We are used to being called nimbies and luddites but there are real “Not in my back yard” types involved in the debate about HS2.
They want the HS2 station near them – they just don’t want all the other stuff that comes with the proposed HS2 project.
According to the Birmingham Post, three Labour MPs Liam Byrne (Hodge Hill), Jack Dromey (Erdington) and Shabanah Mahmood (Ladywood) are opposed to HS2 Ltd’s plans for the Washwood Heath area of Birmingham, at the former Alstrom site.
HS2 Ltd want this area set aside for a possible depot. When HS2 starts operation in 2025, this area could be used for maintaining and cleaning the trains, providing about 300 jobs, many low-skilled.
Liam Byne said “We will call on the council to strongly reject the depot idea. The idea that you tie up this land for 10 years with the prospect of creating 300 jobs is a non-starter.”
However the MPs have plans that could create ten times the jobs that HS2 might. By developing this area for a mix of housing, retail and businesses, the area could create 3,500 jobs, at higher skill levels – and without waiting for a decade or more.
As we have said before, the people in the area need real jobs now, not hypothetical jobs in the future.
Meanwhile Hs2 Action Alliance have been looking at where the majority of the HS2 regeneration jobs are going to be created. Although HS2 is being promoted as a scheme which will narrow the north-south divide, it seems the Birmingham to London stretch would create many more jobs in London then in Birmingham.
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You cannot ever get the beauty back again, that’s what some people don’t seem to realise.
Maglev carves far more of a scar on the landscape than HSR: it runs on a raised track for most its route, requires huge out of town terminals as it cannot physically connect into any other system and has to run in even straighter lines than HSR. I don’t see the residents of Wendover going for that really.
HSR is last century technology, it was first developed in the 60’s by the Japanese, and now the Japanese are moving forward to the next technology.
It is interesting to note that at the same time as we are talking about HSR in this country, over in Japan they are building their Chuo Shinkansen Maglev line.
There is a real danger that by the time HS2 is built, it will already be obsolete.
I don’t think HS2 Ltd have ever considered this, or any alternatives to HSR.
Indeed we are astounded at the hijacking of the HS2 asset project by ‘developers’ looking for opportunities to justify ‘change of use’ designation.
HS2 (as currently briefed) should run from OldOakCommon to Birmingham International
At Old Oak Common the HS2 can feed to LHR by Heathrow Express interchange, HS1 by proposed HS2-HS1 link and London Paddington by existing mainline connection. Crossrail will provide crosstown connection & distribution, and free up Paddington space.
At the northern end HS2 would feed BIrmingham airport and existing intercity. Stage 2 to Manchester, Scotland and Leeds should decide whether a Birmingham HS Terminus is needed – personally I don’t see it.
What is not in doubt is that following exhaustive study, UK is best served by new 21st c dedicated HS line linking the key economic centres of WestMidlands and London/Southeast non-stop, leaving existing infrastructure to serve existing local development needs.
So STOPHS2 is wasting the country’s time and money revisiting good decisions. OPTIMISE HS2 is a worthy cause
There’s a huge difference between wanting a site to develop housing, retail and business and being a NIMBY who wants nothing to be built at all. Or are you advocating lots of housing being built on the HS2 land instead of the railway?