HS2 Things to Read on Tuesday

The opposition to HS2 is spreading.

An article on Conservative Home says that the future is in alternative technologies, ranging from the Internet to self-drive cars, and that if built “HS2 will look dated the day it opens; the Luddite Express, a vast vanity project, the Millennium Dome of the 2010’s”.

Also this morning, the Institute of Economic Affairs have released a document looking in depth at HS2. They say that policymakers in favour of HS2 are making their case on the basis of bogus assumptions.  Some of the points they raise include:

  • Huge government subsidies on the existing rail network mean that prices and demand levels are severely distorted.
  • Estimates made by the government of demand growth are very optimistic. The long timescale involved also adds to the uncertainty.
  • The effect of competition from other rail lines has been ignored when projecting future HS2 ticket prices and passenger numbers. Lower prices would make the project even less viable.
  • The project has been ‘gold-plated’, leading to grossly wasteful allocation of resources. The first five miles of the route, from Euston to Old Oak Common, for example, will add almost 25% (c. £4 billion) to the cost of the first phase but deliver negligible time savings.
  • Significant environmental and social costs are not included in the assessment of the economic case, with several areas likely to be affected by ‘planning blight’.

You can download the report from their website.

Both of these are worth a read, as they both have lots of new ideas to consider.

105 comments to “HS2 Things to Read on Tuesday”
  1. Morris says:
    July 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    ‘What a daft comment, do you? HS2 will be a mix of frist and second class like trains TODAY is that hard to see’

    Please dont patronise me–I simply asked how much it will cost to use HS2 Bham to London and thought you must know as you plan to use it if its built.

    • The cost of the fair is not the point here but the train sets will be a mix of first and second class carriages.Do you know the price, as people here keep saying its for fat cats, believe me im not one and I will be using it. The cost of the time will offset the extra price of the fair

      • The fares are very much the point to me and to many people who have to live within an increasingly tight budget.
        Many business trips will be covered by expenses but Mr Hammond says that 70% will be leisure travel

            • Well you asked me the question in the first place. Then why do stophs2 keep saying it only for fat cat, if you dont know the price of the fair.

          • Morris, so you are answering a perfectly acceptable question with the same question … Please stop this very silly time wasting. If you don’t know then you don’t know. Time for lunch.

  2. Richard I suggest that you still go o the petition site and read the views of others.Today a gentleman from manchester who regularly travels by train around europe says that the current uk network is one of the best and does not believe it a good thing to build HS2.It is not us that are selfish as you wish for something that destroys jobs,homes and communities.Would you even use it should it be built and cost first class fares?Why should I and others spend time on this ?Many schemes do not come to the general publics attention this has and more and more have become aware of the folly that the government is trying to thrust upon us.Allacross the country local planning that affects communities are being fought and this is lots of locals getting together and it has come to the attention of a wider number because it will affect them .They should have a say in how their taxes are spent and how the British countryside is looked after.

    • Can you explain to me which community is being “destroyed” by a railway line Elaine? I’m afraid my patience is just about exhausted with hysterical scaremongering like this. It’s basically lying for effect, and I have no interest in reading through a whole petition full of exaggerated nonsense like this. Sorry.

      • Elaine – no you know what a train look like or have you even been on one in the UK. The current network is old and falling apart. Is this gentleman a member of stophs2 again or live on the route like the last but one very independent report – NOT. Please open your eyes and stop complaining, we need HS2 now

        • Referring to the comment re the current state of the Railways, I commute daily into London and it’s fine, generally reliable and cost effective, but my main point is that recently I have travelled several times to Manchester from Milton Keynes to see my son at University and the Virgin train was smart, clean, extremely fast and a fair price. I also recently travelled to York from Kings Cross, again on what seemed to be an extremely fast train that on the non-stop return journey only took 1h 45m. I think an evolutionary approach would be much more cost effective than ripping a new line through unspoilt countryside. And in any case at the same time that the government is battling with masses of debt and planning to cut spending across the board, where is the £17Bn coming from?

          • many trains are overcrowded i am surprised you dont notice that either on your commute or on your east and west coast journeys. if you upgraded the existing lines you would cause massive disruption to existing passengers and probably cause more residents along the line to be affected by construction and land and property take as in many cases the lines go right through the towns and villages that grew up around the railway.

            finally, the previous approach was very incremental as it raised some speeds on the wcml from 110 to 125 mph, and that only with expensive tilting trains in some places, all for the not inconsiderable sum of aroung £9 billion !

      • Rich I have looked into this scheme with an open mind ,you obviously have not,The places along the line have you looked at the communities at all.If you had you will see the wildlife areas where people go for walks the lakes where youngsters go to learn water sports,the golf ,football and rugby clubs these make up communities.It isobviously something you sadly do not,or do not want to understand.
        It is strange that those that are for HS2 see everyone against it as biased and it is one of your few arguements that you are to believed and we are not.If you cannot be rational and give decent arguements that it is the best thing since sliced bread, then i suggest you stop writing because if it is all you can say it confirms my thinking that this scheme is very wrong because those that think its good can only give feeble reasons for it

        • Elaine, calling Ian he has not looked at the scheme, is like say the Pot calling the kettle black. I see you have not either. Please read the last environment report with is pro HS2.
          Could you please answer Richards question “ which community is being “destroyed” by a railway”, you cant just say an open statement like lakes, sports area etc. HS2 is not filling any lake in, they are just building a bridge over them.

          • For goodness sake there are loads. Part of a community is quality of life people have chosen.
            Calvert people will go from living in one of the most quiet, tranquil parts of the country in the midst of nature reserves and SSSIs to the equivolent of living under the arches at Waterloo, but it will be much louder. A viaduct, a major construction depot and new road will be absolutely devastating. HS2 Ltd have admitted there’s not much in the realms of mitigation they do.
            And Calvert isn’t the only place.
            If only for the residents for the likes of Calvert please don’t write such patronising ignorant (in the literal sense) rubbish. You merely prove you really do not know what you are talking about and have absolutely no compassion for anyone else.

            • So if Hs2 was moved from your back yard you would support it. People still live at waterloo don’t they and the noise level, there will be noise barriers build. Your words for god sake change the record.

            • I suggest you get in touch with HS2 Ltd then. I’m sure they would welcome your pesrls of wisdom. You obviously know more than them. As I said ‘HS2 Ltd have admitted there’s not much in the realms of mitigation they do’.
              For your information, I, fortunately, do not live there, but I do care. I, like supporters of Stop HS2, do not support HS2 where ever it goes hence we have supporters across the whole country. Don’t presume things you know nothing about.

