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Zero newsum game

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Ruth Newsum of HS2 Ltd, at Kenilworth, Oct 2012On October 20th 2012, HS2 Ltd representatives attended the public Information Day meeting in Kenilworth organised by the town’s Stop HS2 Action Group. But judging from BBC Midlands Today’s coverage, it seems that they had little to offer residents in the way of hard information.

As one audience member told BBC reporter Laura May McMullan,

I applaud the fact that they’re here today, but so far as I can see, they [HS2 Ltd] have said absolutely nothing.

Speaker Ruth Newsum, from HS2 Ltd, told Ms McMullan

It’s important for us to listen to local views and concerns, particularly around mitigation, because that’s very important information for us… we can, if possible, factor it into our local design.

“Can, if possible?” The design of HS2 is being imposed by the government at the national level. The route was developed in secret, and imposed on local communities. So, what exactly is the scope for “local design”?

Alan Marshall of 'Railnews' at the Kenilworth HS2 information day, Oct 2012

Also present was Railnews writer Alan Marshall, who said:

The passenger railway this year is going to carry 1.5 billion passengers…that’s double in fifteen years. And the railway network has not grown at all.

I’m struggling to see the relevance of Mr Marshall’s comment. The vast majority of Great Britain rail passenger journeys are made on the former Southern and Eastern Regions. Inter City West Coast is only around 30 million passengers, or 2 per cent of the national rail total.

London Underground, with a shorter route length than the West Coast Main Line, carries over 1 billion passengers in a year. So, the West Coast Main Line is not particularly intensively used.

Written by beleben

October 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Another point well put Beleben. It’s just one of the many scandals of this vanity project that it is up to community representatives to fight to get mitigation (to lessen the negative impacts, they can’t be eradicated). HS2 Ltd has clearly designed the route with only the requirements of the HS trains in mind. No thought for impacts on businesses, road users and communities.


    October 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

  2. Rubbish.

    WCML is more than just a passenger railway, it is the main freight artery of the country and freeing up the fasts will create more space for freight on the slows:

    Comparing it to south eastern commuter routes is comparing apples to oranges, there is no comparison, completely different railways!

    Clutching at straws much?

    Ultimately (that means once the whole thing is constructed) HS2 will also free up space on the ECML and the MML, 2 very densely populated routes into London. I got the 10.18 from Bedford into St Pancras this morning and people were standing all the way to London. The longer commuter trains are always full to standing, so much now that the FCC trains are now much busier when starting from Bedford.

    So if Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield trains went onto HS2, the use of the meagre 4 platforms at St Pancras will be able to survive for a bit longer and people will be able to get a seat in the mornings once the trains get closer to London.

    (Comment by Beleben) There can be no freeing up of “the fasts”, because if they were switched to HS2, everywhere that isn’t London, Birmingham, Manchester, or Leeds, would get downgraded connectivity.
    If you want to publish claims on this site, you will need to provide *evidence*, not rants. In this case, that means facts as to how ‘fasts can come off West Coast’ while still serving every intercity station on West Coast that isn’t London, Birmingham, or Manchester.
    If you’re having to stand on the 10.18 from Bedford into St Pancras this morning and people were standing all the way to London, that’s too bad. Complain to the train operating company. But bear in mind that people have to stand at work all day for 8 hours, and at bus stops all over the country, for hours every week.
    West Coast is intensively used for freight because the Midland Main Line isn’t properly gauge cleared, and F2N is bottlenecked. If Midland Main Line is properly gauge cleared, and F2N is de-bottlenecked, there would obviously be no need to intensively use WCML for freight.


    October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

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