PLEASE JOIN US!
The STOP HS2 White Elephant Party and Fundraiser on Friday January 14th is a networking event for all STOP HS2 supporters and friends. Please do come and get to know each other better from along the line.
We will also be raising funds for our National Convention in February 2011!
Speakers include Geoffrey Robinson MP (Coventry North) and Lizzy Williams.
The night includes a buffet and is a great chance for you to meet people involved in the fight against HS2.
A prize draw raffle promises not to disappoint!
The Meriden Manor Hotel is four star hotel and the team have managed to secure half price B&B for all STOPHS2 attendees. So go on, come and have fun and bond with fellow supporters then stay over and enjoy a night of luxury for half price!
Tickets are £16 and can be obtained from Archie Taylor at email@example.com. Cheques made to Stop HS2 can be sent to 310 Cromwell Lane , Burton Green , CV8 1PL . Alternatively please telephone Lizzy on 07842 164880.
Chairman STOP HS2
It is a fact that the faster a vehicle travels, the more energy it will use. Environmental damage results not just from energy consumption but also from other factors including infrastructure construction and the type of fuel consumed.
It would be nice to think that our government will study the proposals for HS2 carefully and will not allow the project unless there are economic and environmental arguments in favour. But can the government be trusted?
It’s a pity the pro-HS2 people don’t understand what their supporting. Current HS rail is 300 km/h, but HS2 is designed for 400 km/h. Imperial College did a study for the Government showing that saving 3.5 minutes puts energy consumption up 23%. The excessive speed means the line can’t follow the contours and avoid villages, Roman villas, the Stoneleigh showground, etc. The whole HS system needs the output of 4 windfarms the size of the largest one planned (not built) in the Thames estuary, or a nuclear station of its own. BUT because of the massive demand fluctuations, these sources aren’t suitable unless there’s another pumped storage system like Dinorwic. And all this energy is converted into heat and noise. Just get real – HS2 won’t be carbon free for decades, if ever. The running costs mean it will be a constant drain on the taxpayer, even if the capital debt could be paid off.
Richard, enough of these sweeping generalisations about campaign supporters. The average house in my village is a small 3 bed semi. At present our area includes a small, but beautiful and ancient, wood, a tranquil river valley where you cannot hear cars and miles of footpaths linking us to 3 other villages with no road to cross. This natural recreational amenity is FREE to all. No gym fee, no horse, all we need is a decent pair of shoes or wellies. If HS2 goes ahead, we are going to lose this precious piece of countryside forever. Philip Hammond’s platitudes about mitigation measures and listening to people’s concerns do not impress us. Leaving aside the many other issues I have with HS2, I want future generations to have the natural environment that my friends and I explored and loved as children, and which taught us so much.
Rose – unfortunately, when it comes to a choice between the economic well-being of the country, or the view from your house not being slightly spoiled, I’ll go for the former. Sorry, but that’s the way it is, and I’m sure there’s lots of people who feel the same. We can’t all live in quaint little villages – some people have to work, run businesses etc and need a better transport infrastructure. The whole country cannot be held to ransom just because a minority of people would like things left as they are. It’s one railway line. It’s really not the end of the countryside. There’ll be plenty of it left. If we’re talking about “sweeping generalisations”, then Stop HS2’s claim that the whole thing is a waste of money takes the biscuit. Who should I believe? The research bodies who have investigated the need for HS2 and actually done the analysis, or some people who live near the route and have become overnight expertson the whole thing by using Google? Again, I’ll go for the former, and claiming that the government is spreading propaganda and somehow deliberately plotting to waste tax-payers money is frankly silly. The rest of the developed world is building new high-speed rail links – what’s the odds that we Brits are the ones who can see the error of it all and that actually, we shouldn’t do the same? Nil, basically. I’m sorry but this campaign is just selfish nimbyism, whichever way you look at it. If the line was planned to run up the eastern side of the country, we would not be hearing a peep from the people who have put this campaign together, in the same way that when that monumental waste of money the Olympics was announced, we heard nothing from them then. And I don’t seem to be able to find the website being run by these people which campaigns against the road bypasses which “rip” through the countryside all the time.
I was attempting to explain that you should not dismiss all campaigners just because you seem to believe (incorrectly) that we are all part of a certain social class or ‘set’. This is why I left aside other issues.
I actually don’t want to see HS2 in anyone’s backyard, as I don’t believe it is appropriate in its proposed form for UK; sorry, I mean England .. Scotland ‘eventually’ (perhaps) and Wales and Northern Ireland don’t get a look in, do they? If the Chilterns AONB is not given the highest level of protection (CROW Act), what’s next for the chop, the Peak District, the Pennines? It may not matter to you, but these are also precious national resources and matter to very many people, no matter where we live.
As you have raised other points, I will address just a few of them.
People living in villages (of whatever size and composition, social/material, and they aren’t all quaint) all over the country have to work, contrary to what you imply, as well as those in towns and cities. Millions of them who live miles away from the proposed HS2 lines/stations would benefit from investment to improve the existing transport infrastructure (eg electrification of lines, better organisation), whereas they will gain nothing from HS2. This is why councils are voting against the proposed line. Any major improvement in the transport network should benefit the greatest number of people possible and this needs to be perceived by the travellers themselves if it is to be recognised as a benefit. That’s just the way it is.
