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It is becoming increasingly difficult to argue in favour of HS2

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Several senior Labour MPs have told the Observer that the huge sum of money earmarked for the HS2 railway would be better spent on other schemes, the newspaper reported.

'Northern-mp MPs tell Labour: Change your mind on HS2', Eleni Courea, 27 Oct 2018

[Northern MPs tell Labour: change your mind on HS2, Eleni Courea, The Observer, 27 Oct 2018][…]

Lisa Nandy, the Labour MP for Wigan, said: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to argue in favour of HS2 in my constituency.”
Karl Turner, the shadow transport minister responsible for shipping, aviation and road safety, speaking in his capacity as MP for Hull East, said[…] “investing in existing rail networks in the region offers a better deal”.
Ian Mearns, MP for Gateshead, said: “Twenty years ago, there was a train that travelled from Newcastle to London [along the east coast mainline] in 160 minutes. With HS2 we will be spending another £53bn 40 years later, and by going on that route people could gain just 20 minutes.” Mearns said that this showed HS2 was “little more than a vanity project”.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said in 2014 that HS2 represented a “poor deal for most of the region’s taxpayers”.

Jo Platt, MP for Leigh, said that HS2 would run through her constituency “without offering any connectivity”, while Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West, said that Crossrail for the North would “make a huge difference, while being far less disruptive than HS2”.

Meanwhile Sir Kevin Barron, the MP for Rother Valley, who has supported the project thus far, said that he was being forced to rethink because of plans to build the eastern leg of HS2 along the M18 motorway.

It is the most senseless thing I’ve ever seen,” Barron said.

Terminating the HS2 scheme would not just benefit the north. The cancellation dividend would allow a wide range of infrastructure improvements across the country, such as electrification of the Great Western main line from Newbury to Plymouth, an RER-type system for Birmingham, and step-free access for a vastly increased number of stations nationwide.

The reality of rail in the 'Northern powerhouse': Kirkby station by Raymond Knapman

Some reviews of Transpennine rail from Tripadvisor, viewed Oct 2018

According to a September 2018 poll by ComRes, three in five British adults think that HS2 is poor value for money, and 85% think the money should be spent on improving the capacity of existing railways instead of building it.

Written by beleben

October 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics

2 Responses

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  1. All that’s assuming that the HS2 budget would remain with the DfT and not revert to The Treasury.


    October 28, 2018 at 7:18 pm

  2. Just been listening to Thomas Ableman who has masterminded Snap – the low cost coach services delivering services that fit passenger needs in destination & origin, along with Alex Hornby who has transformed Northern Regional bus services, notably with Cityzap on the Leeds-York corridor, with a 90% growth in passenger numbers last year, despite a journey time twice that of the ‘fastest’ train. A journey with a closer ‘fit’ to the passenger, more frequently, with de-seated buses 50 vs 80 on a double deck & 1+2 seating, with tables, with WiFi with charging points,with leather seats, & spotless clean.

    Thomas pointed out how his services, closer to the actual journies made were often faster with 100km/h coaches than 200 km/h train-based travel. Alex highlighted, the win of passenger satisfaction through not squeezing every last seat on to the vehicle, when maximum capacity is only giving to be required for a couple of trips per day, a stark contrast to the bean-counter approach of some DfT train specification, and the claims for ‘more seats’ as a service improvement, when that engineered figure includes the trains running near empty at 5am, against the main traffic flows.

    Alex, with Transdev, now has a train operator’s licence…. but as yet no franchise, or open access operation. Given his radical impact on bus services ‘for the North’ his approach might be needed to shake up this (Rail) Transport for The North club? Pitch in Tom Ableman’s delivery of slower vehicles, with comfort & convenience, but faster journeys, as a product that customers show they want, and HS2, 3, 4 &c become ever more clearly the wrong product.


    November 2, 2018 at 5:07 am

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