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Campaigners insist HS2 must be axed rather than re-routed

A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line

A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line

Campaigners have reiterated their belief that the fight should be against HS2 rather than attempting to get the route changed.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant recently pledged to battle the scheme if he couldn’t get the line moved.

But Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin believes moving the route shouldn’t be an option.

“There have been a lot of politicians saying ‘trust us, we can move the route’ or ‘we can get a station’,” he said. “Well, the people they represent need to wake up, this simply isn’t going to happen and those politicians are ignoring the fact that this is a bad plan which had been badly thought-out and badly implemented.

“HS2 is a vanity project the country wouldn’t need even if it wasn’t bust.

“It is simply immoral to be saying that the route should be moved and made to be someone else’s problem when all the evidence shows the project should be stopped, full stop.”

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9 Comments

  1. Darryl

    26th April, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I’m with Stop HS2 on this one. HS2 is like a bad joke, 32 billion is an astonishing amount of money to spend shaving minutes off journeys to London.

    This money, if it actually existed, could be far better spent investing in the UK social housing market and on our much neglected road network.

  2. Colin Noble

    26th April, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The current estimate of 36 billion equates to £569 for every man, woman, and child in the UK. This is while hospitals are closing because of lack of funding….

  3. Jane

    26th April, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The cost of HS2 is now £41 billion. £32 billion buys the line – but no trains!

  4. NT

    28th April, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I live very close to the proposed route, and I am quite in favour of HS2, on one provision: that the ticket prices are ‘affordable’.

    The main issue with our current rail network is capacity, and the fact that it becomes extremely difficult to upgrade the infrastructure when the network is so heavily utilised. The need to stop more frequently and spend longer cramming more people onto the trains (again limited in size and frequency due to network useage) reduces average journey speed and extends journey times, including times for connections.

    Extra capacity will free up space, which could ultimately move freight from the roads onto rails or, could be used to provide faster, more frequent passenger journeys.

    Yes, it is expecnsive. But so was the tube network when it was built. Or the sewers. Or any of the main infrstructure systems on which we now rely. Electrification of the existing rail network would also be expensive (which is why it hasn’t yet been undertaken, along with difficulty of doing this whilse keeping the trains running), but will also ultimately be important to de-carbonise our economy. At the very least, it will create work whilst being built.

    I spend ‘an hour’ commuting to work each way. If, in that hour and for reasonable cost, I can reach a greater area of the country, then my job opportunities and flexibility have just improved. Why isn’t that a good thing?

  5. Colin Noble

    28th April, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    In reponse to NT.It will suit you if you live near one of the proposed stations.
    Where I live is five minutes walk to the proposed line, but an hours drive to the nearest station, Birmingham.The time savings quoted will only benefit people who live near the stations.I can’t think of anywhere in Staffordshire that falls into that criteria.

  6. NT

    28th April, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Colin, there is something to be said for the greater good – my nearest station would also be Birmingham, which is about 40mins’ drive (longer in rush hour). It is also likely that, were I to use HS2 for commuting, I would also need to allow journey time at the other end as well (my places of work tend to be out-of-town and inconvenient to get to by public transport). But it may still increase my commutable range within a given time constraint. And there will be others who live closer to a station (at one end or the other) for whom it is more convenient.

    It will certainly be used by tourists to move around and see more of the country than they would otherwise get access to, which will bring economic benefits to the regions outside of London. This is a long-term investment for the future, and there will always be more immediate, short-term, needs for investment. This does not make them more important.

    It is lack of foresight that lead to our nation’s over-dependence on financial services for economic growth, while Germany became an industrial powerhouse. It is lack of foresight that lead to under-investment in the national infrastructure which lead to our current rail system, which most people are unhappy with, and which lags badly behind those of other insutrialised nations. Let’s not forget that the dilapidated state of the permanent way was a contributing factor to the Hatfield disaster.

    Let’s grasp the nettle, if not for our own benefit, then for the benefit of future generations as our population continues to grow.

  7. Eddie

    28th April, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Well said NT! Thank you! :)

  8. Jozef Nakielski

    28th April, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    “Extra capacity will free up space, which could ultimately move freight from the roads onto rails or, could be used to provide faster, more frequent passenger journeys.”

    I think you’ll find that freight capacity already exists, it isn’t financially viable for train operators to put the trains on and therefore isn’t financially economical for companies to invest in transporting by rail. Any increase in paths would only be on the existing lines as freight wouldn’t be allowed on HS2. Most freight is pathed mid day off peak or at night off peak on existing rails. So the freight argument is dead.

    On tourists, I’m not sure where you think these tourists are going? Where are they going to ? Birmingham, Leeds? I wasn’t aware They had a major tourism trade . Or are we building HS2 to feed tourists to what is likely to be another country by the time it gets built?

    Germany is In a better financial position because as most of their railways are state owned private companies and Germany didn’t invest in banks for its future, it built a decent education system and produced clever people who make things. Hatfield was poor maintenance because of a system that allows sub sub sub subs sub contractors to skimp to save money and to avoid being fined for disrupting trains. Despite funding not being there for BR it was a significantly safer set up because there were less people in the repair chain. Even now turn outs in cuttings can be left longer than should because of short staffing. Twist faults and wet beds get left far longer than they should be before they’re repaired.

    for the benefit of future generations as our population continues to grow lets not waste 41 million on a train set for rich business men and bankers, lets invest it in infrastructure that will benefit all of us

  9. Jozef Nakielski

    28th April, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Billion, not a word I write often unless i’m discussing the deficit that this government has maintained for Labour whilst they’re out of the office .