Posted on 12th January 2014 by JoeHS2 only directly covers 13 out of 465 trips between English city regionsBackbench MPs not impressed with HS2Related content: New Judicial Review – Links to Help Find EvidenceShare this...FacebookGoogleTwitterPinterestLinkedinEmailWhatsapp Tags: News News
This project was the inspiration of a thoroughly discredited Noo Labour government, designed purely to make it appear that Blair and Brown had actually achieved something. In the wake of the HS1 fiasco, which saw “ownership” of the line change hands four times, and still isn’t clear even after sixteen years, I would have thought that the lessons of past bad judgements would have been learned – apparently not.
Considering that HS1 STILL runs late – or not at all, as the case may be – the immense running and maintenance costs have pushed prices up and prevented all but a few expense-account merchants from using it. If travellers want to use the Euro express they drive to Folkestone and board it there – who in their right mind would drive to London AT ALL, unless they were forced to?
The same applies to HS2; with ticket prices being doubled – a legacy of HS trains – nobody other than the well-heeled will be able to afford them, so the argument for “extra capacity” falls flat on its face. The ONLY way it could work is if ticket prices were subsidised by the DfT – as happens with the French TGV – but even then, once the novelty has worn off numbers will fall and the line will be a dead duck.
I daresay the HMG of the day will then flog it off to foreigners, as they did with HS1 – and if they don’t, it will be the British taxpayer who will be footing the bill for a service that nobody wants, nobody needs and very few will ever use.
I think this is stupid what about all the money it is goner cost and think about all the house that will get knocked down people wont be able to live what about all the Greenland and what about the animals habitat where will they live?
The debate was certainly wide ranging, but I for one was rather surprised at the description of the Chiltern route, described by the M.P. for Luton North, Kevin Hopkins as running “only a handful of trains currently each day to and from Marylebone…”
Looking at the current timetable, there are two trains each hour between Birmingham Moor Street and /or Snow Hill and Marylebone from early morning until late in the evening, besides local services out to the Birmingham and London suburbs and other trains running as far as Bicester or Banbury.
In addition Crosscountry run long distance trains from the North East and North West via New Street to Oxford and the Thames valley- linked at Reading with fast trains to Paddington. which share the Chiltern route between Banbury and Leamington, as do many container trains from Southampton.
The “branch” he speaks of, from Leamington to the WCML at Coventry, which at one time carried no passenger trains at all, became an Inter City route with the development of Birmingham Airport and the opening of the National Exhibition Centre, well over 30 years ago , despite its being mostly single track . It is, though, scheduled for double tracking- at least in part and the provision of a new station at Kenilworth.
With Chiltern preparing to run trains from Oxford,”round the back “, via Islip and Bicester to London, how soon will it be that there will be need for extra track so that trains can overtake stopping services? Extra signals, passing loops at stations and new platforms have already been added in the last few years as the “Evergreen” phases have been implemented and the “Mainline” service has been introduced.
Yes, electrification would be welcome in the future, but the enormous recovery that has happened from the situation 30 years ago when the line was on its last legs and intended to be closed as a through route, these upgrades already continue.
Perhaps Mr. Hopkins should sample the line for himself. He could well be agreeably surprised.
Healthy debate in HofC but when are MPs going to wake up and see they can have their improvements and sooner if DC and Dept. for Transport dropped the unnecessary hs2. They are all so blinkered.