Honour your pledge to pour money down the drain
The Labour metro-mayoral candidates for Greater Manchester and Liverpool are calling for the prime minister to honour pledges to invest in high speed rail services, ITV Granada News reported (1 September 2016).
Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram challenged Theresa May to follow through with plans for HS2, a fast route between London, the Midlands and the North and HS3, a fast route between Manchester and Leeds.
Onboard a Liverpool to Manchester train, Mr Burnham and Mr Rotheram spoke on camera to reporter Andy Bonner about the ‘crucially needed’ rail investment. However, they and the cameraperson seemed to be just about the only people in the whole carriage.
Available data suggests there is no case for building a new ‘high speed railway’ from Liverpool to Manchester (or from Manchester to Leeds). It would be the wrong type of rail investment, in the wrong place. And a new dog-legged ‘high speed railway’ part-using the HS2 route via Manchester Airport would probably not even be any faster than the 1830 Chat Moss route.
In a piece to camera at Lime Street, Mr Bonner said it currently ‘takes longer to travel (by rail) from Liverpool to Hull than it does to travel from London to Paris and back again‘. That claim, of course, has no factual basis. Leaving aside check-in time, London to Paris, one-way, is about two and a quarter hours by Eurostar.