Tag Archives: high speed 2

The Independent View: What’s wrong with HS2?

HS2 Brick WallHigh speed 2 easily cleared its first parliamentary hurdle yesterday, with just 34 MPs voting against the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill – 350 voted in favour. Here Penny Gaines argues the case against HS2 is still strong.

High Speed 2 will cost £50bn, including the trains. But it is an environmentally damaging vanity project, with a constantly shifting rationale for building it.

The current argument is that speed is irrelevant for the case for HS2, but that our existing railways are nearly full and the only option is to build a new high speed railway. This argument does not stand up to scrutiny.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | 46 Comments

Vampire railway: High Speed 2 to suck life out of local economies

HS2 Distortion 200The case for High Speed 2 is looking more and more like a Tonka project – a big showy toy that politicians can brag about, but will do little for the UK’s economy. And it is not an equitable project. It is set to damage the economy of areas like east of England and boost London at their expense.

It’s not long since KPMG published a report claiming that the line could boost the economy by £15 billion a year. Now BBC’s Newsnight reports that the KPMG report left out data on those areas that stand to lose out from the project.

In cash terms, the BBC lists Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray  as faring the worst, losing £220m a year by 2037. But local economies are different sizes, so it helps to look at percentages.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 37 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg says High Speed 2 is good for London

Writing in today’s Financial Times, Nick Clegg reasons that HS2 is good for London as well as the north.

He says that the capital’s long-term status as an economic global powerhouse will be threatened if housing and transport infrastructure inside London are not upgraded, and the links to and from the city are not improved. He cites Germany and Japan where good transport links have allowed prosperity to “flow from one part to another”. If we want to keep Britain among the world’s largest economies, Clegg argues, we must find a better way to link London to the rest of the UK.

There are forces who have always opposed doing anything big beyond London. They seem content to see the bubble blow up in the capital without providing any sort of valve for release. It has been going on for years, it has got to change and under this government it is.

Posted in LibLink | 11 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes… High Speed 2: Transforming our national rail network

High speed rail Medway - Some rights reserved by Matt's photostreamIn the two centuries since the Golden Age of British railways, from the opening of the Stockton and Darlington line in 1825, Stephenson’s Rocket and the railway boom of the 1840s, Britain has tumbled from the position of being the envy of the world, to lagging sadly behind. The busiest sections of our old Victorian railways are now struggling to cope as the railways become increasingly popular. As anyone who travels regularly by train as I do will know, the West …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments
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  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 30th Oct - 3:51pm
    Oops ... and of course Paul in Wokingham. Apologies!
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 30th Oct - 3:49pm
    @JohnTilley30th Oct '14 - 12:56pm ** The problem is as Simon Banks points out –“..the social and belief profile of Green supporters is close to...
  • User AvatarRoland 30th Oct - 3:29pm
    Re: will the new HS line use British or European loading gauge? You largely answered this question in the preceding sentence "As the plan is...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 30th Oct - 3:15pm
    Toby Matthews In such a way, a struggling seaside town or Scottish city may face London on equal terms. They will not have the assets...
  • User AvatarStephen Campbell 30th Oct - 3:13pm
    @JohnTilley: I think the time has come for you to leave the Lib Dems and join the Greens! I do find myself agreeing with almost...
  • User AvatarStephen Campbell 30th Oct - 3:08pm
    @Roland: "Hence if the LibDems (or other parties) wish to pick up Green votes, I suggest they need to provide sufficient Green policies to be...