Tag Archives: high-speed rail

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

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

Danny Alexander MP writes… Investing in Britain’s future


Video by hmtreasuryuk on YouTube.

Yesterday, we set out a Spending Round that delivers Liberal Democrat priorities on investment and improving our public services while making responsible choices to deal with the financial problems Labour left us. It demonstrated that the Liberal Democrats will remain firm in our commitment to tackling the deficit, but fair in the way we go about it. Our number one priority in Government has been to fix the economic mess we inherited from Labour.

Today I have set out how we will invest in our country’s economic future by creating balanced growth and delivering lasting prosperity. I have announced the most comprehensive, ambitious and long-lasting capital investment plans this country has ever known.
In doing so we are putting long term priorities before short term political pressures and we are ending the culture of short-termism that plagued so many of our predecessors.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 22 Comments

Major railway modernisation announced

From the BBC:

A £9.4bn package of investment in the railways in England and Wales, including £4.2bn of new schemes, has been unveiled by the government.

The plans include electrification of the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Liberal Democrat members support proposed changes to planning rules, just

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 550 party members responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Our latest survey of party members finds a small majority backing the government’s controversial plans for the planning system in England. By a margin of 48% – 39% Liberal Democrat members in the survey supported the scheme to cut central control over planning but also introduce a presumption in favour of development if plans are sustainable and in line with local policies.

However, …

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: an easy £25 billion to cut

I’m sorry I couldn’t join you at Liverpool, but my absence hopefully left more of the wine lake provided by our generous sponsors for the rest of you. As ‘cuts’ were in the air and in your conversations. I’d like to suggest an easy one.

HS2. Or High Speed (Rail) 2 to give its full title. The proposed new high speed rail link from London past Birmingham to the great cities of the North, such as Leeds. I’m told it may go near somewhere called Manchester as well on its way to Scotland.

Now I am no engineer. If the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 68 Comments

Opinion: railing against the direction of policy

The media are constantly looking for signs of policy splits within the Coalition. Across policy fields – the economy, welfare, housing, defence – the search is on for contradictions and conflicts, whether real, manufactured or imagined. While many of the stories have been given an airing here, one that passed relatively unnoticed was last week’s discussion of rail fares.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond hinted that the current fiscal situation is so severe that it may be necessary to re-examine the formula restricting regulated rail fares to increases of no more than RPI+1%. The suggestion was that this might increase

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

The coalition agreement: transport & universities and further education

Welcome to the twentieth and last (phew!) in a series of posts going through the full coalition agreement section by section. You can read the full coalition document here.

Traditionally the transport sections of party manifestos contain commitments to various expensive, long-term public expenditure projects. In the current financial climate it is no surprise that the coalition agreement’s transport section is rather heavy on matters of regulation and bureaucracy and rather light on directly spending money to improve transport.

So we have a promise to “make Network Rail more accountable to its customers”, a commitment to “fair pricing for rail travel”, a …

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Daily View 2×2: 11 March 2010

Good morning, and welcome to Daily View.

Today is notable as the day before LDV’s fascinating fringe event on how to make authoritarian MPs pay at the ballot box – do join us tomorrow in Birmingham to find out how.

302 years ago today, Queen Anne was the last British monarch to withhold Royal Assent from a bill of Parliament.

In 1864, Sheffield saw a Great Flood when a dam under construction burst. The ensuing inundation wrecked a number of bridges, destroyed 800 houses and killed 270 people.

People born on March 11th include Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Harold Wilson and Douglas Adams; and deaths include Alexander Fleming, John Wyndham and Slobodan Milošević.

2 Big Stories

Parties battle over high speed rail

Will Labour’s Y or the Conservative Reverse-S win the day? Find out in The Times

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Opinion: Opposition is only half the fight – we must spell out our plan for Heathrow

What follows is very much not dissent in the ranks or any kind of support for a third runway at Heathrow – if for no other reason than I don’t want to give John McDonnell any excuse to start wielding the Mace again. I fully support and agree with the Lib Dem campaign being ably led by Susan Kramer and Norman Baker against blighting south-west London and surrounding areas with yet more noise, pollution and congestion.

But the Government has now announced its decision on a new runway and Terminal 6 and, while I hope we will be able to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments
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