beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

The obtuse Mr Ruse

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As of 31 October 2013 HS2 Ltd, the government company set up to develop a £50 billion high speed railway between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, employed 557 people, of whom 550 were based in London.

HS2 Ltd lead spokesman Ben Ruse said: “It is likely that as we move into the construction phase we would certainly expect to have our construction arm based around the West Midlands. If nothing else, that would seem logical given that Birmingham is at the heart of the country, but more importantly at the centre of HS2.”

[‘Thousands of jobs for Birmingham as HS2 plans move to city’, Birmingham Post, 5 Dec 2013]

[…] However, the company set up to develop the £42 billion rail line set to run between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, said it was important to be near the Department for Transport while plans are being worked up. And high-speed rail is integral to the region’s growth plans. A large chunk of GBSLEP’s bid to the single local growth fund is aimed at creating jobs by making the region a centre of engineering excellence for high-speed rail.

As always, a load of old nonsense from Mr Ruse. There is no reason why 550 of 557 HS2 Ltd staff should be based in London, nor is there any need for the head office to be based there. It’s far more likely that most of HS2 Ltd’s senior staff wouldn’t dream of living or working in the Midlands (or North of England), with or without high speed rail. There is an air of Londonian condescension about the whole project.

The last railway rolling stock plant in the West Midlands closed almost a decade ago, and Britain no longer has a national rail technical centre. Hardly any railway R & D is done at Midlands universities (Birmingham University included). Unfortunately, GBSLEP‘s idea of making the West Midlands region a ‘centre of engineering excellence for rail’ (high-speed or otherwise) doesn’t seem to have much chance of happening.

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Written by beleben

December 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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