die belebende Bedenkung

Maria lobby you big time

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Speaking at the ‘Bisnow Birmingham State of Offices event’, Midlands Connect honcho Maria Machancoses claimed that ‘the North and Midlands’ needed to work together “big time” to prevent the HS2 project from ‘sliding’.

She is co-hosting an event at Westminster in January to bring together Northern and Midlands MPs and regional transport leaders, ‘as doubts about the budgetary and technical aspects of the £56B rail project grow’.

'Midlands seeks friends in the north to save HS2', Bisnow

What happens at such private lobbying events? What ‘information’ is exchanged?

To judge the level of knowledge of some of the “regional transport leaders” who might be attending, one need only read articles written by them.

According to Ms Machancoses, “One of the most immediate impacts of HS2 will be the freeing up of capacity on the existing West Coast Main Line, releasing space for ten extra freight paths, taking the equivalent of 800 lorries a day off the road, as well as a multitude of extra passenger services”.

But, “if mismanaged”,

[MM:] “more direct, high speed services on the HS2 line could mean a loss of fast, frequent services to the likes of Coventry, Rugby, Tamworth and Lichfield. No station should suffer worse connectivity post-HS2 than it does now.”

In reality,

  • the classic capacity released by HS2 is minimal,
  • it is not possible to release any capacity without some stations, such as Coventry, getting worse connectivity post-HS2 than they have now.

The idea that HS2 would allow a ‘multitude of extra passenger services’ is delusional. On the Birmingham – Coventry – Rugby corridor, the number of local stopping trains would stay much the same as it is now. Between Euston and Milton Keynes, the indications are that the quantum of train paths would fall, not rise.

Maria Machancoses, 'Don't mismanage released capacity'

twitter, @mayor_anderson, 'Why we need the Government to listen to us about investment in rail connections across the North. '

And in an article for Citymetric published yesterday, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson demonstrated his confusion about ‘HS3’ and the Transpennine North railway.

[Joe Anderson: Why I resigned from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership | Citymetric | December 12, 2018]
I resigned from the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership this week. I just didn’t see the point of continuing when it is now crystal clear the government isn’t committed to delivering the step-change in rail investment in the North that we so desperately need. Without it, the Northern Powerhouse will remain a pipedream.

Local government leaders like me have been left standing at the altar for the past three years. The research is done. The case has been made. Time and again we’ve been told to be patient – the money is coming.

Well, we’ve waited long enough.
There are no shortcuts. Ministers clearly believe there are. The second piece of disappointing news is that officials at the Department for Transport have already confirmed to the freight industry that any HS3 line will not be electrified, the Yorkshire Post reports.

Written by beleben

December 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Posted in Planning, Politics

One Response

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  1. Oh dear. Does Ms Machancoses really believe that HS2 “provides the best opportunity for rebalancing the UK”? Better even than (say) scrapping the annual London Weighting of public sector salaries (the biggest subsidy of all)? Or moving 10,000 highly paid Whitehall jobs to Newcastle? Does she really believe that HS2 will encourage Londoners to seek work in Birmingham rather than the other way round? Does she think it will help Bradford, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Plymouth or Hull, rather than make them even less attractive as a destination for investment, as it undoubtedly will? Or – more contentious, this – actually recognising that the neglected millions in England’s provinces might have known what they were doing when they voted “Leave”, and then honouring the referendum result, rather than dismissing them as sub-human morons who need to be protected from their own inadequacy? Clearly, she must know her comments are total bollocks – it’s just depressing that she holds the rest of us in such low regard that she thinks we might actually be taken in by them.


    December 22, 2018 at 10:10 am

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