            • So why is it that 99.9% of your supports come from back thinking people that live on the route. I too live on the proposed route. The more people I talk too out side the route, the more I see that are in favour of it.

  3. Not invalid but a waste of our money, at the last election you had a choice of parties, and a chance to say no to HS2. You could have voted for a minor party. But strangley enough we live in a democratic soiciety and free government party system. It must also be pointed out that was it, HS2,was in all three had election menafestio. So please stop complaining that people will be lossing out and the countryside will be distoryed. Please read the lastest environment impact study, whch can be found on this website and which agrees with HS2. Again, stop complaining when money is spent north of the Watford Gap. There are more than one city in this country and believe it or not studies have shown that London does not contain the wealthest anymore and more people are now commuting from the North and Northweat to London everyday. Will you just admit that you are flogging a dead horse, we need HS2 NOW, cant wait for HS3 and HS4.

    • Morris , lies again . HS2 was not in the Conservative Party manifesto . A High Speed Network was . I already pointed out the difference between these two things once before . Have you forgotten !

      • hs2 is the high speed network they were talking about they are on and the same thing. are you saying that if hs2 were built but somewhere else ie not near you that you would support it ?

      • MartinH – what do you think support this means – Conservative Party words in the manifesto “We will establish a high speed rail network” What do you think that is, look up “Establish” that not a lie. The Liberal Democrat say “invest in public transport like high speed rail” again no lie
        I do agree with misinformed people like yourself that it does not say Hs2 but you must agree, we are only building one single new route of high speed rail at the moment. Do you know what that is commonly called, let me tell you it HS2. So both parties have it in there manifesto don’t they, one calling it “investment” and other “establish”. But I keep forgetting you are only complaining because it in your back yard.

        • Nick and Morris … this is groundhog day . HS2 goes at up to 250 mph and relies on straight line raw speed ploughing through whatever is in its way . High Speed Rail is any new line over 155 mph . Difference up to 95 mph . If you can’t understand that there is no hope for you.

          The Tories did NOT stand for election on the basis of Adonis’ HS2 proposals. Fact! By all means argue your case but please don’t waste everyone’s time by consistently saying black is white.

          • MartinH Please read the Conservative Party manifesto, for you help it does come in large print so the words will be clear. What do you think “will establish a high speed rail network”. You cant be that thick can you. There is only one new high speed proposed route on the table, so its clear to anyone with a brain, they mean this

            • You clearly are that thick. HS2 is one version of High Speed Rail. A very expensive very damaging one. The manifesto did not say the the Tories supported HS2. If they did show me where and I will apologise — otherwise shut up .

            • Ned Ludd encouraged people to fight back against the disrespectful bullying and abuse by rich mill owners who walked over human rights and were only interested in themselves and money.

              Yes I was a Liddite from a tender age when I realised ALL people matter and there was a right and a wrong way things can be done.

              Thank you Ned, I’m proud to be associated with you.

          • you can argue about what speed does or doesnt make a line high speed but where did you see the tories or the liberal democrats talking about a 155 mph line ? i dont recall that can you provide me with some kind of evidence to support this claim ??? i dont now anyone could think that the high speed line would not be somewhat similar to what labour was proposing. and i dont see why you have to take such a tone when i dont !!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I don’t see your point regarding the roadshow. The rep I spoke to told me that there are no plans for direct trains. There are no plans for border control at these stations. To connect into Europe you would check in at Euston. Just because there is a link it does not guarantee you will get this. perhaps it will be used for the much talked about freight trains? You seem so sure about this but I can’t see any documentation anywhere promising this service. if you do find any then I stand corrected. I can only go by what I was told at the roadshow by a representative.

    • @Stuart F: “I don’t see your point regarding the roadshow. The rep I spoke to told me that there are no plans for direct trains. There are no plans for border control at these stations. To connect into Europe you would check in at Euston. Just because there is a link it does not guarantee you will get this. perhaps it will be used for the much talked about freight trains? You seem so sure about this but I can’t see any documentation anywhere promising this service. if you do find any then I stand corrected. I can only go by what I was told at the roadshow by a representative.

      @Stuart F
      All I can say in response is “have you thought this through properly”

      Fact: There will be a tunnelled link between HS2 and HS1 – it’s in the design plans – don’t take my word for it, look it up yourself!
      Fact: There is provision in the HS2 buget for the purchase of (relatively expensive) new train sets described as “Classic Compatible” – this means they’re designed to travel on both European and UK guage networks and boast the necessary traction systems required to cope with different voltages, in just the same way as the current Eurostar stock does. Now of course it’s possible that some of this rolling stock will be used between London and Manchester but they can also travel between Manchester and Paris/Brussels because they’re designed specifically to fulfil that task
      Question: If there is a tunnelled link (constructed at a cost of many hundreds of £millions) specifically designed to bypass Euston and join up HS2 and HS1, doesn’t it make sense to utilise that link by operating (passenger) services that do not call at Euston?
      Question: If special trainsets are being purchased to operate in the manner described, why spend that money on them?
      Question: Where might those services operate, between which centres of population, if the main London terminus is bypassed?

      Now I can’t speak for you but these facts/questions point me inexorably towards one conclusion – there will be direct services operating between provincial UK cities and near mainland Europe. The HS2 planners seem to think this traffic will only form a relatively small portion of the overall usage on the new line (this might explain the blindspot exibited by the person you at the HS2 roadshow you visited) – I happen to think they’ve drastically underestimated demand in this sector but we’ll leave aspect of the debate for the future.

      Yes, you’re right when you state that stations operating cross border services will require border control, due to the UK’s intransigence over Schengen, but they will have that capacity – go and check out the smaller stations on the existing line, try Ebbsfleet or even the largely redundant Stratford International for instance – they both have intergral border control facilities!

      I’m not sure where the HS2 roadshow person got there info from but trust me – they’re wrong! Somehow I get the impression @Stuart F that you don’t actually fully comprehend the overall strategy of HS2 – you’ve simply looked at the elements that interest you and fitted your hostility towards the project around that narrow perception?

      If you want me to, I’ll post URL links to all of the websites holding details of these features – however I’m loath to do that here and now because for some reason known only to the moderators of this site, my recent contributions containing embedded URLs have been held pending moderation, so you can’t see them?

