John Craven met some of the people who would be affected by the proposed High Speed Rail Link. These included the Parson family: their house would be the only one left standing in their hamlet. They thought the compensation scheme did not look good. George Gulliver’s fields would be cut off from his farm buildings, and he had been told nothing. He wanted to know whether the plan included bridges and access roads to link the buildings and fields.
John Craven interviewed a rail analyst, Phil Marsh, who claimed everyone would benefit because traffic on the roads would be reduced.
He was asked whether it made sense to spend 17 billion pounds so people could get from Birmingham to London a little bit quicker. His answer was interesting:
Phil Marsh: “Not strictly, but you have to start somewhere, and once that bit of line is built and once it’s extended, to the NW and NE of Scotland, UK plc will benefit. The regions will be regenerated. People will no longer fly on domestic flights in the UK.”
When asked what kind of guarantee there was that that would happen, he said there was no guarantee any of it would be built.
(So, it’s only if the second phase is built – which is not being discussed now – that the country would get the benefits of the scheme.)
The last part of the item showed John Craven talking to one of the people whose nursery was demolished. They’d had to start again completely.