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HS2 Is it necessary at this time?

  bremner 12:20 21 Aug 2019

The government his two review whether we really need HS2 BBC Article

I cannot support a scheme to get some quicker to Manchester or Birmingham, that is likely to cost in excess of £100B at a time when:

  • The NHS and social care, education, policing, fire services, local government etc etc are massively underfunded.
  • The one train line into Cornwall is regularly out of action due to it passing so close to the sea.
  • Many rural communities have broadband that struggles to reach 4Mb

My list could go on and on.

What do you think?

  Pine Man 14:57 21 Aug 2019

Couldn't agree more BUT as of last year over £4.1bn has already been spent and barely a spade in the ground, never mind wheels on tracks!!

  Quickbeam 15:36 21 Aug 2019

On the positive side, a double track rail line uses much less land than a 6 lane motorway, yet we don't bat an eyelid hundreds of miles of motorway scarring the countryside are built.

The 10 minutes average journey saving oft quoted as a wasteful benefit to the wealthy few is big red herring. It'a all about capacity. The existing rail network is the original Victorian network that goes from town centre to town centre. Taking intercity services from this network and onto the new city to city network, frees up lots of town to town capacity for the many as many more local services can then be run on them.

Imagine if all the motorways built over the last half century had never been built and travelling north to south was still a town to town, with a traffic jam in every town along the original route of the A1. Or to travel across the Pennines Leeds to Manchester without the M62 still meant Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Rochdale... That's the situation that the railways are in now.

As for the cost Vs your preferred spending, well... the money so far spent on Brexit would have supplied all that. But that's an even more contentious subject than HS2!

  Quickbeam 15:39 21 Aug 2019

Compared to Brexit, the cost HS2 is a veritable bargain...

  oresome 19:56 21 Aug 2019

It hardly matters to me as it's been over 60 years since I last travelled by train, other than a novelty steam train.

But I take Quickbeam's point that the existing network capacity is reaching saturation and regional services will benefit from HS2.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:38 21 Aug 2019

Old technology out of data now even before its built.

should be putting in a maglev if they want something fast.

  Forum Editor 06:50 22 Aug 2019

Expensive as it will be, I do think we need this service. I regularly travel to Birmingham from London, and I drive. I look at all the cars on the motorway - most of them with just one person inside, and I can't help thinking how less wasteful in terms of energy it would be if those that are going into Birmingham could all be inside high-speed trains.

If we want to be a modern, efficient nation we need a modern, efficient transport infrastructure. Stop building so many roads and invest the money in our rail network.

Another of my regular destinations is Cornwall, where I am at the moment. It takes me five hours to do the drive, and the same amount of time if I use the train, but the train is infinitely more relaxing, and hundreds of us are all in the same vehicle - it has to be a better way of going.

  Quickbeam 07:23 22 Aug 2019

"I look at all the cars on the motorway - most of them with just one person inside, and I can't help thinking how less wasteful in terms of energy..."

As we start to take resources and CO2 emissions more seriously, that is also a good reason to finish the project. But it sounds like the review that was announced is just the softening up phase of the cancellation announcment.

Listening to various pro HS2 business leaders yesterday, they are very much in favour of it. Considering that the current Victorian network is getting on for 200 years old, as a long term investment, it is actually good value for money.

Also listening to Tim Farron who is furious over the likely cancellation, he points out that this sort of infrastructure cost would not raise an eyelid if it was for a Londoncentric project and that if is probably being used to pay for the cost of Brexit (Can't seem to separate that from anything lately).

When the Victorian network was built, Britain wasn't anything like as built up as today's countryside which is the reason for it being so much more costly than 200 years ago before the great urban industrial development. If we want a transport infrastructure to take us through the next 200 years into the 22nd century, we need to finish this project and not be short sighted.

  oresome 11:17 22 Aug 2019

As a previous poster has pointed out, we seem to be stuck with old technology and it's hard to believe that we can continue using the limitations imposed by this for the next couple of hundred years and it remaining fit for purpose.

Freight traffic is mostly done by road now as rail can't match the efficiency of road transport.

Shaving time off a long distance journey is achieved partly at the expense of fewer intermediate stops, meaning that many passengers will have to travel further by other means to get to a relevant station which rather negates the time saving for them.

From a purely selfish point of view, I have large fixed costs with car ownership whether I use it or not so would be reluctant to leave it on the drive and spend further money on train tickets, taxi fares and hire cars unless of course parking was impossible at my destination.

  HondaMan 12:14 22 Aug 2019

In answer to the question: Absolutely not!

  Quickbeam 14:55 22 Aug 2019

So we should regress...

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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