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HS2 station is a waste of space, says Andy Burnham

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Mancunian metro-mayor and HS2 supporter Andy Burnham has attacked HS2 Ltd’s plans for a ‘surface’ high speed station at Manchester Piccadilly, at an IPPR North event on the future of rail services. Apparently, he wants a ‘Stuttgart 21‘ type arrangement at Piccadilly, to free up space for real-estate development.

twitter, @dneuerer, '#Stuttgart21 wird für die #Bahn wohl zum Finanzdesaster'

[Manchester is so congested, so manic, the mayor reckons we need an underground tube system, Jennifer Williams, MEN, 19 JUL 2019]

Adding that in Manchester rail bosses only want to do so ‘because they can’, he added: “What right has the rail industry got to come here and take all the land away around our train station just because they can, because it’s cheaper?”
[…]
Instead, he said, HS2 – which will need to be tunnelled under parts of Manchester anyway – should be linked up with HS3, also known as Northern Powerhouse Rail, and into a wider underground network.

“That for me is now what Manchester needs,” he said, rather than a ‘cut price’ option, adding that he ‘struggles to come to any conclusion that it needs something other than underground’.

“To do all this on the surface won’t make sense, otherwise you turn most[*] of Manchester into a railway station” […]

[* The Guardian’s account of this speech says “half of central Manchester”.]

Andy Burnham: HS2 a 'poor deal for most of the region's taxpayers', MEN, 4 Feb 2014

Written by beleben

July 22, 2019 at 8:42 am

Posted in Manchester, Politics

One Response

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  1. In which case, he is an absolute loon.

    Leaving aside the reality that HS2 as it stands dives into a tunnel just past Manchester Airport, and heads under all of suburban Manchester that way, he clearly lacks any appreciation of the complete lack of knowledge of what is underneath central Manchester to build such a buried station, and have it connect across the city in some way.

    Examples include the GUTE – The Guardian Universal Telephone Exchange, a cold-war bunker that is used to route telephone cables to the whole of the city. They are still in use for this purpose and when the tunnel complex caught fire a few years ago, the entirety of Telecommunications in the city centre was knocked out. It is an enormous complex that extends all the way from the river Irwell to Piccadilly station, with a massive central complex under Chinatown and the Piccadilly Gardens. Additionally, the station complex must choose if it serves Piccadilly or Victoria, and dive under the Canal – As in Canal Street and Manchester’s Gay Village, and finally avoid disturbing tat like the basement of the Arndale Centre, the National Football Museum and buried locations like the Victoria arches, which if disturbed too heavily runs the risk of damage to Manchester Cathedral.

    Then there is the Geology: Manchester contains a massive number of undocumented voids and mining sinkholes often filled up with nothing more than 19th century Victorian household waste, under places like Ancoats and Ardwick. This is a result of coal mining in an area of the city known as Bradford – By the Emirates stadium – Where a mine was sunk to coal measures at a level that is roughly around the area that is proposed for the underground station if it is passsing under Piccadilly. The problem with abandoned mining is it fills up with water, and continues to intake water, meaning that any civil engineering that touches it has to be actively pumped out. The GUTE suffers from this and is bad enough and so it does not take a great leap of imagination to consider how a large station complex would be even worse.

    The truly depressing issue however, is that I acquainted myself with these issues with about one afternoon’s reading. Andy Burnham is clearly an idiot, either that or he has nobody on his staff pointing these things out, in an effort to stop his stuffing his foot into his mouth.

    Andrew S. Mooney

    July 25, 2019 at 8:27 pm


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