A Blunt Answer to a HS2 Consultation Question

With less then two months to go before the end of the HS2 Consultation, we’re going to look at some of the questions in more depth – however, don’t just copy our answers, please rewrite them in your own words.

Question Five; “Do you agree that the Government’s proposed route, including the approach proposed for mitigating its impacts, is the best option for a new high speed rail line between London and the West Midlands?”

No, we don’t because when you look at the consultation document, the approach proposed is non-committal.

It says on p110 that “a range of measures could be employed to mitigate the impacts described above”.

For instance, they go on to say

“As part of this, HS2 Ltd would look to use earth moved during construction to create bunds to shield properties from noise and visual impact … although it would not be possible to mitigate the impacts entirely…. For example, to design the provision of noise barriers alongside the route would first require assessments of the noise impacts. “

So, they might use some of the earth moved (does this include the chalk from tunneling through the Chilterns?) and it might reduce the noise.

But they can’t be certain what they’d do and how it would work, because they haven’t done the noise assessment yet.

And even if they did create bunds like this, noise from the high speed trains would still be audible.

So no guarantee that HS2 Ltd will do any mitigation for the effects of the high speed line – and a warning that the mitigation will be imperfect.

13 comments to “A Blunt Answer to a HS2 Consultation Question”
  1. however, don’t just copy our answers, please rewrite them in your own words.

    Rigging the consultation eh? Ooh you’re a devious bunch and no mistake.

    • No more devious than the Transport Secretary who keeps moving the goalposts.First Speed,then Connectivity,then Capacity….First Green then Carbon Neutral.One could go on…”Be ye therefore wise as serpents,and harmless as doves.”

      • All a big joke ,isn’t it Gary? I look forward to some facts and figures to substantiate your latest assertion.As you give the impression of knowing more than everyone else on the subject I’m surprised you don’t have them at your fingertips.

  2. These questions that ask “Do you agree…” must be answered in the format “No… Because…” Something like this.

    No. I do not agree with the government’s proposed route.

    There are already two motorways and two railways between London and the West Midlands. If another railway really is required, and I do not agree that it is, it should follow an existing corridor like much of the HS1 line through Kent, which runs alongside the M2 and M20 motorways.

    The cost and environmental damage of bulldozing yet another corridor through quiet countryside, an AONB, ancient woodlands, nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest is not justified.

    • Agreed.If “capacity” is the main issue now,let them use double-decker coaches in peak hours.Far less disruptive to alter bridges,and a great deal less destructive and expensive than a new corridor.One of the offshoots of privatisation is companies not minding how many people crowd onto their trains;cheaper than providing more space.Also a serious safety issue,which doesn’t seem to concern them overly.

      • Double decker trains Peter??? Amazing idea ?? Why has no one thought about that before?? !!!!!!! Of course our network isnt designed for the loading gauge, and to get it to that standard would require lowering the trackbed, raising the height of bridges , or re boring every tunnel in the UK, not to mention adjusting every single inch of power line. It would be more ecomical to build a new line from scratch……

        The overcrowding issue raised its head in the Daily Telegraph today…………..fines are to be imposed on operators who allow too many passengers on carriages. The flip side of that coin is that it is somewhat difficult to actually control the numbers who get on , particularly at smaller unstaffed stations.

        • As usual,Gary,your sarcasm is misplaced…though I’m glad to see an improvement in your spelling.In the past it’s been so atrocious as to give the impression you’re a scammer.Perish the thought! I’m well aware that there’s nothing novel about double-decker,or that it would involve considerable changes to the infrastructure,but I challenge your assertion that it would be more expensive.Have you got figures to prove this?What,more than the billions HS2 will cost,if and when it’s finally built?

          • I’m glad to see an improvement in your spelling.In the past it’s been so atrocious…

            That’s poor form, particularly from someone who types his own name all in lower case.

            Have you got figures to prove this?

            You’re the ony person I’ve seen suggesting this, and if you think it’s a viable alternative, then the onus is on you to provide the figures. It’s your idea, so let’s see some proof.

          • Admittedly I don’t have figures at hand, but rebuilding every tunnel, bridge, power line plus the closure disruption while it happened is highly likely to cost more than £17 billion. Upgrading the West Coast mainline within the existing structure cost about £8 billion, so upgrading for double deck trains with all the changes that involves will easily cost more than a new line.

      • There’s no need to suggest alternatives when answering this question. If the question asks “Do you agree…”, then answer “No…” and give your reasons. Make sure you answer with an emphatic NO as anything other than this could be taken as agreement with the statement. Then, Mr Hammond will stand up and say ‘an overwhelming number of respondents were in agreement… blah blah blah .’

        It’s best to keep answers simple and to the point. Guidelines from when I was a student apply. RTFQ. The R T &Q stand for ‘read the question’. The F you can work out for yourself.

    • If a motorway has to be closed for an emergency or major reconstruction works, then alternative routes can be accessed; -parts of the A5 Watling Street or the A6,in the case of the M1, or the A40 or A41 to bypass a closed part of the M40.

      Partly due to the fragmentation of the railways with privatization, but much more as a result of the widespread closures during the 1960s, cross country alternative routes and links between surviving lines no longer exist; lines such as Oxford -Princes Risborough, Grendon Underwood -Ashenden Jctns.,Banbury-Woodford Halse, Birmingham-Stratford- Cheltenham and above all, the GC route north of Aylesbury-Rugby, Leicester, Nottingham Sheffield and Manchester.
      All of these were either closed or cut back, and could not any more be used as diversionary routes.

      Even the High Wycombe route, now being upgraded as “Chiltern Main Line” was reduced “for economy”to single track north of Risborough and this section was due to be closed as by then it was desperately run down, as British Rail had adopted a policy of “all your eggs in one basket”, with all London- Birmingham traffic concentrated on the WCML route from Euston-New St.

      Now we need extra capacity- but major reconstruction is almost impossible without closing sections of main routes. Installing new junction points between Banbury and Oxford resulted in long weekend closures of both Chiltern and Cross Country services with fleets of buses substituted for those prepared to face the delays.

      There are long closures on the North Cotswold line while the second track is restored (at great expense- to reverse another “economy” of past decades). Reading station is in the early stages of an enormous reconstruction and expansion which must impact on services for several years to come.

      Whatever some people think should happen, the “Shard of Glass” skyscraper and similar developments in London and elsewhere suggest that commuting to work is not yet a thing of the past.

      We need enhanced capacity and enough track space and clear headways for fast long distance trains and stopping trains to co exist,- either sharing a “corridor” or bypassing the pinch points using an entirely new route- as HS2 Ltd suggest -just as road bypasses carry the long distance road traffic away from the local local gridlock.


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