Responsibility for HS2 split between ministers

Since Friday’s resignation of Simon Burns, there has been speculation over which of the two new transport ministers appointed in Monday’s reshuffle would get his HS2 brief.

The answer is both. Baroness Kramer and Robert Goodwill have separate parts of the job, bringing the number of ministers with high speed rail as part of their responsibilities up to three.

There is an interesting split of responsibilities, in which Baroness Kramer, who is the former MP for Richmond Park in London, is in charge of HS2 Phase 2 north of Birmingham, and the Yorkshire based MP Robert Goodwill has the remit for the southern part of HS2.

Goodwill owns several road-going steam traction engines: according to the Whitby Gazette his first memory of Whitby was a day trip using one of the last steam trains before the Beeching cuts.

One of the problems with HS2 is the way that many of it’s proponents seem to hark back to the glory days of the Victorian railway barons, ignoring developments such as the growth of digital technologies: we hope that the new minister’s love of old vehicles will not blind him to the needs of 21st century Britain.

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