4 November 2018 – today’s press releases

Naturally, Brexit again dominates the news, but there is at least comment on the increasing problems with HS2…

Best deal for UK is what we already have

Responding to reports in today’s Sunday Times that Theresa May has negotiated a deal with the EU that would see the UK remain in the Customs Union, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The deal the PM seems to have secured will leave us rule takers not rule makers.

It is time she conceded that the best deal we will get is the one we already have: in the customs union, in the single market and in the EU.

The PM must accept the growing calls around the country to put this to a People’s Vote and provide an option to remain on the ballot paper.

HS2 another line chalked on Grayling’s CV of failure

Responding to today’s Telegraph story carrying Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s admission that the second phase (Birmingham to Leeds) of HS2 may never be built, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Baroness Randerson said:

This is another line chalked up on Grayling’s CV of failure.

If HS2 turns out to be just a way of making Birmingham a suburb of London because it can be reached in 30 minutes, it will have fundamentally distorted the purpose of the project.

This Conservative Government are dragging prosperity from the north rather than increasing it and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

Banks represents culture of dodgy deals amongst Brexit campaigners

Responding to Aaron Banks’ comments about financial contributions to Leave.EU, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Aaron Banks’ performance on Marr this morning was nothing short of remarkable. His evasive approach to questions highlights the culture of dodgy deals in the Brexiters’ campaign. The campaign to leave the EU was jam packed full of lies, deceit and allegations of much worse.

Even Banks has admitted that Brexit was a mistake, stating that the shambles we are in now shows we would be better off staying in the EU.

People should not have to accept this mess. The Conservatives must give the people the final say on Brexit and a chance to remain in the EU.

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21 Comments

  • David Becket 4th Nov '18 - 10:52pm

    One of the major mistakes the Lib Dems have made is to support this expensive vanity project HS2.

    Yes we need more capacity, yes the North needs better rail connections, yes we need a direct line from the north west to St Pancras, but we do not need to spend a small fortune, and damage the environment, to cut the journey time, station to station, from Manchester to London by 1 hour. Who travels Station to Station, by the time the final destination is reached the % reduction in journey time is much less impressive.

    Let us spend the money wisely, improve rail travel throughout the country and forget about expanding the London commuter belt to the midlands and the north.

    Come on Lib Dems, play your environmental card.

  • John Marriott 5th Nov '18 - 8:06am

    HS2 no, HS3 YES! And let’s have some decent trains in the East Midlands as well!

  • High Speed Rail should have been undertaken 20 – 30 years ago, but as with so much in this countries psyche, we have been too slow and dragged our feet, fracking is another.
    We are our own worst enemy.

  • nvelope2003 5th Nov '18 - 10:43am

    David Beckett: The majority of passengers who use trains travel to and from London – up to 70 % Building HS2 between London and Birmingham only would be wasting an opportunity as most people do like faster journey times although personally I think the money should be spent on upgrading the whole system which is plagued by problems like signal failures which is the responsibility of the Government’s Network Rail.
    As most travel is by road because it is door to door the majority of voters probably would not care what the Liberal Democrats think unless they supported better roads. Politicians are unpopular because they are seen to be promoting schemes which will benefit their own kind, often at the expense of the needs of ordinary people. Why don’t the Liberal Democrats promote policies which are popular. That is how they won the 1906 election, although perhaps not adopting the tone of some of its propaganda.

  • Laurence Cox 5th Nov '18 - 12:50pm

    HS2 was always an idiotic idea from the time that TPTB decided that it wasn’t necessary to link it to HS1 and thence to the Continent. You can travel from St Pancras to Marseille direct because the French thoughtfully decided to have a high-speed line that by-passed Paris, stopping at Charles-de-Gaulle and Marne-la-Vallee on the way.

    Now that even the Tories have admitted that the second stage of it from Birmingham to Leeds will never be built, it is time for our Party to demand that the first stage is also scrapped; there is no sense in throwing good money after bad.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 5th Nov '18 - 2:44pm

    A strong yes to colleagues.

    HS2 is the type of thing Tories should not support, but Labour would. Same with fracking.

    When you think about it, they are not about conserving but changing.

    There is a sort of Conservation oriented conservatism, as a philosophy, that can be about local rather than central government, keeping rather than trashing, small is beautiful, not big is best. All these can be from Conservatives, but aren’t. Each is in tune with Liberalism.

    There is much scope for a return for these values.

    Funnily enough, Peter Hitchens would agree, in a sense, as a nostalgic proponent of a conservatism of community.Yes he who favours public ownership of rail.

  • jaynemansfield 5th Nov '18 - 5:13pm

    I thought I felt an exotic spasm. Something to to welcomed when one reaches one’s seventies.

    Then to my disappointment, I was told that it was just a minor earthquake in the area that I was visiting- the cause of the earth moving for me.

    Friends in North Yorkshire, a Conservative area, are out in force at every protest.

    It would be good if those who criticised Labour, actually knew what is and isn’t supported by the party, and the rationale, rather than squealing ‘Momentum ‘ at every opportunity.

  • nvelope2003 5th Nov '18 - 5:31pm

    Laurence Cox: How many people would want to travel from Manchester or Leeds to Paris or Marseilles by train ? When Eurostar started from the Waterloo terminal there were trains from various parts of Britain into Waterloo to connect but they carried hardly any passengers, as I observed, and were soon withdrawn. The idea that trains are more environmentally friendly than planes is debatable. People would not use the traditional trains as they are too slow and if high speed lines are built the work and high levels of maintenance required would create huge environmental damage, destruction of property and historic buildings etc. Planes do not need thousands of miles of steel rails to be laid and maintained and are quicker in most cases.

