were “Swale is neither Ashford nor Ebbsfleet”

              True but neither is it anywhere near HS1 – in fact it’s in close proximity to the existing classic line passing through Sittingbourne, approx 11km from the HS1 corridor – you’ve questioned my logic – I have to question your geography?

              So yes, I’ll continue to adopt my “naive” stance on potental ribbon development along the future HS2 corridor – a corridor through Bucks, Oxon and Northants with no stations?

            • How are you so sure that ribbon developments aren’t being considered along the transport corridor of the HS1 route?

              Ribbon developments can be looped to make ostentatious Rosette developments – like Garden Cities – not just near the stations, but anywhere people want to sell their spoiled fields and others want to make money through building.

              With help from the less restrictive planning regulations passed last year, the coming years will see developments built in places along the HS route that would not have been built had the HS corridor not blotted the landscape. This new railway will open up a route for rich people wanting to build houses and business premises in more rural surroundings.

              New developments need to be restricted to regeneration of derelict and abandoned urban areas, and kept off our hills, fields, and woods. But this isn’t going to happen.

        • Its supported politically because it makes political sense – its opposed academically because it make no actual sense.

        • I don’t think anyone would argue with the basic premise that improved transport links will , other things being equal , help the economy. But the thing you always forget is that you also have to take into account the cost.

          Financial Cost to the Nation – £ 39 billion. Even if the supposed 100,000 jobs arise ( and ignoring the fact that a chunk of these will be temporary and most of the rest will be relocations ) that works out at £ 390,000 per job ! Would you still be in favour of HS2 if it cost £ 139 billion or £ 239 billion ?

          Financial Cost to People Directly Effected — estimated at between £ 10 billion and £ 20 billion.

          Environmental Cost — incalculable.

          • Depends upon your perspective thought doesn’t it @kingsnewclothes

            Financial Cost to the Nation – likely to be much less than the headline budget of £33bn (that figure includes massive sums for potential contingencies)

            Financial Cost to People Directly Effected — grossly exaggerated (for rather obvious reasons)

            Environmental Cost; manageable provided the correct mitigation and restorative measures are put in place

            Economic Benefits to the Nation, over the next 100 years – incalculable

            • The 33billion is already out of date as per this written answer

              Mr Simon Burns: When the Government announced its decision to proceed with HS2 in January 2012, the construction costs were estimated at around £16.3 billion for Phase 1, and around £16.4 billion for Phase 2 (2011 prices). Having received advice on route options from HS2 Ltd, the cost of the Government’s initial preferred route, station and depot options for Phase Two, published on 28 January 2013, is now estimated at around £16.8 billion, without the spur to Heathrow (if the spur is included the costs for Phase Two would rise to around £18.2 billion). Further information is available in the Command Paper ‘High Speed Rail, investing in Britain’s Future, Phase 2: Leeds, Manchester, and beyond’.

              The financial cost to people affected and the scope of the awful blight will be revealed when and if the information ordered by a judge to be released is in the public domain

              As for environmental impact I suggest you read the independent on Sunday article amongst many other

            • Blimey Peter get your facts straight !

              The headline cost is not £ 33 billion. The capital cost per the DfT January 2012 ” value ” statement shows as £ 36.4 billion ( you really would find that a railway works better if you have some trains to run on it ! ) and this discounts the costs all the way back to 2011. We are now in 2013 so the current “Present Value” is exactly £ 39 billion.

              You claim it is very likely that the costs will be less than this. We might come in at a lower figure but it is just as likely to be a higher figure. Optimism bias is included for a reason, it is generally needed. You should be aware that these contingencies were massively reduced at the last iteration. The government has already raided the cupbord.

              The financial cost to people effected ( and not covered by any compensation strands ) is open to debate but without any doubt is massive. That is plain common sense, regardless of all of the experiences highlighted in articles in papers like the Mail on Sunday.

              Economic benefits to the nation — massively overblown by people who seek some sort of advantage for themselves not least a a financial profit for businesses like Atkins, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Siemens etc etc.

            • Financial Cost to the Nation – likely to be much less than the headline budget of £33bn (that figure includes massive sums for potential contingencies) – LMAO! That is the exact opposite of every impartial financial view on this project i have seen. Its expected to be 50 billion according to some accountants.

              Does this guy work for HS2 ltd?

            • @Nameless: “Does this guy work for HS2 ltd?”

              Yawn – we’ve been there before, several times – a someone commenting has the audacity challenges the pre-conceived predjudices of anti-HS2 sentiment – reaction; they must work for HS2Ltd”

  7. They could alleviate overcrowding on the WCML into Euston at a stroke by reinstating the Grand Central between Aylesbury and the railfreight interchange at Rugby/Crick. Rugby has so many lines coming out of it, mostly still unbuilt-on, that it could cheaply interlink many other routes. You’d be able to get another 20 years out of the WCML at a fraction of the cost of HS2 by moving the freight off it.

  8. I live in Lincoln but know the Chilterns very well from my childhood. HS2 has little public support. Most people would agree
    with the comment I heard earlier this week that it will be a “Fast train for fat cats” which the ordinary taxpayer is having to fund. At least the Victorians funded their railway lines privately! A truly NATIONAL CAMPAIGN is required. I am happy to help to co-ordinate a campaign from Lincoln. There are millions concerned about the environmental effects of HS2 (300,000 members of the Woodland Trust, 800,000 members of the Wildlife Trust Movement, 1 million members of the RSPB and so on). I am sure we could organise a “1million demonstration” and Rally in London finishing at Westminster for a Lobby of M.P.s.
    If this is going to be done it should be this Summer so that we show the strenth of public opposition before the Government can take this Madcap scheme any further. If you want my help, my e-mail is as above and my telephone number is 07946 687532(mobile).

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