Is Philip Hammond listening to anyone?

Philip Hammond said on the Politics Show at the weekend “All the people I have heard so far making the case against the scheme, just happen, by coincidence, to live along the line of route, now, you may drawn your own conclusions from that.”

In the light of the decisions of  Chris White MP to vote against HS2 and Coventry City Council’s opposition to HS2, the conclusion I’d draw is that Philip Hammond is not listening to what people are saying.

PS Joe Rukin, our Campaign Director is tweeting from the Warwickshire County Council meeting.  He’ll have the latest update.

7 comments to “Is Philip Hammond listening to anyone?”
  1. Philip Hammond does us one key favour through his rather insulting remarks about Nimbyism. We need to redouble our efforts to persuade MPs in constituencies not directly affected that they suffer too, by the draining of funds to pay for HS2. Already the electrification of the line to the Westcountry is under question despite the obvious benefits.

  2. Philip Hammond’s glib comment quite arogantly ignores the point that it is precisely because people from all walks of life and politics have got interested in the HS2 scheme, that so much is now understood about the plan’s flawed justification.
    Regardless of where the ‘anti’ HS2 brigade live, we have them to thank for making the rest of us aware that ths proect assumes:
    1, More people will travel in the future then today – There is no reason to assume this, quite the opposite once the governments ‘broadbanding’ of the nation is complete
    2, People will pay double to save 10 -15 minutes off a journey from Birmingham to London – Except if the train is delayed or if their distance from home to the new station is not longer.
    3, For £34Billion you can go to ….err Birmingham (if you are in London to start with!)- great!
    4, Childhood Leukeamia may rise owing to the electrification imact
    5, The planet gets 1 more power station to plug it into. Hmm – lets just check that Kyoto agreement again!

    Of course people not living on the route mostly couldn’t care less about who’s garden gets trashed but will they care when,as the government fritters away £34Billion, they get burgled because we can’t afford to have police on the beat, or when our children dare not go to university for fear of the debt they incur leavng a void for well educated foreigners to fill the gap.

    If that isn’t enough, at the end of it all, having made the worst investment of the millenium, the government sells it to a foreign company for 10% of what we all paid to buld it just like HS1 because it runs at a loss. Why? cos the justification then, as now, was nonsense.

    Hammond would be well advised to take serious the concerns raised. Those living along the route are leading a bow wave of public opinion in opposition. It is these bigger, national or international issues that should finally bury this scheme.

  3. I think there is too much emphasis on speed and not enough on quality. When trains pass a certain velocity it is not possible to enjoy the view from the window and the objects which are flashing past the window become unidentifiable and thus make the journey less comfortable rather than better. As for the population outside the carriage it makes more sense to have trains stopping at stations so the residents can use them rather than tearing through their localities so they get all the disadvantages of spoiled countryside and noise pollution without the advantage of access. Is not the best solution all round to reinstate much of the Great Central Line for the use of expresses and stoppers?

  4. Of course Mr Hammond is not listening – I’m not sure he ever did.

    Logic, reason, financial prudence & environmental responsibility have left town.

    In their place are some politicians and their egos.

    Hence we hear accusations of Nimbyism, statements that the Chiltern AONB is “hardy Constable country” and vague statements alluding to but not defining “national interest”.

    Common sense and judgement have been superseded by the patronising arrogance that usually accompanies a fully fledged, soviet style vanity project

  5. Branding it as a ‘high speed train’ was either a lucky punt or a marketing master stroke.

    These three words on their own probably don’t worry or concern the vast majority of people – unless you are averse to ‘high speed’ of course?

    If you stopped 100 people in the street today and said ‘what do you think about ‘high speed trains’ I guess many would say ‘that sounds like a good thing?…..faster trains, we all need those!’

    It makes me think about the credit card scam…..66 million of us couldn’t wait to get a ‘free CREDIT card’….some of us even got more than one!!…….but I wonder how many of us would have been so keen if they had branded these cards as a ‘DEBT card’ – sign up today for £2,500 pounds of instant debt?……I don’t think so!!…..but Debt is what you get in the end?

    So… an effort to get those not directly effected by HS2 to oppose ‘high speed trains’ maybe we need to modify the message to reflect what it is the country will end up with if HS2 goes ahead?

    Stop the train to nowhere….Stop demolishing peoples homes…..Stop destroying the landscape of Britain…..Stop wasting public money……..Stop – look and listen to what 250 mph sounds like!….Stop putting passengers lives at risk – faster trains = more crashes!…Stop telling lies – people won’t get out of cars onto a train with no local stations…..Stop pretending a fast train will bring jobs to the regions….Stop saying high speed trains are green ……Stop spending all the transport money on rail when 23 million drivers want fewer pot holes and more grit in winter….Stop the M6 Toll of the railways….Stop the nonesense!

    Keep up the excellent work!

  6. If you don’t live along the line of the route, a high speed railway sounds like a good idea and you accept the government’s logic without much scrutiny.

    If you do live along the line of the route you are much more likely to go over the proposals with a fine tooth comb. Then you discover the flaws in the plans. Then you get accused of NIMBYism. This is then used as a reason why your arguments should be dismissed and not be taken seriously. This is exactly what Philip Hamond did on this program. This is the public perception and politicians are very skilled at manipulating it.

    We have to ensure that the arguments for the case against HS2 are raised in a way that they are taken seriously and people see that it’s the government that can’t be trusted.

  7. Philip Hammond is certainly not minded to listen to us. Firstly I for one am not a resident and have no financial interest in common with many others I am sure. His dismissive comments “it is not Constable country” provide adequate evidence that he has no idea of the true nature of the countryside he seeks to devalue and are an insult to the people all along the route and I find this entirely offensive. While the Chilterns have received the lions share of the publicity it is time for the voice to be heard from that part of hidden England through the Vale of Aylesbury and beyond in the borderlands of north Oxon, Warwicks and Northants. Neither is it adequate for him to refer to the route as an “existing transport corridor” as once it heads north westwards from Brackley it leaves behind any historical link with the former Great Central trackbed and enters virgin countryside, and the fact that it is not on the tourist trails must be stressed as one of the prime arguments for its protection from intrusion and development.

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