Some Recent News items

Independent: HS2 chief’s charm offensive to keep train operators on board

…HS2’s latest board minutes, of a meeting from 18 September, show that Mr Brown had been asked to secure talks with train industry leaders. “The board wants to make sure that train companies don’t come out and say that HS2 is a load of rubbish,” explained an industry source…

Buckingham Advertiser: HS2 preparation bill heading to House of Lords – Buckingham Advertiser

The approval of a bill that will see the first stage of HS2 get under way has been branded as ‘irresponsible’.

Spectator: Rory Sutherland: How to improve journey times without HS2

I am still waiting for someone to refute my argument that it would be possible to reduce the journey time between London and Manchester or Birmingham for many rail passengers by between 20 and 40 minutes — and to improve effective capacity — at about …

City AM: Experts pour cold water on HS2 benefits

EXPERTS yesterday picked apart key figures used to justify the benefits of the High Speed 2 project, with one describing the modelling methods as “essentially made up”.

Yorkshire Evening Post: Case for HS2 link not made yet says senior councillor

WAKEFIELD Council chiefs remain unconvinced the proposed HS2 rail link would benefit the district as a deadline looms for the local authority to submit its views to the Government.

Bucks Herald: Summit slams HS2 as ‘criminal waste of money’

Where to go next in the battle against HS2 has been debated at a high-level summit in Aylesbury today.

The conference, held at Aylesbury Vale District Council’s offices in Gatehouse Road, was attended by more than 100 people from 19 local authorities who were addressed by the key figures of the alliance against the line, which would cut through Bucks.

Staffs Newsletter: HS2 will ‘not solve the problems its designed to’, says Stafford MP

Mr Lefroy, who told the Newsletter he voted against last weeks HS2 ‘paving bill’ – passed by an overwhelmingly majority in the House of Commons.

“The proposals for HS2 are backed up by a poor business case, which would lead to billions of pounds of tax payers money being spent on a project that would not, I believe, solve the problems it is designed to fix,” said Mr Lefroy.

Bucks Free Press: David Cameron effigy and HS2 model set on fire

Speen’s fireworks night on Saturday saw villagers set fire to a replica of the high speed train, which created an impressive bonfire.

A guy of the Prime Minister was also thrown on the fire.

Grimsby Telegraph: Simon Faulkner: Should HS2 rail scheme be shunted into the sidings?

IS High Speed Two the saviour of the north or a wasteful vanity project? That’s not a rhetorical question by the way – I really don’t have a clue.

And neither does Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, judging by his bumbling performance on Newsnight last week.

Guardian: HS2 report overstated benefits by six to eight times, experts say

Procedure to produce figures for economic impacts contained in KPMG report was ‘essentially made up’, MPs told

The Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd should have raised serious concerns about the methodology in a report claiming the high-speed rail project would bring £15bn in additional benefits to the UK, one of HS2’s former advisers has told MPs.

HS2 benefits ‘essentially made up’, economists tell MPs – Telegraph

Leading academics question figures used to justify £50 billion high speed rail scheme in evidence to Treasury Select Committee

This is Devon: Why the South West needs HS2 plans to hit the buffers

Adrian Sanders, Liberal Democrat MP for Torbay, and member of the Transport Select Committee of MPs, on the high-speed north-south rail link.

Negotiations over the proposed HS2 high-speed railway line have once again dominated the headlines recently when the Government lowered its predictions of the benefits it would bring. However, while the discussion of the benefits of HS2 for London and the Midlands continues, the negative impact of HS2 on regions such as the South West is still absent from the debate.

If the construction of HS2 gets the green light from the Government, it will be a severe blow for our communities in the South West. It will hurt local economies in Devon and Cornwall by drawing economic activity away and leaving transport links to the South West trailing far behind those in the rest of the country in the future. What we need instead, is a more balanced strategy of rail investment that does not jeopardise the future of the South West by committing government funding to just one project.