I work with a large company and know that what is important to them is communication. When the recession struck, orders came from above that only absolutely essential journeys were to be made; employees were to use phone and internet to communicate with colleagues in other centres. Life and business went on as normal, surprise, surprise! When we get the high speed broadband the government has promised, communication will be even faster. At that point the government should be actively promoting its use by business, not encouraging more business travel. Time for a change in business culture? Reduce your carbon footprint?
Re government propaganda/spin . There is a lot of it about. You will hear a lot of it from P. Hammond, but unless you have paid proper attention to previous events/publications (from multiple sources) as well as on maps and known facts, you won’t recognise it. Since HS2 was announced, ministers have changed message on why it is ‘a Good Thing’. Call me a cynic, but I take anything a politician says with a pinch of salt. I’m sure the present Government doesn’t actually intend to waste our money, but given recent fiascos with bright, shiny, new and extremely expensive ‘upgrades’ (those involving IT particularly spring to mind), I don’t have your confidence.
Remember that HS2 Ltd was set up by the last Government and their project continues under the present one. Research was done specifically for this company. Some research by independent bodies doesn’t support it. I’m sure the fiascos I previously mentioned were well researched at their project stage, before millions were spent. Were the problems with the researchers, the questions they asked or the project’s parameters?
Before so much money is spent, I would want to see a united front from all the experts and a much more convincing case for the necessity, economic value and cost-effectiveness of the project.
I’ll deal with the points in the order you’ve raised them.
* Just because one area of the country does not see an immediate benefit does not mean it can’t go ahead. We would build absolutely nothing if that were the case. Crossrail for example will not benefit me or probably anyone on this site, but this website is strangely silent on issues like that.
* Patching up the existing infrastructure will only get us so far – this is a new railway line, the purpose of which is to fit into a European-wide network, as Europe moves more and more twoards high-speed rail travel. Network Rail recently stated that the WCML is at capacity and patching it up, with all the outages and disruption that will cause, is a non-starter. The German DB train which recently turned up at St Pancras was a sign of the way things are going. I want the rest of the UK to be a part of it.
* The “everyone should work from home” argument is nonsense. You cannot state that no new railway lines should be built because it would be nice if everyone stayed at home. You would have to say the same about new roads, new cars and buses etc. You may also have missed the newspaper headlines which routinely report the amount of loss to businesses when staff can’t get in to work, so whilst things may have been fine and dandy at your place, that’s simply not the case across the board.
* If you don’t believe anything that a politician says then that’s your choice, but to believe that we should invest in no new infrastructure projects just because some IT consultancies didn’t deliver – that sounds like a rather desperate argument to me. If you also have no faith in the UK’s ability to do anything correctly, that’s also your choice, but I personally do, and the Daily Mail syndrome hasn’t quite got to me yet.
This to me is more than just about the immediate cost. It’s about where the UK is decades from now. It is interesting to see history repeating itself. The Victorian rail builders faced all the same arguments from Nimby landowners, but they prevailed and the railways went on to drive the industrial revolution and bring the UK it’s wealth, and we are still benefiting from those railway built more than 100 years ago. You have to look at the bigger picture.
Richard, a few final comments from me on your response: final, as it is wearisome trying to discuss something with someone who a) berates me for something I didn’t actually say or imply b) hasn’t checked his facts and c) leaps (with desperation?) on a single example I put forward (it was a comment, not a treatise!).
1. ‘One area of the country ‘ will see no immediate benefit? Something of an underestimate. Consult maps in the appendix to the Dft Command Paper on HS2, issued March 2010 and then look at the nature of rail transport in the areas away from HS2.
2. ‘Network Rail recently stated that the WCML is at capacity’. Incorrect. The statement of 8 Dec 2010 said ‘will be at capacity in 2024’. (Source: Network Rail website, today)
3. A Europe-wide high speed rail network is fine in theory, but will only be attractive to travellers for journeys which take less time and/or cost less than the equivalent journey by air.
4. ‘The “everyone should work from home” argument is nonsense.’ I agree. I made no mention, overt or implied, of working from home.
5. ‘My place’ can ban non-essential travel during the recession because it has invested in up-to-date communications technology. What is needed is proper national investment in the latter, assistance where needed to firms who could benefit and promotion by government of its use to reduce business travel (by whatever means). Your point on disruption due to snow is a different issue.
6. Cynicism is not the same as disbelief.
7. The point about the IT fiascos is that the consultants were chosen, no doubt, by the relevant government department, which should have ensured before employing them that they were competent to do what they tendered for.
Where ‘experts’ disagree, as they do on several aspects of HS2, much more research is needed before forging ahead as the government seem intent on doing (Norman Baker’s recent utterance), regardless of the public consultation. HS1 is another example of a project which has not turned out as intended. Study the business analyses on the recent lease sale and check the timetables before you read HS1’s publicity.
The UK does certain things rather well, in my opinion. E.g. after my recent travels in Western USA and Canada , I swore never to complain again about public transport in UK . It’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad. Commuters may think I am being over-generous, however.
