Sunday Evening’s HS2 radio debate

On Sunday evening, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio hosted an hour long debate on HS2.

Speakers included MPs Chris White MP and Jeremy Wright MP, Jerry Marshall from Agahst, Alan Marshall from Rail News, and John Morris from Birmingham airport.

The BBC invited HS2 Ltd to take part.  However  although representatives from HS2 were staying in a nearby hotel, in preparation for the Kenilworth HS2 roadshow (yesterday and today),  they declined the offer.

For more information, see the BBC webpage, or listen to the debate here.

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11 comments to “Sunday Evening’s HS2 radio debate”
      • The increase in commute numbers is the reason why the average commute time has come down.

        Quote from the research “The TUC believes that the growth in homeworking has been one of the reasons for the fall in commute times. Between 2006 and 2008, the number of people working from home increased by 291,000 – accounting for more than half of employment growth during this period. In 2008 alone, the increase in homeworking saved 232,000 commuting hours per day, the analysis reveals”

        • The increase in commute numbers…

          So we’re agreed that communter numbers are rising. Thank you. You don’t get “growth” without an increase in demand on the transport network, hence the rising passenger numbers. Again, that article says zilch about rail passenger numbers declining and actually tells us the opposite. A more plausible explanation for reduced commute times is that most office-based companies allow people to work from home for the odd day in the week, thus lowering their average commute time. Is it having an effect on overall passenger numbers? Nope, clearly not, as evidenced by the figures.

    • Chris ….. I was just looking at the wiki entry for videoconference, its technology I myself am not familiar with. Just while I was going through the history of it, I came across the following 2 statements.

      “Mass adoption and use of videoconferencing is still relatively low, with the following often claimed as causes:”

      “Lack of eye contact (as mentioned in Problems)”

      The lack of interpersonal contact is in my first post, and that was made before I even got myself clued in with this tech stuff for videoconference. The only thing I have seen dampen the desire to travel in my lifetime is a recession. You cannot videoconference a holiday !!

      • Not quite up to your normal standards, Gary. With any technology ‘mass adoption’ takes time – but that period is rapidly shortening. Landline telephones – 100 years, TV – 50 years, mobile phones 25 years, email 10 years? 15 years ago I attended a seminar with about 80 smaller businesses. 3 used email and now it is ubiquitous. So what will the use of video conferencing be in 15 years and its quality? No one is suggesting that business meetings will ONLY be by video conferencing. However, for sure, it will have a significant effect on travel. So there we have it, we need HS2 to help people go on holiday. Great use of £17 – 34bn. By the way how many people go on holiday to Birmingham?

        • Holiday in Bimingham lol !!! There are some lovely beaches on the Costa de Solihull!! Of course, Joe was speculating the other day that he felt that HS2 was simply a ” join the dots ” exercise for the airports.

          Phillip – by the same measure, we now have mass adopted cars and trucks , we built motorways to accomodate that growth. But we have paid a heavy price for that in the damage to the environment, and the common consensus is that cannot continue. If we simply built another motorway exactly where the HS2 route is and called it the M49, then no doubt there would be a stopM49 group……but of course that would be somewhat hypocritical of the protesters who drive cars themselves.

          No matter which excuse you try and make for not building it, you cannot hide from the facts which are there in black and white.

          1 – Rail use is growing around 5% a year.
          2 – Rail travel is deemed green.
          3 – There is a shortage of rail capacity.

          No one from stopHS2 can deny the above, it is absolute fact, irrespective of what else is going on in the world. Of course HS2 is going to cost a lot of money – £32 billion or so. It looks a scary number, but when you put it in the context of total government spend, it equates to 20p in every £100. We will have given the EU 3 times that amount in the form of what we contribute to Europe….money which amongst other things, is used to provide amongst other things, funds for High Speed Rail to connect the likes of Spain and Portugal. Now my question to stopHS2 would be ” does your protest group extend to that issue ? “….the answer would be no of course. Yet one of the straplines for this campaign is ” No money to pay for it “…..and yet here we are chipping in £6 billion a year from goverment funds

          • One of the points raised In the debate was ‘What is this obsession with hi speed’? if it was a conventional railway, it could bend round the more sensitive areas ,make less noise, have more stops and serve more areas. For the sake of 20 mins or so surely this is worth considering?

            • Stuart , no matter how much you ” bend ” the line, it will still cut a swathe through the countryside. Lets not forget this is the preferred route after a whole number of other options were rejected. This route itself has had a good number of tweaks ( and no doubt some more to come ) , but you cannot hide from the fact that the most efficient way of connecting anywhere is a straight line. Anything that deviates from that adds to the construction cost.

        • ” By the way how many people go on holiday to Birmingham?”

          Very timely from today


          BIRMINGHAM is improving its status as a destination city after new figures showed it attracted an additional 154,000 tourists last year, generating more than £4bn to the local economy.

          The figures released by industry research body, Global Tourism Solutions, show visitor numbers rose to 32.8m in 2010, from 32.6m in 2009 – bringing an additional £18m into the city. The overall value of the city’s visitor economy is now £4.6bn.

          Birmingham’s strong performance appears to be bucking both a national and international trend – with tourism bodies VisitBritain and VisitEngland both reporting drops in the number of domestic and international visitors holidaying in the UK.

          The GTS report, which is produced nationally to assess the economic impact of visitors to the UK’s major cities, also revealed the 32.8m visitors spent nearly 37.5m days in Birmingham in 2010 – an increase of 364,000 days. The average visitor to the city stays for 1.1 days and spends £140.

          Birmingham’s visitor economy has grown significantly over the last five years with visitor numbers rising by 13% from 29.1m to 32.8m. These figures fuel the sector’s growing economic impact, which has risen by nearly three quarters (72%) in the last five years – from £2.7bn in 2005 to £4.6bn in 2010.

          The strength of the city’s visitor economy has also created 21,220 jobs over the last five years, with employment in the sector going up by more than half (57%).


          So maybe thats a surprise to some of you and to those that doubt the veracity that ‘Wider Economic benefits’ even exist or that jobs are created, maybe that is helpful

  1. I listened to this yesterday…..what struck me was the quality of questions from the floor ( ie stopHS2 supporters ) was poor.

    1 guy mentioned broadband usage……..I made the point the other day that I felt that internet communications and apps were due some sort of backlash. Facebook have reported today a steep decline in users….it seems we are already realising just how important face to face communication is……

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