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The marshall of irrational resilience

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HS2 'a-fictionado' Alan Marshall

There has been a growing irrational debate in South West England attempting to link future resilience of railway infrastructure in Devon and Cornwall with the HS2 project (wrote Alan Marshall on the Railnews blog).

[“DEVON AND CORNWALL’S ‘IRRATIONAL’ CONCERNS ABOUT HS2”, Alan Marshall, 14 Feb 2014]

There is […] no relationship between what might be done now to repair and improve the railway’s resilience in Devon and Cornwall and construction over the next 20 years of a new high speed rail system serving substantial populations in the Midlands and North of England.

‘No relationship’? Of course there’s a relationship. Governments, societies, and individuals have to choose how their resources are allocated, and those resources are finite.

Inevitably, spending £50 billion on vanity infrastructure from London to three cities, already well-served by rail, is bound to mean less resilient and capable flood defences, local transport, and poorer connectivity in regions like the South West.

Mr Marshall went to repeat his nonsense about ‘Blackpool and Shrewsbury remaining permanently without direct train services [to London] because of insufficient capacity on the West Coast Main Line’.

What is stopping such services from running, is Network Rail inefficiency and the lack of suitable trains. Many more places on the West Coast Main Line could have direct trains, if HS2 were abandoned and the money reallocated to extending electrification to Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Barrow-in-Furness, etc.

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Written by beleben

February 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Posted in HS2

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One Response

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  1. Rail is so, so very important that it carries 3% of the nation’s passenger-journeys, 7.5% of passenger-miles, and 8.5% of the nation’s freight at a cost to the taxpayer per unit carried which is seven times that for the Motorway and Trunk Road system. See http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/sites/default/files/LATEST%20COST%20DATA%20web%20%2801%29.xls

    Or http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/topic-2-road-rail-comparisons-summary-findings and open the spread sheet referred to.

    See also itgen 8 and others here http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/topic-18-transport-committe-house-commons


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