What a surprise that a selection of MPs with an interest in Transport, support a transport scheme!!
What a surprise that many of the MPs hail from the North West and Glasgow so believe that HS2 may benefit their area!!
OK maybe not.
Actually the biggest surprise of all is the fact that these supposed experts with the influence to make sure Britain has the right transport strategy at the right cost at the right time have utterly failed to have the conviction to truly challenge the HS2 project that remains a White Elephant.
Despite their tenative support for the project they widely criticise it – in their own words (pretty much):
It does not link to wider rail and aviation policy – high speed fail number one
Costs to communities have not been included in the business case – high speed fail number two
HS2 carbon claims do not stand up to scrutiny (this is critical!) – high speed fail number three
Time saving benefits not universally accepted (we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if a train gets you somewhere quicker, you’ll get up later or get home earlier, not necessarily work more hours, never mind the fact that people work on the move anyway – simples!) – high speed fail number four
Concerns about patterns of service (basically HS2 propose 18 trains an hour each way, this is not physically possible. This is probably the number of tickets needed to be sold to make it work) – high speed fail number five
The route may be wrong (we already know it is not the route recommended by the Engineers behind the scheme, or the route now supported by Labour) – high speed fail number six
So, a high speed train that may be following the wrong route, less frequently than the public have been led to believe, with hidden costs to the tax payer (for mitigation etc.), that is not as environmentally friendly as suggested and doesn’t yield the benefits economically or in terms of a business-case promised – gets the support of the Transport Select Committee. Interesting!
That does not even tap into the fact that this future rail project that is supposed to bring Britain into the 21st Century uses outdated technology.
The TSC comment on the risk to the countryside, a critical fact but fail to talk about the degeneration that many densely populated areas face, particularly Hillingdon. Councils that have let areas of their boroughs become a disaster area, grab at tax-payers money for regeneration at the expense of neighbouring towns that are decent places to live right now.
They have pointed out that campaigners should not be called NIMBYs – maybe because many of the massive flaws they have highlighted are the exact same things we have said all along! We just noticed them earlier!!
They said that both sides should show more respect for each other. Well the government have colluded and hob-nobbed with lobbyists for high speed rail who used the exact words “their lawns or our jobs”, whilst not taking one effective step to allay the fear and anxiety having such a project literally in your backyard or childrens’ school creates. 4000 people in Ruislip turned up to a roadshow to find out more about the scheme and most said they were disgusted at the lack of information, detail and transparency available to those most affected by this project.
Campaigners are just fighting for basic rights, to have homes they can sell if they want to, to have life choices (to move on retirement or for schools), to be able to believe their communities are not being destroyed for a vanity project, to be visited by Ministers and HS2 officials, to have a meaningful consultation and the right mitigation and fair compensation. All still lacking!
The TSC have failed to take the bull by the horns and admit what a mess this is, they have possibly failed to understand future capacity arguments and population forecasts. In grabbing at a possible set of POTENTIAL benefits that MIGHT make a difference – they are backing the gamble with a £32 billion pot of tax-payers money. Your money!