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Archive for the ‘Manchester’ Category

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

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Written by beleben

July 22, 2019 at 8:42 am

Posted in Manchester, Politics

Rinky-dink Victoria

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Bosses at Manchester Arena are claiming it could go bust if a rival venue is built, possibly near the City of Manchester Stadium in ‘Eastlands’, the BBC reported.

twitter, @BBCNWT, 'Bosses at Manchester Arena are claiming it could go bust - if a rival venue is built in the city. A consultation is underway looking at the future of the Eastland's area - near the Etihad Stadium. One suggestion is a new indoor arena with a capacity of 20,000.'

What is really baffling is why, in the 1990s, anyone thought it a good idea to carve up the railway lands at Victoria, build the Arena on them, reduce the station to a rinky-dink operation, and concentrate services at Piccadilly.

Demolishing the Arena would enable Victoria to be rebuilt on a bigger scale, enabling the development of an exemplary regional rail system of the type found in German cities like Munich.

Written by beleben

June 13, 2019 at 10:22 am

Posted in Manchester

A classic example of a politically-led project

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Transport for The North’s ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’ is a classic example of a politically-led project in which rational considerations have been over-ridden, according to rail consultant Paul Salveson.

Paul Salveson, HS2, should it survive?, 16 Jan 2019

Written by beleben

January 21, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Posted in HS2, Leeds, Manchester, Politics

The ascent of man

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Following Eleni Courea’s Observer story about Northern MPs telling Labour leaders to change their mind on HS2, the shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald and the Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham both made statements repeating the party line (i.e., ‘We back HS2’, ‘We back Crossrail for the North / Northern powerhouse rail’, ‘It’s not a case of either or’).

twitter, @OliverCooper, 'Depressing to see Labour double down on HS2'

Labour politicians nowadays use the term ‘Crossrail for the North‘ instead of ‘Northern powerhouse rail’, because the term ‘Northern powerhouse’ is seen as being associated with George Osborne.

twitter, @MayorofGM, 'The North needs HS2 and NPR'

However, Mr Burnham’s words were “The North needs HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail“. His statement also served as an inadvertent reminder of how much transport thinking and expenditure in the North is dominated by the wants of Manchester airport, over the needs of everywhere else.

Even the city of Manchester itself is in thrall to ‘MAN’, as is plain to see from the design of the Ordsall chord, and the use of vast quantities of public cash to build a poorly designed tram line out to the airport.

Andy Burnham statement on HS2 and NPR, Oct 2018 width=

Written by beleben

October 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Dites oui aux gâchis, says Henri

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You need to build HS2 to be able to complete ‘Northern powerhouse rail’, confirmed Henri Murison, who ‘spends his life working on infrastructure policy’ for George Osborne.

twitter_henrimurison_status_1046351443609997312

The unevidenced and unconvincing claim behind NPR is that economic underperformance in Northern England can be reversed by making rail travel from Manchester to Liverpool and Leeds 10 minutes faster.

Apparently, this would be done by building a new line from Liverpool to the HS2 Manchester spur with a station somewhere in Warrington, and a new line from Manchester to Leeds, via Bradford.

The total cost of HS2-plus-NPR would be over £100 billion, with the Liverpool link costing ~£4 billion (or more).

How NPR could be faster than the existing Chat Moss line, is yet to be explained. Because of the low demand for Liverpool to Manchester end-to-end travel, all NPR trains would likely need to stop at ‘Warrington’, and Davenport Green (the ‘Manchester Airport’ station).

Written by beleben

September 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Northern powerhouse rail and labour mobility

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[From Five facts about the Randstad and Rhine-Ruhr, with comparison to the Northern Powerhouse, Paul Swinney | Centre for Cities | 1 June 2016]

An argument often put forward about both the Randstad and Rhine-Ruhr is that their transport links allow people to live in one city but work in another, suggesting that there would be benefits for the North of England in strengthening transport links between cities. But the data suggests that people don’t use the transport links in this way.

The travel patterns across all three areas, appear to suggest that if a worker wants to live in a city, they will mostly choose to live in the city that they work within. Otherwise they will choose to live in the countryside surrounding the city they work in, rather than another city.

Centre for Cities, distribution of Greater Manchester High Skill Commuting

[Paul Swinney]

The speeds achieved by intercity rail connections between the cities of the Randstad and Rhine-Ruhr are not a great deal quicker than between cities in the Northern Powerhouse.

Written by beleben

September 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Leeds, Manchester, Railways

Island of lost goals

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On 10 September, the House of Commons transport committee questioned Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines about ‘key challenges’ and ‘priorities for his tenure’.

For one of those ‘challenges’ — capacity on Manchester’s Castlefield corridor and the Ordsall chord — ‘experts’ said the creation of additional through platforms (15 and 16) at Piccadilly station was ‘vital’, the Manchester Evening News reported in February 2017.

But the month before, Network Rail’s then chief executive Mark Carne stated that construction of this additional island platform might not go ahead, even if government approval were given.

[Charlotte Cox, Manchester Evening News, 8 Feb 2017]

Mark Carne, chief executive at Network Rail, said they were looking at the ‘cost-benefit ratio’ [of the Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road Capacity Scheme], raising fears of a delay or cancellation.

Experts have said the expansion is vital to cope with extra trains on the Ordsall Chord, the £85m track connecting Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road currently under construction.

According to recent freedom of information responses, neither Network Rail nor Transport for Greater Manchester hold any information about the monetised costs and benefits of platforms 15 and 16.

Network Rail information response about Manchester Piccadilly platforms 15 and 16, September 2018, page 1

Network Rail information response about Manchester Piccadilly platforms 15 and 16, September 2018, page 2

Network Rail information response about Manchester Piccadilly platforms 15 and 16, September 2018, page 3

Mr Haines’ responses to questions at the transport committee session on 10 September suggested that consideration was being given to ‘traffic management‘ and using different rolling stock, instead of ‘delivery’ of platforms 15 and 16.
Manchester Piccadilly platform 14, July 2014 (c) David Dixon (Creative Commons)

Written by beleben

September 18, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Manchester, Railways