Stop HS2 was sent this earlier today.
Message from Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Transport
Thank you to Stop HS2 Action group for publishing my response to the many emails and letters I have received since my appointment. I am grateful to everyone who has taken the trouble to tell me their views. As has been widely reported I intend to look at the issues around high speed rail rationally and fairly. I understand the strength of feeling of people living along the line of route. I know, for example, that people will be worried about the possible visual and noise impacts, or the potential effect on wildlife and the environment. People living along the proposed London to West Midlands line of route may also have concerns about the compulsory acquisition of land and loss of property value.
As a country we need to think ahead about our future transport needs. This Government believes we need to prioritise projects that ensure economic growth and success whilst also recognising that we need to be less dependent on carbon intensive forms of transport. High speed rail has the potential to meet this test, which is why the proposals have been put forward.
High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future set out why the Government believes a national high speed rail network is right for the future of the country. The public consultation provided a significant opportunity for the debate to be heard. Around 55,000 responses were received and are being analysed and these will be used in informing my decision on the Government’s policy. I intend to make an announcement on this in December.
My Department is not able to respond individually to the many emails and letters sent but I hope that I can give some reassurance that I will take considerable care in looking at the issues and I note the concerns that have been raised.
You seem to favour a supa-dupa HS2 then? So, basically HS2, but using a different technology – but similar impacts to landscape people etc.
I see the “proposed” Chuo Shinkansen maglev in Japan is estimated to cost approximately US$82 billion to build. Nice!
So, perhaps we could say –
No proven technology.
No clear environmental case.
And certainly no money that amount!
The Chuo Shinkansen is currently under construction, and it’s something the Tories should love because it’s privately financed.
The high costs are due to the fact that 60% of the route is underground, it also has to tunnel trough mountains as well as being able to withstand earthquakes.
Maglev is a different technology then that proposed in HS2 (and in fact there are two different Maglev technologies), so therefore a completely different route and impacts.
Most of the damage HS2 will cause is because of it’s inflexibility and speed, the HS2 route will plough straight through homes and businesses, it will not slow down in sensitive area but go zooming past.
Whereas Maglev can offer higher manoeuvrability, higher speed, and faster braking, meaning it can offer greater time saving and slow right down in urban areas, which any route would likely avoid.
So basically, I think that Maglev shows HS2 up, the more people who know about this technology, the more people can see that HSR is old tech for the last century and the government is backwards thinking with HS2.
The white paper “High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future” is the problem.
It got it’s facts wrong about Maglev, quoting a page from the UK Ultraspeed factbook as saying their cost for a Maglev solution did not include land value, where in fact it did, the whitepaper then went on to unfairly double that figure.
The final figure the whitepaper came up with was £60bn for a full London-Glasgow Maglev route, which is actually cheaper then the £32bn London-Birmingham HS2 route.
This whitepaper is the reason why Maglev has been tarnished as “too expensive”.
Following a FOI request, I managed to get a hold of the supporting document this whitepaper used as ‘evidence ‘ against Maglev, which I am yet to get wrong to publishing.
In the supporting document, the authors admit that they where unable to obtain any information from the Chinese (of course not), and they didn’t even go to the Maglev test facility in Germany, which would of been a much more logical place to go for information.