MPs debate HS2 after the Queen’s speech

Following the Queen’s Speech announcing the HS2 Paving Bill and the HS2 Hybrid Bill, .Cheryl Gillan, Keith Vaz, Kate Hoey, Michael Fabricant, Chris Pincher, Sir Tony Baldry and Dr Sarah Wollaston speak out against HS2 in Parliament. From BBC Parliament, 8th may 2013.

6 comments to “MPs debate HS2 after the Queen’s speech”
  1. Alex, people did try to stop the invasion of Iraq but Parliament mocked the objectors and ignored the likely risks and costs just as it is now doing with HS2.
    Look a few years on from your 25 year projection when the student loan book starts to fall off a cliff as govt writes off debts building up from this year on, with HS2 still subsidised and the rest of the network starved of cash.
    Add these to your other regrettable outgoings and, as you point out, though many of us moaners will no longer be around, the costs will unfortunately still be mounting. Ask yourself: will a ride on “the fast train” really make up for this?

  2. I’m sorry, but I think that in 25 years, all of the rail capacity we have now and more will be full. In 25 years time, I’ll be 45. I’ll still be paying off the Iraq Wars and Afghanistan. I’ll be paying for your pensions, if you’re lucky enough to still be around, I’ll be paying for the banks that held your cash in the financial crisis.

    Why are you so horrified by the thought that I might be paying for infrastructure that is there for me to use?

    • I’m not horrified, just very saddened that the infrastructure is being so badly planned and applied, blundering upwards and outwards without real consideration of the damage being caused. In my lifetime UK transport routes have expanded rapidly in an unsuccessful attempt to keep up with demand. If this continues, then by the time you reach retirement age, there will be nowhere untouched by development for your generation and beyond to appreciate.

      I sincerely hope that the UK will be able to support all your basic needs in 25 years time and that you have a well paid job to provide you with all you hold dear (including your dear rail fares). But most importantly I hope, for the next generation, that the environment is not too severely damaged for them to have a healthy future.

      HS2 won’t help the situation in the long run.

    • I would recommend that at your young age and with much future ahead of you that you seriously consider emigrating to a country that lacks all the deficits you list, has land mass, water, good climate grows food,had minerals and industry and if you are really lucky as this is a thing you desire already has HS Rail.
      By the time you are middle aged it will be much worse in UK ltd. and in the world ecology in general.
      The country is in serious decline and the predictions are that it will slip further.

      I was of a generation brought up to limit family size and to try and keep the population of UK down to a sustainable 60M.
      The planning and ecological thinking, service provision was set at about this pop level.

      In the 1990s the zeitgeist changed and the population has escalated, levels of demand for services and impact on the environment are unsustainable.
      HS2 will do nothing to mitigate these problems as the NAO has stated. It is a political distraction.

      We too contributed to your education, our own pensions and that of people who preceded us in life. We have paid for the existing infrastructure you now enjoy and much else. Many of us went on anti gulf war demonstrations but the govt did not listen as it does not listen about HS2.

      That is the generational way. You will be trying to pay for a unsustainable demand from your taxes( if you are fortunate enough to have employment in 20 years time.)
      I wouldn’t waste time fantasizing about using HS2 in 25 years time I would be planning a sustainable life elsewhere.

  3. Michael Fabricant said that the reason for HS2 is to relieve capacity problems on the WCML. It will only provide more rail-track capacity on the old tracks if people actually want to switch from the existing trains to HS2 trains. But people might decide they don’t want to for many reasons.

    HS2 train fares could be too expensive.
    The HS2 route, although fast and long, may not be their best option.
    It could take them a very long way out of their way, with no real time-saving.
    They may just prefer travelling at 120mph rather than at 225mph.

    Whatever their reasons, if most people choose to continue using the WCML and other existing routes, then very little extra capacity will be freed-up on these old routes as a result of HS2. Therefore, although HS2 is meant to provide capacity, this capacity could easily end up being empty seats on the expensive new super-fast trains, rather than more track availability for other trains and freight, with no overall improvement on congestion problems.

  4. A call for total political control for nationalisation of the railway is dissappointing as it would move back having internal juggling between the budgets that BRB was caught in. Finance for rolling stock is then channelled into infrastructure and visa versa. This led to internal departmental conflicts and loss of programme delivery.

    The Labour lost control of Railtracks spending when driven by events and backlogs.

    The HS2 is evidence of the vastness of budgets for railways.

    Add HS2 and the current network and fleet together and the circa £30Billion current debt and the UK has out demanded its wealth and borrowing.

    Handing the control of railways totally to politicians through nationalisation is simply pandering to ego and empire building and lack of organisational competence.

    Too big for Britain at the time of wider constraints and over demand.

    Better to apply the limited funding to current operations and create a new organisation for adding the additional infrastructure and track capacities to the existing Network. Limit the budget to £2B per year for 8 years and prioritise the bottleneck removals and new sections and upgrades.

    Hopefully more MPs would support better prioritisation than HS2. It under delivers.

    Thank you

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