beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

HS2 scaremongering falls flat

with 3 comments

Yougov, Oct 2013.

[Yougov]

By 40% to 27%, the public prefer increasing existing capacity ‘even if this requires long term disruption to weekend train services’ to building HS2, the more expensive option. Additionally, another 19% would prefer if train capacity were not upgraded at all, meaning a combined 59% would prefer an alternative to HS2. 14% don’t know which option they prefer.

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Written by beleben

October 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

3 Responses

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  1. As a budding (doubly sic.) scriptwriter, I hereby apply for that role in the next edition of ‘Yes, Minister!’ with the fallback of doing the job for the Secretary of State himself:
    PS. Sir, the Atkins has arrived!
    SoS. I’ll tuck in straight away.
    PS. It’s not your new diet, Sir, it’s the alternative rail report we arranged to make HS2 look good.
    SoS. Well, it’s certainly too meaty for me to digest, ho,ho! Did it work?
    PS. Certainly. Atkins shows that it would cost £20bn to fix WCML, ECML and MML to achieve the same capacity increase as HS2.
    SoS. How is that good – it’s half the cost of HS2 – and what are these WCs and ECs?
    PS. Well, Sir, these are the remaining antiquated railway lines running north out of London after previous governments ripped up the others making HS2 vital. As for the cost, don’t forget that the country needs more infrastructure investment, not less, – which HS2 delivers!
    SoS. Yes, of course. And we’d be able to build the trains in this country instead of getting those shiny bullet train Schi-Schi-Schicanes to go round all the bends we’ve created.
    PS. The report shows that it would take 14 years to complete and there would be constant disruption from weekend working.
    SoS. That’s terrible! We can’t have our engineers just working weekends. We must let the people know that this government is for full employment which we will deliver with HS2 – and for 2 years longer – and with virtually no disruption – to existing services.
    PS. What’s more, the enhancement of these 120 year old lines is likely to require some demolition of residential and commercial properties at specific locations.
    SoS. This takes the biscuit! – Pass me the plate – I’m not going to allow ordinary people living and working next to railway lines – at specific locations – to be blighted just for the sake of a few nimbys living comfortably out in the countryside.
    And you’re telling me that all they’d achieve with this chaos and misery is the same capacity increase as HS2 – who are they trying to kid? I need to get back to Derbyshire for a break after this.

    McMichael

    November 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  2. You know, this survey might actually be of some relevance if those 40% were people who would actually be affected, or had been disrupted by the last WCML upgrade.

    Funnily enough, someone in Cornwall might not be too put out by the idea of people travelling between London and Peterborough or Milton Keynes being delayed….

    Chris

    November 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    • You know, this survey might actually be of some relevance if those 40% were people who would actually be affected, or had been disrupted by the last WCML upgrade.

      The last “WCML upgrade”, was a Modernisation, not an upgrade. The upgrade — PUG2 — was cancelled. Most of the WCRM works were renewals, not capability improvements.

      All railways need periodic renewals work. HS2 would certainly need lots of renewals work, starting around a decade after opening.

      There’s no reason to make decisions about future rail investment on the basis of a very small subset of the Britain population (i.e., users of the West Coast Main Line who happened to suffer delay as a result of Route Modernisation). Because the £50 billion costs (and disruption) of building HS2 affect far more people. People in Cornwall, Norfolk, and Northern Ireland would all be paying ~£1,000 each for HS2 construction alone. The line would doubtless lose money in operation, so there is also the ongoing subsidy burden post-opening.

      Someone in Cornwall might not be too put out by the idea of people travelling between London and Peterborough or Milton Keynes being delayed.

      Someone in Manchester, or Milton Keynes, might not be too put out by the idea of people travelling between London and Manchester or Milton Keynes being delayed. Because most ‘someones’ in Manchester, or Milton Keynes, don’t travel long distances by train very often. In 2008 the average Mancunian travelled to London, 0.28 times. That’s one journey, every three and a half years.

      beleben

      November 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm


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