      • Of course there is a connection, how else would the German made trains be delivered? And don’t try to second guess what my feelings for and against Hs2 are. I am well aware of the debate. I don’t believe the business case stacks up. Sorry for disagreeing but thats democracy for you. Hs2 is more than welcome to buy my house if it actually went through it.

        • @Stuart F: Of course there is a connection, how else would the German made trains be delivered?

          Well that beats anything I’ve seen to date on this site in terms of (ir)rational/(un)reasoned argument.

          Are you seriously expecting readers here to accept that the only reason why a tunnelled link between HS2 and HS1 is being constructed (at a conservative cost of £500m +) is to enable smooth delivery of new trainsets/rolling stock from the Siemens production facility – me thinks you’re ‘avin a larf @Stuart F?

          Why don’t you just admit that you got it wrong and that in fact there will be direct services, from day one of HS2 opening up, between UK provincial cities and near mainland European destinations, finally linking a significant chunk of the UK peripheries to the burgeoning pan-European HSR network?

          Finally I don’t need to second guess your disposition towards the current HS2 project – you’ve made that abundantly clear to anyone visiting this site but your closing remark – “Hs2 is more than welcome to buy my house” rather gives the game away in terms of motivation underpinning your hostility towards the proposed line of route – somehow I think we wouldn’t have heard a murmur of complaint had you resided just a few km further away from the proposed route – because the problem would have been in somebody else’s back yard!

          Yes @Stuart F, democracy will decide the outcome of this project and I suppose I must put my trust in that process. We’ll certainly get an indication of which way the wind is blowing in Westminster when the TSC publishes its findings and recommendations – if the consensus amongst the committee points irrevocably towards a positive decision on HS2 I think the game will be up for StopHS2 and their ilk – perhaps then the tone of the anti campaign will be more pragmatic and less destructive, looking for ways to improve mitigation and gain benefit from the scheme for your locality?

          Good luck!

            • @Stuart F: “Your arrogance over this is hysterical.”

              What’s the matter @Stuart F – running out of rational, evidence based arguments so just resort to childish name calling instead?

              Go on, admit it – you were wrong!

            • Peter, the only way your point will be proven will be to see what happens if it is at its all built. Somehow I think that you will be disappointed
              with the actual result. What ever happens it won’t end up the way we all think. Thats just my opinion…..

            • @Stuart F

              I’ll be happy to see HS2 phases 1 & 2 (and hopefully HS3, HS4, HS? thereafter) completed and in operation as part of a comprehensive, step-change transformation of the UK’s transport infrastructure.

              In my opinion (and you are correct – at this stage all anyone can do is forecast, hopefully on the basis of evidence and facts) this kind of outcome, which will take perhaps 30 or more years to come to fruition, boasts potential to fundamentally alter the UK’s geo-political balance, tilting it irrevocably toward closer integration with Europe, if only in the social sphere. Certainly I know that from day one of HS2 phase 1 operation I’ll be able to board a classic compatible based service at Wilmslow (I can walk there from my residential location) and be in Lille Europe perhaps 3 hours later, allowing me to transfer directly to an ever expanding range of mainland European HSR services. When phase 2 comes into operation, journey time to Lille will drop to just over 2.5 hours. By that time, a host of major European cities will be linked by a true HSR network; Bordeaux, Barcelona, Sevilla, Madrid, Marseille, Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Venice, Geneva, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, the list goes on. This could facilitate the effective demise of short-haul intra European airborne links (a la RyanAir, EasyJet, FlyBe, Jet2.com et al) as we know it now (yes of course some European destinations will always remain more convenient by air – you won’t be travelling to Palma in Majorca by rail for example!), but if HS2/3/4 etc. proceeds in the manner described, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edingburgh and Glasgow, at least, will join this growing array of European cities, perhaps other UK conurbations in addition?

              If (and I know it’s a biggie) this (r)evolution in the continent’s mass public transport infrastructure is combined with an equally radical shift in energy sourcing, moving away from carbon based materials and towards cleaner renewables pus an element of cleaner Nuclear, this could help to transform Europe into a carbon neutral continent without impacting adversely on the inexorable increase in demand for travel.

              Perhaps you now understand the rationale underpinning my adovcacy of HS2; it has nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with my perception of this project as simply the first part in a much larger mass transport jigsaw. If this first opportunity (in the UK at least) is spurned, largely due to pressure exerted by a relatively tiny group of well connected (politically and socially) individuals, acting purely out of narrow self interest, this will see much of the UK condemned to a virtual economic/social backwater, as the rest of our continent advances.

              I’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure that circumstance does not come to fruition.

            • Peter D — you will be figthing tooth and nail ………….. I’m sure Morris will join you at the barricades .

              If you think that masses of people from Birmingham and Manchester will switch from plane to train to go to Bordeaux, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Marseille, Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Venice, Geneva, Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt then you are living in cloud cuckoo land my friend. Michael O’Leary doesn’t need to worry just yet. Have you looked at a map lately? Mind you I might just about give you Amsterdam to add to Paris and Brussels.

              Your earlier comments are quite revealing ………………….. the UK intransigence over Schengen ( thank god ! ) and irrevocably towards closer integration with Europe. This last point I think explains a lot although I guess you are a minority amongst the 432 signatories to the Yes petition in putting Euopean integration at the top of your rationale list. Go on, admit it, I bet you thought the Euro was a good idea too !

  5. It is getting to a point where nobody can believe anybody.The P.M is backing HS2 but look at his recent lack of judgement why should he be right about anything.Those backing HS2 seem to believe that those against even if they are in position to give an unbiased oppinion, do not do so inspite of their reputations.Hs2 has failed to prove that it would be a viable scheme.Those backing it have failed to make a good arguement for it.Those M.Ps who went to Germany appear to have been taken in by the sales pitch given to them.The world is in a mess and Putting the huge amount of money aside for Hs2 is not a good idea.So much can change in the next few years it is cruel to put so many lives on hold.As Jerry Marshall said we should improve and then see how the rail travel is increasing.Much of the problem is too many first class carriages with too few passengers and too few ordinary carriages with too many .Is not rocket science in a lot of cases.

    • Elaine, Is this a vote of “No Confidence” in the Prime Minister?
      Are you calling for a General Election?

      There is and it seems, always has been, a naivity in the minds of many people within the ranks of the “Stop” community which believes that “any right thinking person” MUST oppose HS2, totally and without compromise, so that any one taking a different position has to be a Knave or a fool, must be nursing a personal interest or must have been “bought” by the wicked Government and/ or the engineering and construction lobby.

