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Mythter know-it-all

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HS2 offers ‘the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use’ and could deliver ‘more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines’, Jim Steer’s High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group claimed on 11 November, in a tweet promoting an ‘independent review of the carbon case for HS2′.

twitter, @RailLeaders, '#HS2 will have the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use and will also deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines. Read more in our latest report written by @safemyth: https://rail-leaders.com/publications/hs2-towards-a-zero-carbon-future/ #GoHS2GoGreen #HS2AllTheWay'

[HSRILG, 11 Nov 2019]

HS2 will have the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use and will also deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines. Read more in our latest report written by @safemyth […]

“Read more in our latest report.”

So this supposedly ‘independent’ HS2 carbon review (‘HS2 – towards a zero carbon future’) by Raiph (a.k.a. Ralph) Smyth, is actually a report written for the High Speed Rail leaders lobbying group.

twitter, @njak_100, 'Excellent sustainability report on #HS2 out today. This table highlights DfT's conservative modal shift targets vs OECD figure for *actual* modal shift achieved by completed European HSR schemes. Full report at https://bit.ly/2pRTG4P' (11 Nov 2019)

As such, the misleading and inaccurate statements packing out Mr Smyth’s report should come as no surprise. Consider, for example, his ‘Figure 9’, the ‘Comparison of high-speed rail modal shift’, which is intended to ‘suggest’ that HS2’s forecasts of transfers from car and aviation are way too low.

The fact is, the vast majority of HS2 travel would be conducted within a radius of ~300 km of London, and for journeys within this zone, aviation’s share of journeys is already effectively nil. So with HS2, there is no possibility of anything like an overall 30% shift from air to high speed rail. Obviously, HS2 is mainly about (i) shift from classic rail, and (ii) new journeys.

No evidence is offered by Mr Smyth for the claim that HS2 would provide ‘the same capacity as a ten-lane motorway in normal use’ or ‘deliver more efficient use of three of the UK’s main railway lines’. He has not explained what the terms “in normal use” and “more efficient use” are supposed to mean. The Department for Transport has confirmed that the modelled post-HS2 use of the West Coast Main Line South involves fewer (not more) trains operating. This is an inevitable consequence of the HS2 idea of turning the WCML fast lines into a mixed-traffic railway.

DfT confirmation of fewer (not more) trains on WCML South in the modelled HS2 scenarios

Mr Smyth’s report presents HS2 as ‘essential for meeting a legally binding target of net zero carbon emissions’ by 2050. Needless to say, it would not be possible for HS2 to be carbon neutral by 2050, and it is not clear why ‘zero carbon electricity’ would be available to HS2 but not to alternative modes, such as other railways, road coaches, and private automobiles.

Even if the embedded carbon from constructing HS2 were considered as zero, the scheme would still not make any sense from an environmental standpoint, because the cost per-avoided-tonne of carbon would be gargantuan.

 

Written by beleben

November 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

No opportunity to influence

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twitter, @tonyberkeley1, 2 Nov 2019, 'My role as dep chair of the Oakervee Report on HS2 finished yesterday.   Report not finished and no opportunity to influence conclusions.  We are told that, when completed by Doug O and the DfT secretariat, it will be locked into the DfT vaults for the new S of S to publish.'

Written by beleben

November 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm

How is HS2 a ‘pro climate project’?

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HS2 is ‘the most pro climate project this country currently has’ according to the former chief of the Strategic Rail Authority, Richard Bowker. He suggested that opponents of the scheme consult Greengauge 21’s article ‘HSR and Carbon Emissions‘ (28 September, 2010).

twitter, @SRichardBowker, 'I did not say HS2 Ltd had explained their proposition correctly. Their PR has been woeful for years as regularly highlighted by @rail  and others. They should have explained one of the biggest benefits is freeing up capacity on the current rail network to facilitate modal shift.'

Mr Bowker appears to be unaware that (a) HS2 is expected to increase rather than reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and (b) in many cases, ‘information’ provided by Greengauge 21 turns out to lack accuracy and credibility. For example, according to the Greengauge article referenced by Mr Bowker, the carbon emissions from the construction of a HS2 line between London and West Midlands would be in the region of 1.2 million tonnes.

