die belebende Bedenkung

Just a block of grey

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On 17 July 2017, the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP announced his decisions on refinements to the route proposed for HS2 phase two, and a number of documents were published on the HS2 website.

In line with HS2 tradition, the new documents embody doublespeak, sophistry, and incomprehensibility. Consider, for example, what Figure 7 from the “Phase 2 Strategic Case” appears to say. On first glance, this shows that “with HS2 phase 2”, from London to Peterborough the number of seats in the PM High Peak Hour (1700 – 1759) could ‘rise to 11,090’, compared to 5,630 in December 2016.


But on closer inspection, 4,400 of those seats would not be available to Peterborough at all. The number of intercity seats would actually fall by 760.

Of course, capacity on the East Coast Main Line could be increased vastly, without building HS2, for example, by closing Welwyn North station in the peak hours. Another option would be to use the money currently earmarked for HS2’s boondoggle Piccadilly tunnel, to four-track the Welwyn ‘bottleneck‘.

Figure 8 is captioned “Seating capacity from Leeds in Scenario 5”, but the graph itself is labelled “Manchester Piccadilly – PM High Peak Hour” (?)


Another document, titled “Economic case advice”, purports to present the analysis of the costs and benefits of a “Crewe hub”. But where the capital costs (item 7) should be, there is just a block of grey.

Written by beleben

July 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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