Saturday, 9 October 2010

"Rail plan is not up to speed so Y bother?"

A short but pithy report appeared in today's Daily Telegraph. I am greatly encouraged by the fact that one of our 'heavyweight' newspapers is taking an interest in what is potentially a huge and useless waste of public money - the so-called 'High Speed 2' - the plan by Tory Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to impose higher speed rail services on many areas that don't want them and, more importantly, won't use them. The expected cost is colossal. I battled along these lines during the election. I wish that the DT had cottoned on sooner. Here is the report:

"Rail plan is not up to speed so Y bother? 

Therapy comes in many guises. Over at the transport department, they’re trying art classes to take their minds off the spending cuts.

They involve drawing lines on a map of Britain and calling it the route for High Speed 2 – the £33bn rail link to zip passengers from London to Leeds and Manchester at 250mph.

This week, Tory Transport Secretary Philip Hammond came up with a stunning 'Y’ shape. Even allowing for the fun of blighting homes in the Sheffield constituency of LibDem leader Nick Clegg, you wonder Y he’s bothering.

The obvious question, given our £149bn deficit, is why would anyone want to go to Leeds or Manchester any faster?

Then there’s the cost. A taxi from London to Leeds costs £430. You could buy a lot of those for £33bn. High Speed 1 cost £5.7bn to build and is now being sold for about £2bn.

Such fun, this fantasy railway lark. Toot toot."

My own comment follows - and appears on-line at:

Do we need this project at all? As I understand it, the cost for the link from London to Birmingham alone is £17 billions. I also understand that a traveller from London to Birmingham can expect to get to Birmingham in half an hour less than at present. Is the expense and the disruption worth this trifling 'gain'? I think not. I also think that, excepting the putative traveller from London to Birmingham, there will be few in the remainder of the country who will either benefit or want to pick up the tab. I live in rural Cambridgeshire. If I want to go to Birmingham, I go by car. I would never in a million years go by train. It's time for us taxpayers to take an interest in this thing that was left over from Labour. There is nothing worthwhile in it for the vast majority of us. We must stop it altogether.

I have just found this and I am so pleased that somebody is taking action. I ask my friends to sign the petition, please. Here is the link:

And I have also found an anti-HS2 poster.

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