      Without wishing to indulge in name calling, one senses a feeling of hurt and frustration , especially through the towns and villages of Bucks and Northants…”We voted you in and now you do this to us…”

      * It’s up to the Government to justify the project if they insist it is “in the National Interest”, just as the villagers of Imber and Tyneham were told when ordered to evacuate their homes to provide battle training areas; they were never able to return to live there.*

      The fact remains that more capacity is needed. Unless demand is to be “damped down” by a deliberate raising of fares to such a level that ONLY your much reviled “fat cats” can afford ANY rail journeys, then SOME other solution will be required.

      Can we at least agree on that?

      Lengthening trains- even this has limits and requires Govt.approval, some re-engineering of the trains to accept the extra vehicles and difficult -to -arrange lengthening of platforms, which may involve rebuilding track layouts and signals, in the midst of constricted town centre sites.(I am sure that one reason for our much higher costs in the UK, compared with much of Continental Europe is the requirement since Victorian times to provide high platforms, with consequent safety demands for lighting and fencing.)
      Such measures are still not so much Final Solutions as Holding Measures giving some relief for the immediate future and time to plan properly for the longer term.

      But nothing can be allowed to “trump” the best solution, be it a cherry tree or a bat colony, if they cannot be avoided, Rather, pragmatic solutions and maybe compromises are the ways to go. If mature trees could be transplanted, transported in horse drawn carts to enhance Waddeston Manor over a century ago, is it beyond our skill to relocate a tree?

      To return to your comments, Elaine, do you really believe that the members of the Parliamentary Committee are such dupes that they could be so easily fooled (or are you going to suggest “bribed”) into their position?

      The fact that they appeared to give a hard time to the witnesses speaking against the HS project, merely shows that they were doing their job and challenging the statements and testing the evidence.

      It is one thing to stand up in front of a supportive rally of faithful believers, all fully in agreement, and quite another to explain and justify ones beliefs, no matter how passionately one holds to them .

      There is no room for malice on either side. We shall have to live with the result.

      • John Webber i actually live in waraickshire.It is frustrating this going on about building a train for first class passengers when you can see overcrouded carriages when there are 3 people in 3 first class.the villages taken during war time has no comparison with now.Even those being moved for resovoirs at least knew that there move was for the greater good.If i felt that the HS2 would do something similar I would not be so against it.I feel that if Hammond is having to chivie people into supporting it they really do not see it as a wonderfull thing for the country either.Now china has had an accident with one of theirs, it shows what can happen.

        • Elaine – So you live in Warwickshire, again what that got to do with HS2. But I forget you would not be complaining it you did not, it in your back yard. Hs2 will be a mix of first and second class carriages and will increase the capacity of the network. If a train is full under Hs2 you can wait for the next which will only a few minutes behind, unlike now where you (sorry I forget you never go on a train) it could be a few hours for the next train. Look HS2 will increase the capacity, do you understand what that is?

    • This is not true Elaine. Saying that those supporting HS2 have failed to make a convincing case does not reflect the truth. The truth is that those who are against HS2 are so utterly wrapped up in their belief, they refuse to believe anything they are told. They don’t care about the impact on our economy and viability as a country because they are utterly dismissive of any argument, no matter how strong, to build HS2.

      Fundamentally, the arguments against are not credible and do not stand up to scrutiny as the recent TSC hearing demonstrated. Yet, somehow, the argument from StopHS2 supporters is that the members of the TSC have ‘been lobbied by the pro-lobby’. So they are simply biased are they? What a surprise you should think so.

      And as for the ‘independent’ reports which have come out against HS2, odd is it not that these just happen to be ultra right-wing groups who oppose public investment and would slash existing spending. Also, it has already been identified that the Institute of Economic Affairs report was part-authored by someone who lives on the proposed route – that utterly discredits anything it contains. Why did they not exclude someone who so clearly has a vested interest? Has that really helped the cause of Stop HS2?

      In truth, the Stop HS2 campaign has been clumsy and ill thought-out. It has sought to distort facts and raise unsubstantiated fears while ignoring facts and assuming the government is so pro-railway that it cannot think of alternatives. This is completely at odds with the truth which is that, since the 1950s, the Dept for Transport has been completely focused on roads as the primary transport mode in the UK. The fact they are now looking at high speed rail is, in itself, an indicator of the strength of the case for HS2.

      • You have to go back to what Andrew Gibbs said: the answer from supporters of HS2 to any argument put forward by anyone opposed to HS2 is to either ignore it, or try and discredit the people making them. You’ve just done it in your comment: you haven’t put forward one argument for HS2 just now. All you’ve done is be insulting.

        • I haven’t said anything insulting. I, and others who are pro hs2, see absolutely no point in trying to put forward the obvious positive points to this group because you refuse to accept there is any case to be made. All credible points are dismissed with unsubstantiated statements and grossly overstated scaremongereing.

          This is why I maintain that the Stop HS2 has been poor. In many ways, that’s fine by me, but don’t kid yourselves that exaggeration and misinformation will cut any ice with the decision makers.

      • We’re all trapped by HS2 because it’s the only thing on the table

        The objective should be to reduce people’s need to travel by for example building housing closer to employers/technology/incentives to empoyers to provide flexible working and teleworking etc.

        We must provide those people who need to travel with comfortable,safe,affordable rail travel but on the current network
        Just what is so sensible about people spending hours travelling,spending a fortune and being too exhausted to enjoy their leisure time

        • @John: “The objective should be to reduce people’s need to travel by for example building housing closer to employers/technology/incentives to empoyers to provide flexible working and teleworking etc.

          What you seem to be saying is; OK, the alternative plans put forward by the anti-HS2 brigade are flawed so now our strategy should focus on means and ways to achieve a fundamental shift in lifestyles, so that people simply don’t travel as much as they do now and intend to in the future.

          Please correct me if I have incorrectly interpreted your remarks?

          My only response would be that your strategy is simply not credible – are you claiming that somehow it’s OK for those residing in the London/S.E.England corner of the UK to boast connections to the burgeoning pan-European high speed rail network but somehow those in other parts of the UK should be denied these advantages?

          If you are @John, please make this unequivocally clear to readers – don’t dress up your remarks in misleading language, designed to deceive. The point here (which you are studiously avoiding) is that people do want to travel, in ever increasing numbers, to the extent that the “current network will no longer cope effectively in just ten years time if we do nothing (doing nothing is no longer a credible strategic option). That’s why we have to plan for HS2, now because high speed rail infrastructure does not appear overnight!

