Campaigners Shocked as HS2 Chief Engineer reveals ‘new city’ secret agenda.

Andrew McNaughton opens his gob and puts his foot in it again.

Andrew McNaughton opens his gob and puts his foot in it again.

Professor Andrew McNaughton, the Chief Engineer for the highly controversial HS2 project, has revealed in a speech in Derby much of the secret agenda Stop HS2 campaigners have always suspected would be the case. McNaughton, giving the iRail 2012 Distinguished Lecture on ‘Designing High Speed Rail for Britain’ at the Derby College Roundhouse, stated that the HS2 station near Birmingham Airport would mean the development of a ‘new city’ in the Meriden Gap green belt separating Birmingham from Coventry.

Confirming the fears that the real reason for HS2 terminating at Euston is a land grab which will see at least eight years of disruption to the West Coast Mainline, McNaughton stated the redevelopment footprint would be the size of 17 Emirates’ football stadiums, the biggest development of any kind ever seen in London.

Whilst the current plan for 18 trains per hour on HS2 relies on technology which has not yet been invented McNaughton stated that he hoped 30 trains could be run. None of these issues were mentioned in the public consultation on HS2, neither was his assertion HS2 could be increased from 2 to 4 tracks 14km either side of intermediate stations like the one near Birmingham Airport. This could mean the doubling of track width from Kenilworth to Middleton. Another issue which has recently come up is the chance of HS2 running freight at night which is to be considered in a programme of ‘community fora’ organised by HS2 Ltd which start today (Monday 19th March 2012). This is despite McNauhgton previously asserting that “Freight will never run on my railway”.

Additionally, McNaughton intimated that mitigation on the routes to Manchester and Leeds will be minimal, suggestion there will be no tunnelling and hoped that there would be the poitical will the build HS2 faster, despite that meaning an annual spend of upwards of £4bn per year, opposed to the £2bn current projections.

Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator Joe Rukin said;

“We have always suspected that HS2 is really a developers charter, especially around Birmingham Airport where the arrival of the HS2 station will be coupled with an ‘Enterprise Zone’, where the Government have said planning applications would be granted more or less automatically. We have been saying for almost two years that if HS2 goes ahead that that would mean the complete destruction of the ‘Meriden Gap’ green belt which separates Birmingham and Coventry and in November 2010, Coventry City Council unanimously voted to oppose HS2, citing one of their reasons as it being a way to shoe-horn in the idea of ‘Greater Birmingham’ which they have been fighting for decades.”

“Camden Council had been convinced that the reason for HS2 coming to Euston instead of terminating at Old Oak Common was simply a land grab to provide a cash cow to help pay for the programme and now their fears have been confirmed. A development 17 times the size of the Emirates Stadium, like most of the things McNaughton is now suggesting definitely didn’t appear in the sham which was the public consultation. The plans so far include moving every single track and platform into Euston, but now we know the extent of the development, you have to ask how much disruption is this going to cause to the transport network, none of which has been factored into the economic case for HS2.”

“McNaughton has a habit of saying what he should keep quiet about, previously stating the reason for building HS2 was no more than political will and during last years consultation, he more or less admitted it was a sham saying that ‘The important thing now is that we are seen to have had a consultation’. Now he has completely proved it was a sham as the true agenda is coming out as it was clearly never about transport as there are better alternatives which cost less money. With developers lobbying for HS2 and sponsoring other organisations lobbying for it, the fact that this Government can do nothing but promote the policies which those with vested interests have asked for is becoming completely transparent. There is a massive democratic deficit in play here and the public have been shamelessly lied to yet again.” 


The report on the speech from Andrew McNaughton can be found at


5 comments to “Campaigners Shocked as HS2 Chief Engineer reveals ‘new city’ secret agenda.”
  1. Pingback: STOP HS2 | Derby and Nottingham have to wake up to ‘new city’ threat.

  2. the reason for duplicating the infrastructure is that the current routes are now or will soon be overcrowded and the routes in question are between the places people want and need to travel to i.e. our major cities such as Sheffield Leeds manchester Birmingham London etc.

    what you say isnt very logical. are you saying that we should build new infrastructure between places where it isnt needed where the population centers are smaller such as say newcastle and middlesborough ? i really dont understand your point. especially since a common criticism of hs2 on this site is that it wont have enough passengers ! well if it didnt somewhere with less population certainly wouldnt !

    and what is the difference between building near newcastle or between birmingham and coventry ? it might still be on greenfield site mightn’t it ? or maybe the key is that it wouldnt be near you anymore !!!

    stop hs2 wants to criticise hs2 about worries that it wont meet its passenger numbers at the same time criticising hs2 as in this case for maybe generating wider economic benefits something that has been denied before. or the euston station situation. even the much vaunted rp2, which funnily enough only benefits the people living in legendary 51 opposing council areas, will need more capacity at euston. the hs2 euston plan is slated for being too big for passenger numbers but simultaneously will lead to massive congestion on the london underground network according to critics ! not very consistent !

  3. One would expect nothing less from STOPHS2 than trying to paint the blackest picture possible but I have to admit that the confection above is outstanding in its fanciful attempt to whip up a storm of controversy from the relatively benign ingredients provided by the public utterings of Professor McNaughton.

    Of course there will be considerable commercial development in and around new stations planned for the High Speed Line – even STOPHS2 has admitted that “everyone wants a station [nearby] but no one wants the line” – this might be something to do with jobs (as in new ones provided in areas of relative scarcity of this valuable commodity). This prediction merely provides more compelling evidence about the huge positive economic impact flowing from construction of the new line.

    I do like the manner in which your campaign is now shamelessly attempting to stoke public hostility in areas that may or may not be adjacent to phase 2, even before the preferred route is in the public domain. It is common knowledge that a Manchester South hub station will be located within the environs of Manchester Airport. If we accept the blatantly manufactured claim of “minimal mitigation” at face value this would mean the line travelling on or above ground level. Perhaps STOPHS2 can explain how is it proposed to by-pass the not insubstantial physical obstacle presented by the runways at Manchester Airport without a subterranean pathway – will they install some traffic lights on the line and expect approaching aircraft to circle round waiting for a train free spot to land?

    Ludicrous yes and that more or less characterises the narrative in the article above!!!

  4. And there’s more.
    A report out today suggests that the fastest growing parts of the economy geographically are the poor regions in the North-East and along the East coast, not the Midlands and North-West.
    So instead of investing in new infrastructure which could boost those developing areas, we are seeing a project that duplicates existing infrastructure and an economic case based on growth where it isn’t happening!
    Then we see Cameron mulling over the idea of doing to the road network what Thatcher did to the trains!

    This government cannot be trusted. They’ve done some good, but the evil outweighs it.

  5. Rearrange these words into a well known phrase or saying;
    “You down have me knocked with a could feather!”
    I am so glad that I live in a democracy and that my views count.

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