Tag Archives: HS2

Opinion: We need HS2 and HS3 to benefit the north

HS2 Distortion 200The government’s support for HS2, despite the critics, has shown a real commitment to providing adequate transport links to sustain the UK and give the North a fairer deal as we head into the mid 21st century. We Lib Dems can be proud to be some of the program’s most enthusiastic and enduring supporters. The announcement yesterday of the creation of Transport for the North and the government’s support for HS3 means the North may finally start to enjoy the benefits of transport investment equivalent to the £17bn Crossrail and £6bn Thameslink that benefit London.This is a project worthy of our support, but there are a few questions to be answered.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

Airport expansion: 73% of Lib Dem members want to see it – but opinion divided on where it should happen

Airport terminalLib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

37% want London airport expansion; 36% want no-London airport expansion; 21% want no airport expansion

There is currently a discussion about how to expand airport capacity in the UK to meet future demand for air travel. Which one of the following do you think is the best option?

11% - Expand Heathrow airport

16% – Expand one or more of the other existing London airports (e.g. London Gatwick, Luton or Stansted)

10% – Build a new airport in the Thames Estuary to the east of London

36% – Expand other UK airports outside of London/the South East

21% – None of these – I would not like to see any expansion of the UK’s airport capacity

6% – Don’t know

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , and | 20 Comments

Opinion: Time for Lib Dems to ditch HS2 for alternative HS1 extension

P1090440With a recent COMRES poll showing 52% of the public are against the current HS2 plans and with 70 seats and 600,000 Lib Dem voters affected, I sat down one day and decided to find a better scheme. One which did unite the north of Britain to London and the South, one which didn’t cost the earth, one with a minimal human impact and one which actually linked up with HS1, Eurostar and the Channel Tunnel – none of the things HS2 can boast off, but all of which an …

photo by: Truthiness
Posted in News | 38 Comments

Two-thirds of Lib Dem members say yes to HS2

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Support for HS2 gathers steam among Lib Dem members

There are plans to build a new high speed rail link (called HS2) between London and Birmingham, and then on to Manchester and Leeds. This is currently expected to cost around £42 billion. Do you support or oppose these plans?

    67% (+12%) – Support
    26% (-5%) – Oppose

Posted in LDV Members poll | 13 Comments

Opinion: The Opportunity Costs of HS2

HS2 Brick WallToday’s publication (pdf) by the Liberal think tank Centre Forum, “Build the infrastructure: bin the wish list”, ought to make every Liberal Democrat stop and think again about the wisdom of spending £50 billion on HS2.

The report concludes that “projects must be prioritised with full consideration of opportunity costs”, saying:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 23 Comments

Susan Kramer: “The whole plan for HS2 has included benefits for Scotland”

Transport Minister Susan Kramer came to Glasgow yesterday to talk about the benefits HS2 will bring to Scotland, even though it’s not as yet planned to come all the way north. It will cut journey times by an hour and bring economic benefit apparently.

She spoke to the BBC here:

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Can Nick Clegg hold the line on not offering any red lines?

For years Lib Dem leaders have been plagued by the question, ‘Who will you support in the event of a hung parliament?’ In 2010, Nick Clegg straight-batted it pretty effectively, saying the Lib Dems would talk first to the party with the most seats and most votes. In 2015 he’ll stick to that trusty formula, with the added credibility of being able to say it’s exactly what he did last time – the voters remain the king-makers etc.

So unsurprisingly journalists have moved on. Their new favourite question, one we’ll hear more and more the close we get to May 2015, …

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Opinion: The National Rail Conference and the strategic case for HS2

HS2The last few months have not been easy for supporters of HS2. Attending a meeting at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester in September I was taken aback at the rising level of opposition to this keynote Coalition Project.

The opportunity therefore to attend the National Rail Conference at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on the day that the Department for Transport published it Strategic Case for HS2 provided an opportunity to hear first-hand why this project was so important.

Though generally supportive for the principle of HS2 as “good for the north” …

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Opinion: HS2 is NOT Lib Dem policy!

The Lib Dem transport strategy “Building a Fast Track Britain” agreed in 2008 is an excellent document which is well worth re-reading. Lib Dem proponents of HS2 constantly refer back to this strategy when declaring their support for the project.

