The report's authors scorn claims that the north-south divide will be bridged and say that this is not borne out by any evidence.The report catalogues "a long list of errors and dubious assumptions in the government's analysis", according to Chris Castles, who also accused the 'pro' lobby or using "vague rhetoric, obfuscation and abuse." You have to wonder, at a time when the UK is so short of money, why the government is pressing ahead with a scheme so clearly unpopular, which is going to cost billions of pounds that the country doesn't have.
Saturday 30 July 2011
STAND BY FOR YET ANOTHER U TURN: THIS TIME BY THE TRAINS
It's a while since we had a full blown U-turn from the London lot, but after reading an article in the Daily Telegraph on the new English high speed train link from London to Birmingham, then on to Leeds and Manchester (what they call bridging the North-South divide!!), I think I can see that Mr Hammond will not be long in providing us with much merriment.
The scheme has been criticised by just about everyone and every organisation in England. Natural England, the Forestry Commission for England, English Heritage and the 13 councils running areas the length of the route from London to Birmingham (the first stage, due to cost £17 billion) have condemned it.
It is being described as deeply flawed, distorted and based on false premise and accused of ruining ancient forests, spoiling habitat and even endangering the water supply.
MPs of the constituencies along the route, including cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan, the deputy chief whip, a Foreign Office minister and a Cabinet Office minister have also criticised the plans, which, given its unpopularity in these constituencies, is not unexpected. The Presiding officer, John Bercow's constituency is also affected and the London Mayor has slated the project because of the bottle neck it will cause outside Euston Station, its London terminal.
A report for the "51M" group of local authorities along the London-Birmingham stretch, written by two leading transport economists, Chris Castles and David Parish, concludes that none of the government's claims on behalf of HS2 stack up.
Capacity on the existing West Coast Main Line, the main alternative to HS2, could easily be tripled, they argue, while building HS2 will lead to major disruption" and will overload the transport system all around Euston, the line's London terminus.
After all, when all this money has been spent, it will only take 15 minutes off the journey from London to Birmingham... Someone, somewhere must be getting something from this. It's certainly not the public.
Does anyone know if there is to be a Barnet consequential for this project?