Debate Magazine

This Would Have Sounded More Plausible If They'd Mentioned It Five Or Ten Years Ago...

Posted on the 28 January 2020 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From Midlands Connect:
* Revealed for the first time, 73 stations on the existing rail network stand to benefit from improved passenger services as a direct result of the capacity released by HS2, including 54 stations with no direct HS2 services;
* Evidence submitted to the Oakervee HS2 Review by Midlands Connect;
* High speed line will take long-distance rail journeys off the existing network, providing capacity for new routes, as well as faster and more frequent local and inter-regional services;

And so on and so forth (they seem to be repeating the same basic argument over and over).
Quite clearly, HS2 was never about improving the London-Birmingham connection, which was absolutely fine. Trains every 20 or 30 minutes, sub-2 hour journey time and a reasonable ticket price (compared to some routes on English railways).
Somebody calculated that even at the original £20 - £30 billion estimate (ha!), it would be cheaper to demolish Birmigham and just rebuild it half an hour closer to London on the existing line.
Hooray for local public transport and local passenger trains, of course. If they had advanced this as their original reason for building HS2, people might have bought it, but to suddenly "reveal for the first time" at this late stage in the game seems a bit desperate.
This all reminds me of the reasons trotted out for introducing ID-cards, every few months they'd think up a new one to see if any of them stuck. None did, and the scheme was quietly shelved.

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