But High Speed Rail (HSR) does not necessarily mean HS2. On the day that the Public Accounts Committee publishes yet another damning indictment of the project, it’s worth making clear that HS2 is certainly NOT in line with Lib Dem transport strategy:-

  • It will not help to reduce carbon emissions. Its ultra-high speed specification will result in much higher emissions than a

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 77 Comments

Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: And now for something else… Childcare, Lobbying and HS2

Last week, Syria dominated. This week Nick Clegg uses his Leader’s letter to promote a just-announced initiative – 15 hours’ free nursery care to children from the poorest families – and defend another two currently under attack: the Transparency and Lobbying bill and HS2. On lobbying, he dismisses as ‘nonsense’ the idea the Government was ever wanting to gag charities and says the Coalition will accept amendments that make this crystal clear. While on HS2 he argues it is vital to increase capacity, and adds it’s just one of many improvements planned to the railways.

libdem letter from nick clegg

A few weeks ago I asked you to let me know what you wanted me to cover in this letter and one message came back more clearly than any other: anything and everything! The winning choice, by far, was “something else” – with suggestions from bees to tax avoidance.

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Opinion: The whole country is talking about HS2, so why aren’t we?

In recent weeks the national media has been full of HS2. A number of prominent politicians have expressed opposition to the scheme, others like George Osborne have rushed to support it, the Institute of Directors members said it should be scrapped, etc etc.

For those of us who have been “in the firing line” of this massive project for over three years already, this national media attention is overdue but very welcome. For far too long, any opposition to HS2 has been brushed off as “nimbyism”, with media images of posh people in grand houses being inconvenienced by a project that would upset their idyllic and privileged existences!

Posted in Op-eds | 54 Comments

Full steam ahead for high speed rail, say 55% of Lib Dem members

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Lib Dem members back HS2 by 55% to 31%

There are plans to build a new high speed rail link (called HS2) between London and Birmingham, and then on to Manchester and Leeds. This is currently expected to cost around £42 billion. Do you support or oppose these plans?

    55% – Support

    31% – Oppose

    13% – Don’t know

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 53 Comments

Norman Baker MP writes…Peter Mandelson is wrong: HS2 is vital

You may have seen earlier this week that Peter Mandelson (the man who gave us the fiasco of the Millennium Dome) came out and questioned the cost of High Speed Rail. I found this particularly rich coming from a key member of the Government which crashed the British economy.

The Government’s plans for High Speed Rail (HS2) come on top of the significant package of investment in our railways that we have already announced which alone represent the biggest investment by any government in the United Kingdom’s rail infrastructure since the 1840s.

HS2 is an absolutely essential investment, not simply because it …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 46 Comments

I apologise for my lack of enthusiasm for HS2. It’s been unavoidably delayed owing to the lack of evidence

HS2‘All aboard!’ exhorts the email I received last night from Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker, hailing his announcement of the Coalition’s plans for Phase Two of Britain’s High Speed Rail Network (aka HS2). I’m afraid, though, I’m going to have to apologise to Norman for the delay in arrival of my goodwill owing to what I suspect is the wrong type of investment on the lines.

HS2, we are told, will cut journey times, help the environment, heal the North-South divide and boost growth. Each of these arguments is less …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 45 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes… Liberal Democrats have convinced other parties about High Speed Rail

Today’s announcement that the Government will go ahead with HS2 is a huge win for the Liberal Democrats, the first UK party to commit itself to a national high speed railway.

Back in 2004 we announced ambitious plans for the UK’s first high speed network. We argued that faster train lines would reduce carbon emissions in the long-term and ensure a reliable train service available to all.

In contrast it took Labour 13 years of Government to announce their commitment to a high speed network, conveniently not in time to actually start doing anything about it. And while the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 28 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes: High Speed Rail no longer the transport of the future, but a logistical imperative

Birmingham in 49 minutes, Leeds in 80, and 45 minutes shaved off the journey to Scotland’s major cities. For some, this is reason enough for the Government’s new High Speed Rail line (HS2) – stretching from London in the South, to Manchester in the North-West and Leeds in the North-East.

Many, including myself, would love to see the line extended all the way up to Scotland, providing a real boost to domestic tourism and sustainable growth.

But in amongst the disputes over cost benefit analyses and NIMBYism, there are some startling figures which remind us why High Speed Rail is vital …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 31 Comments
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    RIP Jeremy Thorpe. Also: http://olddoctorwho.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/five-doctors-doctor-who.jpg
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