die belebende Bedenkung

Stop making sense

with 4 comments

On New Year’s Day the Warrington Guardian reported that HS2 Ltd chief executive David Higgins had told MPs that the “£1 billion” Wigan (Golborne) spur ‘no longer makes sense’ and would be reconsidered.

Proposed HS2 route in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, and Lancashire

[‘HS2 spur through Warrington could be scrapped’, 1 Jan 2015]

[…] Warrington South MP David Mowat, who was at the meeting and has campaigned against the spur, said: “This line was an error from the start and adds nothing to the overall benefits of HS2.

In his March 2014 HS2 Plus report, David Higgins suggested removing the HS2-to-HS1 connection from the scheme, so it might have been better titled “HS2 Minus”. But he did not question the Wigan spur, so presumably it “made sense” then.

So, one might ask, on exactly what day did the Wigan spur stop “making sense”? What day did the HS2-to-HS1 link, stop making sense? What changed the HS1 link to “not sensible”?

The HS2 project is a £50+ billion, 60-year-plus commitment, so it’s bizarre that chunks of the scheme are classed as not making sense, shortly after millions of pounds have been handed to consultants to design them. The entire project’s governance, rationale, and specification needs to be opened up to public scrutiny.


Written by beleben

January 7, 2015 at 11:36 am

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

4 Responses

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  1. you’ve missed out every politico’s favourite “it’s the right thing to do!” or in this case “the right thing not to do”.
    As they tried to warn us: “when will they ever learn, when…?”


    January 7, 2015 at 11:57 pm

  2. More likely is that the classic-compatible connection itself is not useful, as it will become obsolete as soon as HS2 is extended further northwards towards Scotland. If the rolling stock depot is moved to Crewe for environmental reasons, and it is known that the junction there would be used for only a few years, then I can totally see it making sense that it be dropped. Instead, the route would be plain-lined, meaning it would take up far less space and it could then be done as a cut-and-cover green tunnel. I think they’ve actually learned from HS1, where Southfleet Junction was used for four years and is now completely useless.


    January 8, 2015 at 1:15 am

    • According to The Scotsman (21 Nov 2014), HS2 is “unlikely to reach Scotland”.


      January 8, 2015 at 11:42 am

    • Hmm. I doubt if HS2 will reach Scotland in our lifetimes, if ever. The current state of government finances and the poor CBR mean that the project is far more likely to be pruned than expanded. I wouldn’t be very surprised if it never makes it further than Crewe – in fact Higgins’ recent suggestions imply that this option has already been considered. We need to remember that the principal justification for HS2 is that it could relieve capacity constraints on the southern sections of the WCML.

      matthew jones

      January 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm

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