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The misinformation never stops

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In HS2 Ltd chairman Allan Cook’s ‘stocktake report’, it was finally admitted that the high speed rail project’s fictitious funding envelope and opening dates were unrealistic. ‘Target delivery’ of phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds is ‘likely’ to move from 2033 to between 2035 and 2040, according to Mr Cook.

Allan Cook HS2 stocktake report: 'each intercity train removed from the classic network releases capacity for 11 new commuter fast or freight trains'

However, the ‘stocktake’ report saw the debut of assorted pieces of new misinformation, such as the claim that ‘each intercity train removed from the classic network releases capacity for eleven new commuter fast or freight trains’.

HS2 Ltd chairman Allan Cook

And on 17 September, HS2 Ltd retweeted earlier misinformation about Leeds and Manchester rail capacity,¬†contradicting the Allan Cook ‘stocktake’ report, by giving 2033 as the phase 2b opening year.

twitter, High Speed Two phase 2b opening date shown as 2033 in @HS2ltd tweet of 17 Sep 2019

According to this tweet, in Manchester and Leeds alone, ‘local commuters would see the number of rush hour seats more than doubled’.

“Rush hour seats” to where, “more than doubled”?

For Leeds, the year 2017 evening peak hour ‘Doncaster corridor’ capacity was given by the Department for Transport as 1,718 seats (rounded to 1,720 in the tweet). For the ‘year 2033 with HS2’ scenario, the corresponding capacity would be 4,862 (rounded to 4,860 in the tweet).

'Doncaster corridor' peak hour seats in 2017 (above) and '2033 with HS2' (below), as given by the Department for Transport

However, no fewer than 2,750 of the 4,860 ‘Doncaster corridor’ seats that “local commuters” would “see”, would not be for them. They would be for ‘extreme commuters’ on HS2 trains, and these would not and could not serve Doncaster, or any place between Leeds and Doncaster.

The increase in ‘year 2033 With HS2’ seats for local commuters in HS2 Ltd’s tweet comes not from HS2 ‘released capacity’, but from running bigger trains in existing paths. For example, the Doncaster service changes from a 4-carriage Class 321 train in 2017, to a 9-car Class 331 train in the 2033 scenario.

On the western leg of HS2, the situation is much the same. In the official Manchester ‘year 2033 With HS2’ peak-hour scenario, the number of classic trains operating on the ‘Crewe / Stoke corridor’ is shown as falling by one, compared with 2017. And not, ‘increasing by eleven’, as Mr Cook might have people believe.

Written by beleben

September 20, 2019 at 9:04 am

Posted in HS2

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