          • Yes Peter you have misinterpreted my remarks.–what I am saying is that HS2 is the only option being ‘consulted ‘ on at great expense.

            As for the rest of your comments we’re never going to agree on how to gain competitive advantage.

            • @John: “Yes Peter you have misinterpreted my remarks.–what I am saying is that HS2 is the only option being ‘consulted ‘ on at great expense.”

              OK, @John what other alternatives would you like to see on the table as part of the consultation process?

              Before you respond, think carefully

              Such alteratives should deliver exactly the same kind of potential as those advocating HS2 consider it will, not what your negative viewpoint on HS2 generally might arrive at

              That means;
              • A massive step change increase in transport capacity
              • No large scale road building programme
              • Assume current social conditions and travel propensity
              • Assume continuation of current growth trends in rail travel (approx 5% year on year, in addition to background growth, GDP driven)
              • Assume continutation of orthodox ecomomic strategy, ie. govts. continuing to promote economic growth

              When you build in these parameters, the critique of RP2 (which the moderators of this site do not seem to like anyone posting a link to?) – HS2 begins to look like the only game in town, and I don’t think I have misintepreted your previous remarks by the way

  6. I have just been reading the IDA paper, all I can so is what rubbish, and the document appears to be written by Stophs2. One of the authors that lives on the purposed route (which has been confirmed by the BBC) so how independent can this report be?
    They say that 68million compensation will be paid to the TOCs for disruption to the rebuilding of Euston, may I ask where they got this from. I agree that some compensation will be paid but 68million??!! They say that Euston will be closed when the construction starts, again rubbish! Is Birmingham New Station closed now? This station is going through a major rebuild and is still open with very little disruption. I know this; I use that station most days.
    The terminus at Birmingham is to be constructed on waste ground at the rear of Curzon Street. The old station has been redundant for a many years now since the old Post office sorting terminus closed, so how building on waste ground have a negative effect, I do not know. So building on waste ground is that what is called investment, a word that StopHs2 don’t like.
    Second statement from them is that the building of the interchange station close to the M42 and airport/NEC will have a sufficient affect on the road network, again if this just taken figures out of the air with no information to back this up.
    It appears that the only environmental cost of the studies has been done on the Chilterns; I also agree that there is some outstanding natural beauty and that not the golf clubs and manmade gravel pit like one supporter have us believe for Stophs2. There is not one part of this country that not been torched by man in some way. The construction route will minimise any environmental costs like any major construction project does in the UK.
    A planning blight on house price, we live in a free market when you buy a house, you know that the price may go up or down. It called a rise of property ownership.

    • Stop HS2 was not involved in writing the IEA paper. Any similarity between what we write and what the IEA have written shows that rational people reach similar conclusions.

    • I tend to think that the pro HS2 campaign need to be honest that this is a hugely subsidised scheme and without huge subsidies would never get off the ground.so ofcourse its economically flawed. i also ofcourse accept that so is the NHS economically flawed but would we want the american private system? So what it comes down to is lots of peoples opinions on whether it is worth it or not. Does hs2 do what it says on the packet? lots of opinion says no. i know plenty of people in the south east who work from home 3 days a week and travel to various places of work on only 2 days of the week. My husband has a team of 15 and only 3 of them come into the office every day. I know sales people need to travel alot, but often all over the place, is HS2 an expensive, environmentally damaging, national grid draining white elephant. in my opinion yes. and thats my opinion

      • i know plenty of people in the south east

        There is, right now, (despite the country being broke according to anti HS2 people), billions being spent on transport in the south-east, Crossrail being the biggie that springs to mind. This will benefit nobody outside of the south-east, yet nobody anywhere else in the country, pulled out their calculators and went round shouting about how much it’s going to cost us all, and complained about how there wasn’t anything in it for them. The same applies to the Olympics, and the endless widening of the M25 over the yeas which if the queues are still anything to go by, seems to have been throwing money down the toilet. Now we have HS2, included in the transport budget and designed to give a better transport system for the midlands, and ultimately the north and Scotland. Out comes the TPA’s calculator and much moaning about how it’s going to cost us all a grand, it’s not worth it, and they somehow imply that if HS2 gets canned then we’ll all be getting £1000 extra in our pay packets.

        It all looks a bit mean-spirited to me.

        • And the next commonwealth games are in ……..Glasgow. stop the North V south Envy. taxes earned in the south east pay for public service jobs in the north like it or not.

          • And the next commonwealth games are in ……..Glasgow

            In which case I await the “Stop the commonwealth games” campaign because it’s going to cost us all x amount of money for no benefit.

          • @Stuart F: “stop the North V south Envy. taxes earned in the south east pay for public service jobs in the north like it or not.

            Actually @Stuart F, we (as in those residing in the Northern peripheries) are acutely aware of the economic disparity between a relatively affluent South East and its more impoverish neighbours elsewhere. London’s financial markets might now may rule the roost economically but it wasn’t always like that? In the mid 19th Century Manchester along with many other industrial heartlands was THE economic powerhouse of Britain, London just decided how to spend the wealth generated ooop North. Next time you’re in Manchester take a trip round the Town Hall in Albert Square, a magnificent neo gothic edifice that provides a glittering reminder of those halcyon days (our very own equal to St. Pancras)?

            Times change however and over a period of more than 100 years, globalisation combined with the chronically centralised nature of the British State have combined to hand a raw deal to these former industrial Regions. We know that those days will never return and perhaps we don’t want them back anyway – the aforesaid wealth generated was not equitably distributed.

            In the 21st century what we do want however is a chance to forge our own destiny more effectively so we are no longer beholden to the largesse (or lack thereof) of the central exchequer. HS2 and the connectivity it provides will foster a commercial environment that enables us to do just that by linking the UK’s peripheries directly to our nearest key markets in mainland Europe, so we can begin to develop the kind of specialist high tech niche market industries that will see us weaned off the public service jobs culture you dismiss so lightly?

            London and the South East already has HS1 (paid for by all of us in the UK I might add); Now it’s our turn!

            • I am aware of the economic realities. I’m from Scotland myself so I know all about the ‘N v S’. i just don’t believe expanding the commuter belt into
              Birmingham for Londons benefit will do what you claim it will. Jumping trains at London into Europe just isn’t the same. There will never be a ‘Direct’
              train from Manchester to Paris. Not unless there is 2 stations with Border control in one of them. I asked the same at the road show and they said no chance.

