While we wait for the actual announcement from Philip Hammond, why not read what some of the press have to say today:
Although a number of the articles refer to changes to the route, our understanding is that these are minor changes which were announced in September. They do not make the business case, or the environmental case any more viable.
An announcement from the Press Association – High-speed rail path to be revealed
BBC – Hammond defends London-to-Birmingham high speed train
Telegraph – Is this another high-speed train crash?
Express – HIGH-SPEED RAIL PATH TO BE REVEALED
Yorkshire Post – Verdict day on high-speed rail route
Birmingham Mail – HS2: High speed rail opponents say business case for trains doesn’t add up
Financial Times – High-speed rail protesters win concessions (registration required)
Daily Star – HIGH-SPEED RAIL PATH TO BE REVEALED
Bloomberg – U.K. to Publish Details About Revised HS2 High-Speed Rail Route
Independent – High-speed rail route to be announced
Guardian- Backlash from Conservative heartlands expected over high speed rail
Daily Mail – Middle-class homeowners’ revolt forces Government to re-draw route for high-speed London to Birmingham rail link
Yorkshire Star – High-speed rail path to be revealed
Tony Baldry – Baldry awaits announcement by Secretary of State for Transport regarding HS2
PS Thank you to HS2Action Alliance: your analysis of the business case critique is being covered all over the country.
Within the lifetime of the proposed HS2 infrastructure the world will run out of oil or it will become seriously restricted. The UK need’s to plan for that contingency first and foremost. A rail or similar system requiring a designated route will almost certainly become the UK’s primary mode of transport sometime in the next 30 years because you can run trains using nuclear, wind or coal power but you can’t run cars.
The problem with the current High Speed Two proposal is that it lacks any vision for this future and only benefits a few people. We need to undersand that it needs to be on scale where the UK benefits and the affected population get something that makes the pain and investment worthwhile.
Two tracks is simply inadequate, we need to appreciate that we are not building a system to link London with Scottish cities but one that links 60% of the UK’s population Manchester-Birmingham and London. One only has to look at our motorway widening program to understand how their original construction affected the way we now live and work and how little another 10m of land in the original land take would now be saving. HS2 needs capacity and the ability to serve everyone along its route as well those it connects. Three tracks in each direction is the minimum providing HS2, a local feeder line and a freight/spare line. It is also the ideal opportunity to create a water network by providing a spine to our water network.
As for Heathrow; Close it and build a new airport north of London on the rail route. We need a joined up solution not more make do and mend that suits vested interests. Why does this country always have to have substandard solutions?
I am disgusted that the press are not mentioning that this announcement is about a CONSULTATION. The route was announced on 11 March 2010. This “new” route includes a few unsubstantial engineering changes to the line. It is completely unacceptable that the consultation is not being mentioned.