Buying Votes With A Railway
A high-speed rail line from London to Scotland will cut through swathes of protected countryside under plans to be handed to ministers this week.
The route of the £60 billion 250mph line, the biggest rail project in Britain since 1899, has been planned to within about 25 yards. It will cut journey times from London to Manchester by a third and bring the construction of the first new terminus in London for more than 100 years.
Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, believes it will herald an end to domestic flights and the carbon savings and environmental benefits will make it “manifestly in the public interest”. He said last week that the high-speed rail network would be an important feature of Labour’s election manifesto.
I'm surprised we need to build a new line as there seems to be plenty of old ones that could be upgraded...
This proposal is being presented by High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd a "company set up by the Government to consider the case for new high speed rail services between London and Scotland."
No bias there then. Because as any fule knows "Very much against public and political sentiment roads managed to avoid congestion would offer 3 to 4 times the capacity to move freight and people at one quarter the cost of rail while using 20% to 25% less energy and reducing casualty costs suffered by rail passengers by a factor of 2."
A quick google of green groups finds many acknowledging the cradle to grave costs of rail means it is in the same ballpark as coaches, and that is without the building of a new track.
Luckily HS2 has set up "Challenge" panels to check on their proposals:
Strategic Challenge Panel provides strategic challenge and an independent perspective on how HS2 develops proposals for a new railway line from London to the West Midlands and potentially beyond.
Expert Panel Members:
Kate Barker CBE – Monetary Policy Committee Member, Bank of England
Prof. David Begg – Chair of the Northern Way Transport Compact (RDA Quango)
Richard Brown CBE – Chief Executive, Eurostar
Tony Collins – Chief Executive, Virgin Trains
Iain Coucher – Chief Executive, Network Rail
Stephen Joseph OBE – Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport (Fakecharity - largely funded by Dept of Transport)
David Leeder – Vice Chair, Commission for Integrated Transport (Dept of Transport Body)
Sir Michael Lyons – Chairman of the BBC Trust
Anthony Smith – Chief Executive, Passenger Focus (Dept of Transport Body)
Tony Travers – Director, Greater London Group, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Can you spot any theme about these independent challengers who will be challenging as to whether it is a good idea for the Government to spend huge amounts of taxpayers money on a new railway to the north? Your money is safe in their hands.