            • @Stuart F: There will never be a ‘Direct’ train from Manchester to Paris. Not unless there is 2 stations with Border control in one of them. I asked the same at the road show and they said no chance.

              Would that be the very same HS2 road show that virtually everyone in the anti-HS2 brigade labels as bunch of duplicitous, HS2 supporting lackies, by any chance?

              Sorry but you can’t have it both ways, either the information (all of it) disseminated by the HS2 roadshow is valid or it isn’t – make your mind up

              You’re also wrong about direct trains from provincial UK cities to the near European mainland

              That’s why the original HS2 plan (under Labour) has been enhanced to include a tunnelled link between HS2 and HS1 – now why would they bother building that you might ask – so someone could walk through it – I don’t think so!

              No, from Day 1 of HS2 operation there will direct trains from Birmingham and Manchester to Paris / Brussels and possibly even Amsterdam, not sure about Leeds at this stage because the link between HS2 phase 1 and the ECML hasn’t been formalised yet. When HS2 phase 2 is completed full high speed services from Manchester and Leeds will be possible, with platform to platform journey times between Manchester and Paris, for example, somewhere just below 3.5 hours – in other words a credible alternative to short haul air links. It will also be possible to utilise Lille Europe as a hub, Manchester – Lille journey time just over 2.5 hours on full high speed service, post HS2, phase 2

              It is these outcomes that will drive large scale modal shift from short haul air to railborne competition, in just the same way as it has done everywhere else that HSR is enabled to compete head to head with short-haul air. Manchester Mayfield will be the hub station and yes you’re correct to point out that this station will require a passport control section, in just the same way as St. Pancras and every other station on HS1 does now. This is down to the UK’s bunker like mentality and insistence on staying outside the Schengen Zone.

        • Rich

          Do you really believe that noone complained about the cost of Crossrail or the Olympics? Crossrail in particular took decades to agree and is contingent on substantial financial commitments from private business both directly and through local business rates. Perhaps businesses in Birmingham/Leeds/Manchester etc would like to come forward with ideas as to how they might contribute financially to the cost of HS2?

          • David,

            There was nothing like the amount of moaning about Crossrail that there is about HS2, and it all seems to be coming from people who live along the route or live in the south east don’t see it benefiting them and so selfishly try to deny it to everyone else. I know that some small businesses like the “Canary Wharf Group”, whose interests Crossrail is obviously in are coughing up some money as a gesture, but the vast majority of it is coming from the taxpayer, which means all of us.

            • I think you are massively underestimating the moaning about crossrail but I’m not sure how you objectively measure that. Its not just canary wharf and baa its also a large selection of businesses through an additional business rate levy.

              None of this means hs2 should not be built but I don’t agree with your earlier implication that noone complains when goverment money is spent on london infrastructure but they do when its anywhere else.

            • Yes, I too have read the “Funding”` page on the Crossrail website but the fact remains that most of the cost is borne by all the UK’s taxpayers. From where I’m standing it’s clear that most of the hostility about this is coming from people who live along the route or are based in the south east, for no reason other than pure selfishness, and it annoys me to say the least. In the unlikely event that HS2 gets canned, nobody will be getting an extra £1000 in their pay-packet so all this complaining seems to come from nothing but either nimbyism or pure spite. If people objected to Crossrail then please enlighten me as to the scale of the campaign that was conducted. All I can say is it can’t have been very vociferous as I saw nothing about it on the same scale as the whinging about HS2 we’re seeing in the press now.

              I’m not “implying” anything BTW. I’m directly and unequivocally accusing anti HS2 people of being selfish over this. Witness the “no” campaign, who without any hesitation or the slightest hint of irony, will put “bats” above peoples ability to earn living and feed and cloth their families.

            • I’m assuming the bats are more of an issue of local routing than cancellation.

              Agree crossrail is largely taxpayer funded but in the same way pro hs2 berates local residents for not being constructive if midlands businesses really want this then creative financial contributions would help.

              Not sure how I prove the crossrail opposition point save to say that I think the general idea has been around for decades and even the latest iterations will be c 20 years from start to finish.

              Yes some of it is undoubtedtly driven by self interest but so are most political issues and I think its harsh in the extreme to paint those for whom it will have major negative consequences in the way you do. Also I’ve no doubt that some people think its genuinely the wrong thing.

              I’m not as sold on hs2 as you and I doubt very much it will be transformative in the way suggested. I actually think the best (or least worst) thing for local residents is a quick decision, decent compensation and better mitigation.

            • @david: “I actually think the best (or least worst) thing for local residents is a quick decision, decent compensation and better mitigation.

              Exactly @david – in a sentence you’ve enunciated the most advantageous and pragmatic route forward for those relatively few genuinely impacted by this scheme – we (collectively as in UK PLC) need to get on with this toute suite!!!

            • As I said, I’m less convinced by the argument that HS2 will transform the UK economy. If its built I hope you are right as its a lot of money to invest in a project.

              Irrespective of that, I don’t think it helps local residents if this is hanging over them for the next 20 years.

              I look forward to the pro HS2 camp supporting local efforts for better mitigation and compensation. Presumably, if they don’t (or they argue that its too expensive) that would be selfish?

              On another point, I was discussing this with a French friend. His immediate reaction was that a similar plan would be stuck in the french courts or blocked by “direct action” for years. It seems the uk is not the only country where local opposition is an issue. He did say that it was unlikely that the french would object on cost grounds, although he wasn’t convinced that the absence of any debate on whether such projects are value for money was a good thing. Obviously, he doesn’t represent a whole nation but I found it interesting nonetheless.

            • @david

              I agree 100% with a quick construction schedule fro HS2, once the current political process (culminating in a Hybrid Bill) has been completed and assuming a positive decision is the outcome. I’d strongly prefer phases 1 and 2 to be built almost simultaneously to avoid undue delay between the opening dates for each phase – in short, construction of phase 2 should start before phase 1 actually opens.

              I’m not sufficiently competent linguistically to keep up with the fine detail of French politics but having said that, I’m not aware of any large scale serious opposition (despite the impression given on this site in certain articles) to the continued expansion of the LGV (Lignes à Grande Vitesse) programme.

