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After previous failures, HS2 start another epic tick-box spin-show consultation.

HS2 Ltd, the Government owned company charged with developing HS2 and promoting it to the public , have started consulting the public on the proposals for HS2 along Phase 2 of the effected route today (17th July 2013).

The consultation will run until January 31st 2014, and specifically focuses on route and station options, with a cursory glance at the environment through an appraisal of sustainability. Notably missing from the consultation questions is the issue of compensation. This is a clear indication that, following a High Court ruling which declared the previous Phase 1 consultation illegal, there will be a further consultation purely on compensation for both stages. The consultation on compensation has not yet started, and is likely to finish before the consultation announced today.

HS2 Ltd held a consultation along Phase 1 in 2011, after which they ‘lost’ hundreds of responses. Twice.

The HS2 Consultation website can be found here.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager, Joe Rukin said:

“While we encourage people to get involved and respond to this consultation, we know it will be a sham and we expect that anyone pointing out the flaws in HS2 will be ignored. Rail Minister Simon Burns summed up the attitude to expect perfectly yesterday (16th July 2013) when he told the committee considering the ‘Blank Cheque’ Paving Bill going through parliament that the Bill was about making sure there was more money for consultants developing HS2, and it was not about sorting out any of the problems with HS2.”

“ During the Phase 1 consultation in 2011, part of which was ruled by the High Court to be ‘so unfair as to be illegal’, over 90% of people said no to the majority of the questions, but were completely ignored, with many consultation responses lost altogether. The real crime is that people won’t be asked about the principle of HS2. That question was asked back in the 2011 consultation, which completely disenfranchised everyone north of Lichfield, and we are still waiting for the court of appeal to say if that was legal.”

NOTES

  1. For more information, call Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Penny Gaines 07765 780553.
  2. Previous Stop HS2 press releases, including more details on the recent YouGov poll can be found at http://stophs2.org/category/press .
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5 comments to “After previous failures, HS2 start another epic tick-box spin-show consultation.”
  1. So our mr Mcloughlin as ordered him self a fleet of bullet trains .which shaves minutes of journey times claimes hitachi the train maker ,so why are we going to spend 50 100 billion tear our country side up put thousands of people out of homes and loose our wildlife .when the answer is replace our old trains tidy up our tracks and stations and every one should be far happier for a lot less money

    • If only things were as simple as you suggest, J.D….

      But they’re not.

      We may get a new line- or perhaps we shall bulldoze lots of people’s gardens so as to put in more tracks beside existing railways.

      Whether we do or not, “ripping up the (entire-implied) countryside” nor will it mean that we will lose our wildlife.
      It will adapt as it has for example done along the M.40 corridor through the Chiltern ridge, where the borders of the motorway provide a haven free from humans and their dogs. They will remain “loose” as you put it.

      Th loss of about 400 homes is a matter for concern- as was the loss of a considerable number bordering the A.40 through Acton ,for road widening some years ago. Replacement accommodation must be included in the scheme if it goes ahead- but even so, it would hardly involve the “thousands of people” that you suggest.

      Can I remind you, Railtrack/ Network Rail attempted to “tidy up” busy sections of the West Coast line ten years ago. The result was a period of extended chaos on a system that is used by a whole variety of traffic; fast non stop long distance trains, increasing freight traffic, semi fast and stopping commuter trains, with other services joining and crossing at parts of the route.
      Back then, many people were anything but “far happier” as the work took months if not years longer than planned and even then could not be fully completed before the disruption was terminated without all the intended improvements – and all after a lot MORE money.

      By the way, just how much of the M.40, A.41, M.1 or M.6 is in tunnels, underground, out of sight?

    • I agree JD. I did read that not only do Hitachi claim that 18 minutes will be taken off the journey time but it is also supposed to add 18 % capacity to the routes involved.

      Supporters of HS2 say that only a new line can add enough capacity. But more and more of the arguments for this now appear to be shifting onto freight. Expect this to feature prominently in the forthcoming upgrade of the Economic Case. Of course the freight projections will probably be just as overblown as the passenger projections and there should still be the imperative to consider the alternatives.

      HS2 Ltd are under massive pressure to produce some magic on the numbers. The recent Newsnight article was brilliant — with those 2 transport economists saying that the financial case for HS2 was holed below the waterline by a combination of higher cost / lower economic & passenger growth / mark down of the “value” of time saved.

  2. I am suprised that mr Bercow did not throw out the Tories who poked fun at mrs Gillans dress while making her speech on hs2 .it just shows how important they take spending our 50 100 billions of money .the sooner they stop this project and wasting our money the better .and mr Gove should be sending his MPs back to the infants school to learn some manners

  3. I have taken a quick look at the Phase 2 Consultation document – it is 122 pages in all of which the section “Value for money” takes up just two paragraphs. In this very brief section the first paragraph says that it is important to work out the value for money, then the second paragraph explains that HS2 Ltd won’t provide any figures until October. Total demonstration of Value for Money – zero!

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