Some people will make a packet out of HS2, if it goes ahead. It won’t be the taxpayer. Could it be you?
Dear All, Mr Hammond continously uses the “NIMBY” card to encourage exactly the kind of social division and lack of respect shown in some of the comments on this page. I feel extremely strongly that he is also encouraging the North South divide in doing this. By attempting to portray us all as rich nimbys those who judge before they assess the facts have a field day.
The Countryside Alliance has no offical links with STOP HS2 and indeed to date, has not yet come out entirely against it concentrating on Compensation issues.
It is unreasonable to think that the rural communities and economies affected by this proposal will not speak out. That does not mean what they have to say is not valid. If you Listen to the Arguments and Look at the Facts you will understand the folly of this proposal.
The STOP HS2 Directors and members come from all sectors of society and all political persuasions.
As we gave evidence at the Transport Select Committee we reachd a consenus of opinion with our fellow witnesses that day in advising that the Government has failed to look at alternatives to HS2 therefore can not guarantee value for money and that Local Connectivity for Local Jobs should be this country’s priority.
Please do not call us selfish, we care about our envrionment and this country’s future as do the 25,000 thousand people on our petition so from across the UK. If anyone is being selfish it is those shortsightedly believing Goverment propganda that this will be good for the country. The only people HS2 is guaranteed to benefit are the construction and rail companies, at the tax payers expense. Those companies will not be putting all of that money into British jobs business. We don’t produce steel, we don’t produce trains, we don’t even produce enough power to run it.
i do however believe that the route of hs2 must have as many safeguards as possible to protect the natural environment. it would also help if it were stated that as in california, the new line will only use electricity generated from renewables.
i also strongly believe that the chilterns area must have some service provided over hs2. i have suggested on other forums that as hs1 and hs2 are to be linked it would make sense to extend the javelin trains over hs1 as far as the easet west line. this would be rebuilt as a 100mph electric link to link up with the electrification currently being extended to oxford. there could then be direct services from oxford (and also maybe banbury and bicester) as well as from milton keynes. the line could therefore be used as soon as these works were done ie before the full hs2 is completed. services could then run fast to oad oak for connection to heathrow and crossrail, then via the hs2 hs1 link to stratford for east london, docklands and eurostar.
an additional benefit of a full double track hs1 to hs2 connection and notr single track as planned might mean that the redevelopment of euston could be on a smaller scale as terminal capacity required would be less if more through trains operated.
as i have stated elsewhere, if you believe that hs2 will cause environmental damage in the area you live and to the natural habitat then it is your right to try to mitigate any damage as much as possible. however there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that hs2 is a waste of billions of taxpayers money ! it is likely that it will be a good investment, based on the regeneration that hs1 has helped create, along with freeing up some space on the existing lines. one million journeys on hs1 are new to rail so may have taken cars off the adjacent m20.and reducing if you state that it will then you have to provide evidence. if not you just weaken the case against hs2.
HS1 is meant to be carrying 25 million passengers by now. It’s managing 9m
domestic or international or both ?
latest figures domestic 6.5m eurostar approx 9-9.5 million so say about 15 million. this will increase when more operators use hs1 from next year and also of course even more will be carried when hs2 is built via through trains.
hs1 figures may not yet be predicted but 15 million a year plus regenerative benefits plus 1 million domestic journeys new to rail isnt quite the disaster movie scenario portrayed here !
Hi Penny – I did read your link, but I don’t see one single sentence in the text where anyone is suggesting that HS2 should not be built, so you’ll excuse me if the relevance of it passes me by. I rather fear that in your desperation to gather as much evidence as possible to bolster your case, you are neglecting actually reading it.
I did suspect that this “Stop HS2” campaign is all the work of the self-appointed guardians of the countryside (the Countryside Alliance types), with their “I’m alright Jack sod everyone else” attitude, and that does sadly appear to be the case. The “social classes” you’re refering to, (I hate the distinction personally), may I suspect be more concerned with your attempts to cancel tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry, and your attempts to put the everywhere north of London at an economic disadvantage in the coming decdes, than they are the route of HS2 through north London. I’m certain that would be of far greater concern to the masses.
You can’t have my train set – you people are lucky enough to be getting the full size, real thing, so I’d have thought you’d be happy. Honestly, there’s no pleasing some people.
Richard,it is not selfish to want to conserve the natural beauty of our country for future generations,or selfish
to object to unnecessary waste of billions of tax payers money,but it would be selfish to sit back and do nothing
to try and advert this disaster waiting to happen.PS, I dont like horses and have never read Horse and Hound.
Interesting link to the Horse and Hounds website. I had a feeling this whole selfish campaign was being driven by a bunch of people who only care about themselves, aka the hunting mob.
Anyway, here’s a suggestion for a raffle-prize at the do:
Hi Richard, the next link, to “HS2 route ‘targets council’s estates’ ” in Camden New Journal, was just as interesting and shows HS2 is an issue which afflicts all social classes.
We’d be delighted to include your toy train as a raffle prize – if you buy some tickets for the event, you can bring it with you on the day.