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Substantial, thoughtful and thorough?

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If implemented fully, the David Higgins 'HS2 Plus' proposals would increase costs overall

If fully implemented, the David Higgins ‘HS2 Plus’ proposals would increase costs overall

On LabourList Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh described David Higgins’ flimsy ‘HS2 Plus’ report as “substantial, thoughtful and thorough”, and confirmed Labour “will be voting in favour of HS2 when the Government finally brings the Hybrid Bill to Parliament”.

The Labour party claimed that its concerns about HS2 costs had prompted the government to have David Higgins bear down on expenditure. But apart from the deletion of the Camden HS1 link, the Higgins HS2 Plus report contained no serious proposals to reduce costs. In fact, additions such as the Crewe Hub and ‘Euston Mk3’ are likely to have pushed HS2 well past the £50 billion mark.

Responding on 24 March to the HS2 Plus and Growth Taskforce reports, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said direct high speed trains would “of course” be able to run off HS2 lines to serve places like Stoke, Liverpool, Manchester, north Wales, and Scotland.

Mr McLoughlin has form for making comments which turn out to be less than accurate. While deletion of the Camden HS1 link to Europe would (in theory) allow more domestic trains to run, it is far from clear that a London to North Wales train could operate via HS2, without adverse effects for other towns.

In the current proposal, HS2 classic compatible trains could reach Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent via a link from the West Coast line near Armitage with Handsacre. Removing that connection would allow a slight reduction in the HS2 budget, but Mr McLoughlin’s statement suggested that he does not intend to axe it.


Written by beleben

March 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

One Response

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  1. I would have to concede that Basford-by-Crewe HS2 station makes more sense than all the other off-centre, off-airport and Parkway stations such as Sheffield Meadowhall, Manchester International and Toton-twixt-Derby-et-Notts, mainly because it is not really there for Crewe but for all those green feeder services.
    All the hype around ‘HS2 Plus’ says HS2 will now get to the North six years earlier than planned, that is, in 2027 rather than in 2026 as per the original phase one scheme. I know we can all get confused by numbers but only Patrick and David Higgins can crack this one.
    Others have sussed that the Crewe Hub means there will be no need for a WCML connection at Handsacre although HS2 say this deletion ‘is not planned’ – though removing it will save £00smillions as it is not a simple junction. What is the point of an expensive link which takes all the North West HS2 services for one year between 2026-2027 but thereafter one train per hour from Liverpool on a detour via Stafford? So Staffs gets twice stuffed – it gets the HS2 line but has to go to Crewe or New Street to get on its fast trains. And why not delay the connection by a year and claim we’ve gained six?! What wonderland is Alison in?
    The reason for not fixing the roof while the sun shines at Crewe is because NR, which does govt’s bidding, and could pay for the relocation from the CP6/CP7 periods of expenditure is to help HS2’s budget (say £100million/yr over 7 years). Cheshire East has claimed NR will pay but apparently in CP5, your ‘Inglorious Basford’?? This when NR accepted the October 2013 CP5 funding allocation but with serious doubts.
    Your earlier ‘Terry Farrell’s HS2 vision for central Crewe’ showed a non-existent rail route linking Crewe to Macclesfield/Congleton. This has been dropped in the new plan (Inglorious Basford) for the relocated station by 2020 followed by the Superhub by 2027. The plans for these stages suggests that the NR station to HS2 link is no longer needed after 2027. As the HS2 captive line to The North (first stop Carstairs) and Manchester will take at least three more years, this link will be needed for all HS2 North until Phase 2 is complete and thereafter to connect to Liverpool, Warrington etc.
    If the Mad Hatters’ HS2 plan goes ahead, there will be massive new town development to the south and east (Duchy of Lancaster ‘village’) while Crewe centre will become a museum piece.


    March 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

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