Telegraph: Lies at the heart of case for HS2

Even by the standards of HS2, it was a document which scaled new Himalayas of hype.

You only had to reach the first full page to find a claim by Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, that his £42 billion supertrain from London to the Midlands and North would be “one of the most potentially beneficial infrastructure projects on the planet”.

Guardian: HS2 … the high-speed train route with the same old staggering fares

The government says its proposals for High Speed 2 “assume a fares structure in line with that of the existing railway”. So we can probably expect to fork out an absurd sum for a ticket unless we trawl through websites three months in advance, can be absolutely certain we are going to travel on the 3.42pm on a Tuesday afternoon, and we craftily split the journey half way to Manchester. Get any stage wrong and the inspector will haul you off the train and land you with a huge fine.

FALLOUT from the proposed High Speed Rail line through Trafford rumbles on after a residents association condemned the effect it could have on the borough.

The Messenger: Trafford doubts over benefits of HS2

The second phase of HS2 – which is still under consultation – will see high speed trains travel on a new line from Birmingham, eventually arriving at Manchester Airport and Manchester city centre, travelling through Warburton. Marion McNaughton, chairman of the Warburton HS2 Action Group, is vehemently opposed to the proposed line ending at Golborne, believing it will destroy picturesque agricultural land.

Telegraph: Upgrading existing rail network would be better value than HS2, government

Upgrading existing rail network would be better value than HS2, government … HS2 in favour of a programme of upgrade work to tracks and stations along existing mainline routes would deliver an extra £1 in economic benefits for every £1 spent, the figures showed. The findings could critically undermine David Cameron’s…

Guardian: Is the passion for HS2 just about big boys and their toys? – The Guardian

Is the passion for HS2 just about big boys and their toys?The GuardianIn fairness to dramatisers of the Rev Awdry, given he was born in 1911, this ratio is arguably more impressive than that within the Department for Transport’s new HS2 task force, composed of eight men and four women, in what seems to be a similar chugging arrangement

One comment to “Some Recent News items”
  1. Another conundrum
    HS2 ltd advised the Govt as to route. HS2 ‘the peoples train’ recently reitterated their reasons as to why the route was chosen and remained correct even in the face of the ecological impact and capacity not speed spiel,
    Route three was chosen by HS2ltd over the M40 corridor as it was less costly and apparently risked less population (Beaconsfield Gerrards Cross and Princes Risborough . (The cost of tunnelling to mitigate these populations would be 3bn) HS2 ltd cited a combined population of 100k (compared to about 51,000 Amersham +Chalfont St Giles Missendens Wendover. (see below though)
    They also cited the M40 route would add marginally to the distance and journey time . It was not as straight.
    Of course since then the tunelling of route 3 has increased and therefore it could be argued that the cost argument is no longer pertinent. Following the M40 would be less damaging to the AONB and preserve its current contigent value as a whole landscape and the community that it supports.

    However I checked the population of Princes Risborough (7,900 in town which is 9 miles from M40) Gerrards Cross Village (7,000) Beaconsfield (12,000) this gives a combined village population of 28,000. All three villages are as diffuse and have old town new town as those on route 3. All the villages/towns have more rural environs with housing (some shared between the two groups) so there is not much difference there.
    However the overall social demographics of the populations is different………

    I think this is an area that needs to be explored in more detail and more vigour. It appears the Govt ministers have accepted HS2 ltd’s figures/opinion without review like so much else. Now that the issue of speed is secondary to capacity and we also know that the exit from the London suburbs cannot ocurr at full speed the case is changed. Furthermore the Chiltern Tunnel that was not on the original route plus lost of additional suburban tunneling means that the tunnel factor cited as being against the M40 route is also rendered void.

    The M40 route would be majorly sparing of the AONB and would resemble the HS1 route in this regard that it used existing major transport corridors. Tunnels would spare the populations.

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