Assuming the HS2 line runs at an intended capacity of 30 trains an hour, for 12 hours a day, carrying 1,100 passengers each that is 396,000 passengers a day. Oh and of course we only have two stations which need to process that number of people.
It is would be astute to ask what would happen if the line was disrupted by winter weather, or for that matter breakdowns, emergencies and God forbid terrorism alerts or attacks? What will happen to the 396,000 thousand unable to travel? Where will they wait? What emergency facilities will be available? What will the alternatives be if HS2 can not run?
Is it sensible to place “all our eggs in one basket” and rely on HS2 not only to generate the increased travel demand, which in itself if completely environmentally irresponsible but also to move this amount of people? Imagine the impact on business should it fail to run on one or more occasions. The lack of stations will make it even more vulnerable to failure and all for the greed for speed.
We have HS1 already in this country and how did it cope in the recent travel chaos?
This is a report from Sky on 21st December the day of the HS2 consultation announcement by Phillip Hammond
“It is not just airports that are struggling to cope with the freezing conditions.
Long queues formed inside and outside London’s Eurostar terminal at St Pancras as passengers waited up to seven hours for trains.
A Eurostar spokesman asked people not to travel unless it was necessary, with refunds or rescheduled tickets available to those who could postpone their journey.
An emergency timetable is in operation and cancellations and delays are likely through the Christmas week, the company has warned.”
It is not entirely clear what caused the “operation delays” on the Eurostar trains including unexplained breakdowns and speed restrictions with thousands of passengers being left stranded on trains and at stations. Some think it may be connected with frozen brakes and lines but it may be a while before we find out. The police were called to some queues to keep order. It was interesting to note also that a senior rail expert was quoted on the BBC as saying “Electric and Snow Don’t go”.
Mr Hammond has promised a review of how Britain has coped with the “big freeze” once the “worst is over”
Mr Hammond said “now was not the time” to make decisions on whether more cash should be invested in helping Britain’s infrastructure deal with the extreme cold.
“Once we’ve got out of the current situation and we have cleared the backlogs at the airports then we do need to ask whether we need to make a step-change in investment priorities, but if we invest more money in winter resilience then that means less money to invest in other things. But we need to do this decision-making in a clear, calm, rational way looking at what’s the real likelihood of these events happening again in the future.”
We have a suggestion for you Mr Hammond, scrap HS2 and invest in local connectivity for local jobs NOW. Keep the country running as you should do or you will cease to be a part in running the country. HS2 is not the answer and will expose this country to unacceptable travel sensitivity and risk, debt and environmental catastrophe.