Tuesday 11 February 2020

No case for HS2

I suppose that, now the Johnson government has engineered for itself an 80 seat majority, we shall have to get used to fuming with impotence as it imposes wrong decisions on us.

HS2 is a case in point.  Given the enormous urgency of climate change, why on earth are we still toying (if a cost of £100bn+ can be called toying) with high speed vanity projects to whizz the wealthy hither and thither?  HS2, along with the expansion  of Heathrow, and Leeds and Bradford airports, should be off the agenda.  We really do have to shift our priorities.

Specific to HS2, at least one alternative project, by railway experts Quentin Macdonald and Colin Elliff, offers far better connectivity at a fraction of both the environmental and monetary costs. It is called HSUK. Details of the scheme can be found here http://www.highspeeduk.co.uk/
 If you're not convinced,Christian Woolmer, sometime aspirant Labour candidate for the mayoralty of London and a another well- informed railway-buff, has a highly critical article in the London Review of Books which is well worth a read. Find it at  http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/christian-wolmar/whats-the-point-of-hs2

My own inexpert opinion is that HS2, if it goes ahead, is more likely to suck enterprise out of our region  to London, rather than energise the Northern Powerhouse. 

There is just a hope that some of the new Conservative MPs  elected to represent Labour's former heartlands will flex their  muscles and give the scheme the thumbs down.

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