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The answer is more PR

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'Another PR relaunch? Commuters in Milton Keynes? Awwwwww'HS2 insiders admit they have been ‘slow to make the case’ that all parts of Britain would benefit from the high-speed link, wrote the Independent’s Nigel Morris.

[‘Government seeks to save money and persuade skeptics on HS2 project by accelerating its timetable’, Nigel Morris, 4 February 2014]

A publicity campaign to persuade a largely indifferent public of the merits of the largest rail project for a century is also planned.
[…]
Sir David will publish a report early next month outlining potential cost savings, including by reducing the scheme’s construction period and by trimming the amount of money set aside for contingency costs.

An unnamed supporter said: “This is about someone waiting in the rain on a platform in Milton Keynes. In the coming years these commuter lines are going to be like the Piccadilly Line with people piling in at peak times. HS2 will provide a lot more trains per hour on these routes.”

Financial Times: 'HS2 relaunch to focus on commuters' (4 Feb 2014, paywall)Could another PR relaunch brush reality under the carpet? Reality, in this case, being that diverting £50 billion into single-purpose vanity infrastructure would mean more commuters “waiting in the rain” (in Woking, Croydon, Cheshunt, Ilford, etc). And more delays and accidents on local roads throughout the country.

Is HS2 good for ‘the North’? At the launch of the ’20 Miles More’ campaign on 31 January 2014, ResPublica’s Phillip Blond said that HS2 in its current form was worse than nothing, and would hold “Liverpool’s head under the water”.

According to yesterday’s Financial Times story, “Tom Kelly, Tony Blair’s former head of press in Downing Street, is being drafted in to oversee the PR campaign, which will also stress the connections between HS2 and newly electrified lines linking cities including Leeds and Manchester”.

Tom Kelly, featured in PR week, 9 Feb 2012

PR week: Tom Kelly worked alongside (the odious) Alastair Campbell, and was described by Glenda Jackson as being “beneath contempt”

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Written by beleben

February 5, 2014 at 11:36 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2, Liverpool

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2 Responses

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  1. Will HS2 be good for the North? Nowhere near as good as it should be:

    Studies for the Northern Way, reporting in 2011, found that “a 20 minute improvement in rail journey time on the trans-Pennine corridor between Leeds and Manchester would result in a GVA uplift of £6.7bn across the North of which just £2.7bn is captured in the two city regions.”

    HS2 and its twin forks north of Birmingham cannot do this. It just wasn’t thought out that way.

    Or, there’s a Northern Cities Crossrail in HS2 Plan B, to fast-connect the rail network of Lancashire east of Liverpool to the rail network of Yorkshire west of Hull. See http://hsnorthstart.wordpress….

    Michael Wand

    February 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

  2. […] government’s sudden and HS2-inspired interest in commuters “waiting in the rain” in Milton Keynes, seems to sit somewhat uneasily with the general provision of public transport […]


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