beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

From May to September

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In a May 2016 blogpost, Martin Vander Weyer stuck up for the HS2 project.

[Don’t believe the Tory grumbling: HS2 is on the way, Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator, 21 May 2016]

[…] The spin is that cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood is reviewing the project ‘as fears grow’ that it will bust its already inflated £55 billion budget. Among cost-paring measures, the line may not reach Manchester — or if it does, won’t stop at Manchester Airport. A station at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre may also be erased; and sections of expensive tunnel are for the axe.

But my intern mole who fetches coffees for HS2’s bosses in Canary Wharf says most of that is nonsense. Tunnelling can actually be cheaper than ploughing across premium surface property. Manchester Airport’s station is more certain to be built than most, because the airport itself will bear a chunk of the cost.

But it seems that quite a lot can happen in a few months. HS2 Ltd are recommending erasure of the Meadowhall route, the chief executive has bolted, and Mr Vander Weyer has changed his tune.

[It’s looking bad for HS2. Why not build HS3 instead?, Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator, 18 September 2016]

What’s happening with HS2? […] An announcement on the final route of northern spurs to Manchester and Leeds is long overdue, but there’s a huge row going on over a decision to bash through central Sheffield (demolishing a housing estate to do so) rather than via the out-of-town Meadowhall shopping centre.

[…] But the odds on HS2 happening in untruncated form and within our lifetimes are lengthening by the month. And if a decision came out of the blue to build HS3 instead — that’s the fast link from Manchester to Leeds or, even better, Liverpool to Hull — I suspect the north would let out a unanimous cheer.

It would seem that Mr Vander Weyer’s “intern mole” is a rather unreliable source. Of course, HS2 Ltd’s favoured re-routeing of the eastern leg would not involve ‘bashing through central Sheffield’ at all. It would bash through the borough of Doncaster, to the consternation of its town council, and local MP ‘EdStone’ Miliband.

Bashing through Sheffield?

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones urged HS2 to 'think again', 14 Sep 2016

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Written by beleben

September 18, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

2 Responses

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  1. Hi
    I’ve just happened on this blog and have read more realistic analysis and comment about HS2 in the past 10 minutes than for a long time. I think something should be done at some point about creating more capacity between London and the North but am convinced (even more so now) that HS2 is not the solution.
    What I find puzzling is the non-existent month by month editorial coverage in Modern Railways, the views of Rail – no critical view countenanced – and you have to suffer the abuse of Mr Bigland on Twitter.

    Steve Marriott

    September 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm


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