              In the last few months, important agreements have been concluded to begin construction on the lines between Tours and Bordeaux (via Poitiers) and Tours and Rennes, extending the true high speed, ie. circa 350km/h, network both Westward and South Westward, both new lines due to open sometime around 2016 (so about the time HS2 begins construction work!). In addition, extension of the line from Nimes to Montpellier is progressing. Ultimately it is planned to link up with the ambitious projects in Catalunya (the Perpignan/Figueres section opened in December 2010) and Euskadi with the Irun/Hendaye section. Linking up the French and Spanish networks will dramatically expand the breadth of the European interoperable network, providing even greater scope for competition. Elsewhere the “Southern towns” option was chosen as the preferred route for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur High Speed Line” reducing the journey time between Marseilles to one hour (currently 2.5 hours).

              The only serious protest movement I’m aware of is in the Val D’Aoste Region (Susa?) on the Italian side of the Savoy Alps.

              So not sure where this idea that new lines will be held up by direct action or legal challenges. You can keep track of non domestic rail projects on the Railway Gazette site.

            • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14262276

              one highspeed train in china struck by lightning and came to a halt, struck from behind by another highspeed train killing at least onehundred people.
              THERES ALOT MORE RESEARCH TO BE DONE BEFORE YOU GO FOR THE FAST TRACK CONSTRUCTION PERIOD.
              perhaps you never heard of health and safety, too much in a rush to achieve your own personal goals.

            • Perhaps you should read the article you quote more carefully and check the facts. This was now a ‘high speed train’ in the sense of HS2 – it was more a conventional inter-city train running at the sort of speeds the UK has successfuly operated since about 1976.

            • Richard You say that it is only people along the route that are against hs2.Please check the petition views because you seem to have it fixed in your mind AND YOU ARE WRONG.there are recently people from the US Russia,Holland,ScotlandCambridge to name but a few.A gentleman reguarlly going Leeds To London doesnt want it and states he lives nowhere near the line.He is one of many of the 47,000+ online against so It is no argument and no amount of writing it down will make it so.You are in the Minority it is you who should be giving reasons why you think your oppinion is so superior to so many other people.

            • @elaine

              Indeed, it will be instructive to see the analysis of consultation responses, whenever this comes out

              It’s difficult to predict exactly but by way of an educated guess, I’ll bet that, of the total number of respondents classed as hostile to the project (so not 100% of those responding), a minimum of 95% will originate from individuals residing in relatively close proximity to the proposed line – I’d define “close proximity” as <2500m distant?

  7. i dont think i would place much credence in a report from a group that wants to reduce spending by over £200 billion to enable tax cuts – and where are they getting their facts from ? it is all right saying the forecasts may be flawed without any backup or without any credible alternative to hs2. they are just another group like the tax alliance who see tax cuts and massive reduction in spending without one moments thought to the economic destruction these policies would cause. nothing new or proven in this report. the similarities with the teabaggers is actually quite frightening.

    • Yes – and of course you can place credance on HS2 passenger forecasts!

      Let’s await TSC comments.

      I would be very suprised if there are any positive comments on the business case for HS2, especially for a route that costs maybe 8 times more than the European equivalent and for such little time saving.

      Comments as to the route may also be qualified depending on the environmental assessment.

      Then there’s the costs which have yet to be taken account such as compensation which will be substantial.

      This why this route or this concept of HSR will not work. A rethink is required.

  8. The article from the Institute of Economic Affairs will hopefully be another nail in the coffin for HS2. They are an influential group and I hope that the government will look at their findings very closely

    • How can it be an another nail in the coffin when HS2 is very much a live. There has not been a single nail yet, the only nail has been in the stopHs2.

      • The business case is seriously flawed.as verified by several independent bodies,the economic case is uncertain as stated by an independent report commissioned by the Transport Select Commitee so there should be no further waste of our money and we should develop alternatives wthin an overall strategy

        • @John: “The business case is seriously flawed.as verified by several independent bodies,the economic case is uncertain as stated by an independent report commissioned by the Transport Select Commitee so there should be no further waste of our money and we should develop alternatives wthin an overall strategy”

          So that would be independent bodies as in a variety of dogma driven groups like the Tax Payers Alliance and just today the Institute for Economic Affairs, then @John?

          Well, I’ll take advice from people like that with a very large pinch of salt thanks very much. I’ll also be waiting to hear what the TSC actually comes out with when it has taken all evidence and reached a definitive conclusion – somehow I think StopHS2 supporters will be dissapointed with their findings?

          The case for additional capacity is overwhelming – more or less everyone agrees on that outcome, even Jerry Marshall and the rest of the anti-HS2 brigade. Given that the only realistic alternative offered by those hostile to HS2, namely RP2 has now been demolished, what other strategy is left; errrrrr……………I know, it’s called HS2!!!

          • So who would be a trustworthy independent body in your opinion?

            Instead of debate the issues, HS2 supporter simply dismiss the arguments as flawed and attack those who make them.
            A lot of supporters also give hypothetical evidence, such as when Prof. Begg talks about “private investment”, which is not guaranteed.

            Prof. Begg seems like a very aggressive man from what I’ve read, I would expect better from a Professor.

            • @Luke: “So who would be a trustworthy independent body in your opinion?”

              Certainly not TPA or IEA, that’s for sure @Luke!

              Both of these groups are viscerally free market in their disposition. Both of them are committed to large scale road building as the only credible answer to Britain’s chronic transport capacity problems. Both of them would oversee the construction of massive American style Freeways, paid for by tolls, owned and run by private companies, some of whom are probably best mates with the authors of their reports on HS2.

              I’m rather shocked to find that papers including the Guardian have given widespread media coverage to the IEA report without bothering to conduct basic research, which would have revealed that the co-author of the IEA report just happens to live in close proximity to the proposed line in Burton Green. In fact he actually helps to run the local anti-HS2 campaign group – hardly what one would label a disinterested and objective observer! We can only hope the TSC, whose final report I am prepared to give some credence to, will see through this shallow piece of anti-HS2 propaganda

              The Campaign for Better Transport does have valid observations to offer on HS2 – they are not opposed per se but they have quite rightly pointed out that HS2 must fit into a holistic UK wide transport strategy, with much greater emphasis placed on effeciently connecting hinterland populations to HS2 stations along the route. I agree 100% with these comments.

            • Hi Peter,
              It always surprises me how people who make their own living in the transport industry consider themselves capable of providing arguments in favour of new transport infrastructure without any bias whatsoever, but that anyone who has the temerity to question them is immediately accused of bias! If you wish to disagree with the IEA report then fine – tell us where they are going wrong. What does it say about the views of Begg if the best argument he can come up with against the report is that ‘one of the authors organised a meeting of his local wine club’?