    Lorenzo Cherin: The idea that the Government should operate anything, even railways, goes against all our experience of state involvement in industry.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 5th Nov '18 - 5:58pm

    A rock and a hard place, people do not like to actually enter the mind of others it seems!

    David, I did not say the Labour party does support fracking, I said would” in the sense that top down big government supposed progressives are the types to, I can picture Soviet types loving it! Why not read into what I said.

    nveloppe, likewise, the notion that conserving the best of community is in keeping, pun intended, with the self same . owning rail, Macmillan, The Middle Way, not David and his against the middle of the road!

    There is scope for conserving and maintaining a community spirit, with and instead of merely the market force.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 5th Nov '18 - 6:04pm

    Jayne

    Perhaps rather like colleagues here,you read my response, I am aware of the Labour policy, don not know if you are aware of the Labour council group in toke that voted down a motion that condemns the massacre against the Jewish community in Pitsburgh, not the party some like to think it is, but then, maybe I read and think too much, and am too concerned with what is rather than what you and others like to think it is, even though here you thought that of me, Labour and fracking.

  • Laurence Cox 5th Nov '18 - 6:16pm

    @nvelope2003

    False thinking. It’s not just for the people who want to travel from Leeds or Manchester to Marseille; it’s that it also stops at Lyon and Avignon so gives access to the entire south of France from Nice and Cannes to Montpelier and Perpignan using the network of French TGVs. At around 7 hours to the Mediterranean it’s not much slower than flying when you add in the time to get from the centre of London to any of the airports, the 2 hour minimum for check-in, the time to collect your baggage at the other end and the travel time from the airport to the town centre. And, of course, there are no baggage limitations unlike flying.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Nov '18 - 12:07am

    David

    As you never see the bad in them, that is absurd, did you read what the comment made says, about Stoke , and antisemitism not something they can even condemn.

    It does not mean you are bad to ofracking. It does to not condemn the massacre Pitsburgh.

  • Alex Macfie 6th Nov '18 - 6:18am

    @nvelope2003: “How many people would want to travel from Manchester or Leeds to Paris or Marseilles by train ? When Eurostar started from the Waterloo terminal there were trains from various parts of Britain into Waterloo to connect but they carried hardly any passengers”
    This is because they (i) were poorly promoted, and (ii) couldn’t be used by UK domestic passengers.

  • nvelope2003 6th Nov '18 - 5:39pm

    Alex Macfie: There were already trains to London stations for domestic passengers. The fact is that few people used the trains to the Waterloo Eurostar Terminal which has stood virtually unused for many years despite plans to use it for domestic services. A costly White Elephant.

  • Alex Macfie 6th Nov '18 - 7:06pm

    nvelope2003: That’s not the point. Any passenger train service works best as an integral part of a rail network. By running the trains exclusively for connecting Eurostar passengers via Waterloo, they missed out on a highly lucrative source of revenue that would undoubtedly have made them much more economically viable. It’s the same situation with international cross-Channel trains to carry domestic passengers when operating in the UK. One big advantage of a train service over a plane is that the train can pick up and set down passengers at many points en route, while most flights are one-stop services (due to the high cost of take-off and landing). Allowing international cross-channel trains to carry domestic UK passengers would enable trains to France from a much wider range of places than just London and Kent.

    Another reason the connecting trains failed was they ran extremely slowly in West and Southwest London, as they ran on non-dedicated track and so had to compete for paths with freight and all-stop commuter trains. If you wanted to connect with a France-bound train starting from, say, Manchester, it was quicker to take a standard domestic train and then Underground than to use the Eurostar connecting service. So most people travelling from the provinces by train to mainland Europe would have used the standard domestic trains to get to Waterloo.

  • nvelope2003 7th Nov '18 - 12:38pm

    Alex Macfie: Well it is the point. Allowing domestic passengers to use the trains to Waterloo International would have abstracted from existing services but as you say they were very slow then not many people would have used them. I suspect that Eurostar would carry domestic passengers in the UK but it is not allowed for security reasons. Passengers can use these trains in France but there have to be checks to ensure that they do not stay on them until they reach the UK. We live in the era of terrorism and illegal immigration and we are not in the Schengen area and might soon be outside the EU so what you suggest would be impractical though desirable.

  • Alex Macfie 7th Nov '18 - 3:48pm

    nvelope2003: No, you still miss the point. The sensible way to run the connecting trains to Waterloo International would have been to integrate them into the National Rail ticketing structure so that they could be used by domestic passengers exactly as any other train that ran between the stations that they served. That is how it is supposed to work in an integrated rail network. The service from South Wales to Waterloo via Salisbury was run this way (I used it many times), and it still survives, although truncated to Bristol due to franchise reorganisation in around 2005.
    The fact that there were already domestic train services is beside the point — these could have been reorganised if necessary to the Waterloo services into the timetable, the same as happens when any new train service is introduced.
    A train service that is for the exclusive use of passengers connecting to another service seems a rather strange idea anyway, and not the most efficient use of a rail infrastructure, as it is throwing away opportunities to obtain revenue by filling otherwise empty seats. Manchester to Paris and Manchester to London are not discrete routes on the railways as they are when flying, because London is on the way.
    The lack of patronage of the Eurostar connecting services to Waterloo was not due to inherent lack of demand for train travel from the provinces to mainland Europe; it was because the service was poorly thought through.

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