According to Greengauge 21 (28 Sep 2010), the carbon emissions from the construction of a HS2 line between London and West Midlands would be in the region of 1.2 million tonnes

[GG21, HSR and Carbon Emissions (28 September, 2010)]

There will also be carbon emissions from the construction of any HSR line, estimated at around 1.2 million tonnes of carbon for a London – West Midlands route.

But according to HS2 Ltd, the construction carbon footprint (CO2e) is estimated to range between 5.755 million and 6.125 million tonnes.

HS2 Ltd estimate of phase one carbon construction footprint (23 Feb 2017)

[HS2, HIGH SPEED TWO PHASE ONE INFORMATION PAPER E10: CARBON (Version 1.7, Last updated 23rd February 2017)]

[6.3] Nevertheless, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the construction of the Proposed Scheme are significant, as might be expected from a national level infrastructure scheme. The construction carbon footprint is estimated to range between 5,755,000 tCO2e and 6,125,000 tCO2e[…]

Written by beleben

October 17, 2019 at 11:51 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

The difficultee with Oakervee orthographee

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By the end of the week “we are due to find out the results of the independent Overkee [sic] Review into HS2”, according to a ludicrous article by Mark Casci, of The Yorkshire Post.

'This is our last chance to dispel the myths of the HS2 naysayers - Mark Casci', Yorkshire Post,14 Oct 2019

But is that true? Has it been announced that the Oakervee review “results” are going to be made public this week?

twitter, @MarkCasci, 'This week's column - our last chance to blow the HS2 myths out of the water.'

twitter, @BRCWCo, 'I take it the misspelling of Oakavee was a typo? The rest was well put, not that the stopHS2 muppets will agree, not until it's finished and they can't miss the benefits that is.'

Written by beleben

October 15, 2019 at 10:07 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

Miffing in action

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The HS2 review was the top story on the 6 pm Central ITV News (11 October 2019), for the second evening in a row.

Gareth Owen reports from London on the HS2 review for ITV Central News, 11 Oct 2019

Reporter Gareth Owen attempted to ‘catch up’ with members of the review panel, leaving its last scheduled meeting.

Tony Travers and Stephen Glaister in Westminster for the HS2 review, ITV Central News, 11 Oct 2019

While none of them would give a quote about the meeting, Andy Street, the West Midlands metro mayor, appeared to be in a state of some discontent.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street in London for the HS2 review, ITV Central News, 11 Oct 2019

Written by beleben

October 11, 2019 at 7:54 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics

Toton ist nicht tot

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twitter, @grantshapps, [ITV Central News report on HS2 is] 'Totally untrue, both on timetable and on review outcome which is ongoing.'

Yesterday’s ITV Central News story about the HS2 review is “totally untrue”, both on the timetable and on the outcome, which is ongoing, transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.

Monty Python, dead parrot sketch

Written by beleben

October 11, 2019 at 9:53 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

Ist Toton tot?

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ITV News Central has been told by two sources that the ‘independent review’ into the future of HS2 is expected to present its findings to government ‘next Friday’ (18 October 2019), unless Brexit events intervene.

ITV News Central reporters discuss HS2 on the local evening news show | 10 Oct 2019

ITV News Central reporters discuss HS2 on the local evening news show | 10 Oct 2019

On its 6 pm evening news show (10 October 2019), reporter Mark Gough said he had learned that the phase two eastern leg from Birmingham through to the East Midlands and Yorkshire was “definitely dead”, and the western leg to Manchester was “being downgraded”.

Regarding HS2 phase one, one source had told Mr Gough that London to West Midlands would go ahead but with ‘reduced speeds, so the track is cheaper to build’. But another source had intimated that the recommendation could be that the entire scheme is suspended.

twitter, @HS2ltd (10 Oct 2019), 'The #HS2 East #Midlands Hub station at #Toton will spark a regeneration. It could provide 74,000 new jobs and add an extra £4bn a year to the economy around #Leicester #Nottingham and #Derby. Learn more about this and how journeys will be transformed: (...)'

Written by beleben

October 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Posted in HS2, Politics