            • @Andrew Gibbs

              I’m struggling to see your point here Andrew

              I’ve explained why I wouldn’t trust the rhetoric emanating from either TPA or IEA when it comes to publicly funded mass transport infrastructure projects. I believe the points I have raised are valid and compelling – you may differ in that observation.

              As for David Begg or anybody else highlighting the dubious credetials of report co-author, Kyn Aizlewood, I’d have thought such information was clearly in the public interest. After all those in the anti-HS2 camp want a decision taken in an objective fashion and based on clear evidence – well guess what, so do those in the YES camp, myself included! We just happen to differ fundamentally on what we perceive as benefits and flaws in the HS2 project (and how we portray those negative/positive features).

              Perhaps it might be more constructive to address some really important recent aspects of the debate, such as the rubbishing of the case for RP2 as the only current realistic alternative option to HS2 proposed by those in the campaign against HS2. If the case for RP2 really is in ruins, what else is there as a credible long term strategy to deliver the undisputed need for additional capacity.

              The ball is in your court Andrew?

            • Hi Peter,

              Firstly I’m disappointed to hear that you are not the former Dr Who actor.

              However I am in total agreement that we should be talking about objective based evidence. The point I was trying to make earlier is that this is not always how things are – and (maybe this is my perception only) it appears that the ‘Yes’ camp are the quickest to respond with simple name calling of the ‘he’s a nimby’, ‘he’s a right-wing agitator’ type rather than sticking with the issues. I understand why they do this (HS2 is in fact a political decision and rational argument will form only small feature in the eventual decision) but still it is disappointing, and also one-sided – in your endorsement of the document from William Barter did you feel the need to report that he is a rail transport consultant? (or I assume so – seems the best choice from Google)

              A little role play may illustrate the point:
              HS2 Ltd: “so clearly 1 + 1 = 3”
              Me (or anyone else whose postcode is <1000m from the route): “don’t you mean 2?”
              David Begg: “NIMBY!”
              Twitter fed slack witted MP/media type/rail insider: “Begg rebuts misleading anti HS2 propaganda”

              Note: names chosen at random, any resemblance to real people unintended.
              Declaration: I am not and never have been a member of the Bee Gees, nor do I work in the containerised transport industry whether by road, sea, or rail.

            • @Andrew Gibbs

              Glad to see your sense of humour has not deserted you Andrew – 2 ‘d’s in my name sorry

              There’s a world of difference between calling into question the impartiality of a supposedly professional lobbying body, such as the TPA or IEA and challenging the contributions of an ordinary member of the public (me in this instance) who just happens to see the overwheling case in favour of High Speed Rail as a mechanism capable of addressing the yawning (and growing) chasm of economic disparity between a relatively affluent London/SE nexus of power/influence and their more impoverished peripheral counterparts (where I just happen to reside, although I admit that my location [Alderley Edge] does buck the Regional trend up here in the frozen north!)

              Quite frankly I find some of the thinly veiled character assasination attempt rather distasteful but what the heck, I’ve got broad shoulders – I don’t mind if someone indulges in implicit mud slinging because it simply illustrates the paucity of their arguments

              Hard, indisputable facts are always going to prove elusive in a debate about a project likely to take the best part of twenty years to come to fruition so of course this project ultimately comes down to political judgement and that is open to challenge, politics is by its very nature contentious!

              So William Barter is described as a “rail transport consultant” Well not sure about you Andrew but I’d be reassured by this news (although it’s not news to me of course!) – after all if the damning critique of claims made about RP2 by Jerry Marshall and Chris Stokes had come from someone who didn’t know what they were talking about, I’d have been less certain in endorsing the conclusions reached in said commentary.

          • What rot. I am certain Jerry Marshall would not say RP2 has been demolished. I am sure he feels it is preferable, more beneficial to more people than HS2. He has taken the trouble to personally look at the detail on both sides asked questions of HS2 Ltd and the DfT and made his own mind up. He has not just taken the loose wildly attractive statements of the likes of Hammond, Cameron and Begg which just haven’t born scrutiny. Mr Hammond has never answered the criticisms with anything resembling detail, but has only ever managed schoolboy abusive responses. He (Hammond) set the standard for Nimby. Even Stop HS2 hasn’t come near his example on the contrary….They have taken the logical route and questioned the arguements.

            • Is P.Davidson an “objective and disinterested observer”,or the same as one listed as a transport consultant,with,one imagines,some sort of vested interest?I only ask.Cards on the table,please.

            • @peter fry: “Is P.Davidson an “objective and disinterested observer”,or the same as one listed as a transport consultant,with,one imagines,some sort of vested interest?I only ask.Cards on the table,please.”

              You have the advantage over me @peter fry

              Where is the name P.Davidson listed as a transport consultant – which list are you referring to? I’m interested to know because it’s news to me that I (if it is me of course) am listed anywhere as a Transport Consultant – I might be missing a trick here – after all there are some well paid jobs advertised on the Rail News website, perhaps I could apply?

              For the record @peter fry (and anyone else who is bothered)

              I do not work in the rail industry (I actually work in containerised shipping, in sales) and have no vested interest, financial or otherwise, in the implementation of HS2, save for the fact that I strongly prefer rail over any other transport medium and obviously I will take advantage of HS2 when it is built. I live in relatively close proximity (500m distant?) to the WCML southern approaches to Manchester. When phase 2 of HS2 comes to the fore, it is likely that the new line will come somewhere close (perhaps 3 to 4km distant?) to my place of residence but at that point the line will almost certainly be in deep cutting/tunnel.

              Does that help to assuage your doubts @peter fry?

              The fact that you’ve even bothered to pose a challenge illustrates that you are desperate to try and discredit anybody who legitimately challenges some of the nonsense propagated by StopHS2

  9. “future is in alternative technologies, ranging from the Internet to self-drive cars” – I hasten to add Magnetically Levitating trains into the barging.

    But that is the point, whether you agree with the technology of Maglev or not, it is a future technology that makes a big argument against HS2.
    The article is correct, HSR Luttites are the mayor set-back new transport technologies have.
    Ironicly, Philip Hammond is one of those Luddites.

    This is a good article, thanks for sharing.

    • Luke, yes I watched Flash Gordon too!! – when I was young.

      So, next time you’re on that old Victorian railway system of ye olde ancient past, struggling to get a seat, why not get out your levitation device and beat those crowds?

      Anyway, I’m nipping off to the moon in my space rocket to get some much needed space cheese.

      🙂

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