What is the point of HS2 again?

  • There’s a political consensus on bringing northern industrial cities such as Leeds and Manchester closer to London via speedier trains. Our clever leaders will do this by building a line from the west midlands to a west London industrial estate.
  • This political consensus agrees on an urgent need to revitalise the northern industrial cities. Our intellectual masters will do this be linking them to HS2 in over 20 years time. Meanwhile, Leeds still can’t have it’s urban transit system and Newcastle still hasn’t even got a proper motorway link yet.
  • The political consensus also agrees on the need to rebalance the UK economic geography and encourage financial services to move north. The brainboxes hope to achieve this by proposing “Canary Wharf 2” in west London.
  • The political consensus recognises the urgent need to create more jobs. Fine and that is a worthy goal. But not if you’re unfortunate to be undereducated, underskilled and living around the Old Oak Common and Euston regeneration areas – because you probably won’t get a job (the DfT’s own documents stated that). Oh and don’t forget if you live in one of the northern cities 70% of the jobs will be in London anyway. All tax-payers will suffer from slashed government spending in almost every other public sector, saving money now to pay later for that railway.
  • The political consensus talks about the importance of integrated transport solutions. They’ve been talking about this for a long time. But the masterminds now ignore a logical route past the under-utilised and well-placed London Luton Airport with tunnelling into central London – or even to Stratford with its immediate European connection and high speed station. Instead the geniuses want to head out west to link with the overdeveloped and crowded Heathrow – but then stupidly manage to miss it by several miles. Nevermind, they say, the Heathrow link will appear later somehow, sometime – but at the moment the integrated solution can’t say when, or how, or the cost.
  • We haven’t even mentioned the plans flying around for Boris Island in the Thames Estuary and the Heathwick idea yet – but we do know David Cameron is launching a public consultation on sustainable aviation in March, a year after the HS2 (a.k.a. the most expensive airport shuttle in the world) consultation was started and 2 months after the outcome of that was announced.
  • Integrated, sustainable, joined-up, they don’t know the meaning of the words!!
  • The political consensus is clearly made up of reckless idiots who have fallen for the spin of lobbyists who use unrelated figures to sell the scheme.

It’s amazing how many people are only now beginning to realise how they could be affected, so passing on useful and accurate information, and gaining more support, is still very important. We are pleased to note that the local MPs have been out and about, and this is greatly appreciated. We will be holding a support event in a few weeks – keep your eyes peeled for more information.

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