HS2 'is out of control' say opponents

Messenger Newspapers: HS2 'is out of control' say opponents HS2 'is out of control' say opponents

OPPONENTS of the planned HS2 line, which would cut through parts of Trafford, have hit out at plans to appoint a ‘Minister for HS2’.

HS2 plans would also see a new station built at Manchester Airport before the line terminates in central Manchester.

But Richard Houghton of HS2 opposition group HS2 Action Alliance, said: "The only thing high speed about a Minister for HS2 would be the pace at which his or her career would be shunted into the political sidings when it became apparent that unscheduled costs were building with all the momentum of a runaway train.

"HS2 is out of control. Being Minister for HS2 would be the most dangerous job in politics: in charge of a project with every sign of going to two or three times the original budget, responsible for wrecking families and generating property blight, and promoting a fast track for business, talent and jobs lost to London from the regions.

"This would be a Ministry without compassion. There is immense public ill-feeling amongst the growing number of commuters standing on draughty rattlers into London and Britain's other major cities - none of whom HS2 would help - and homeowners losing immense chunks of value from their properties.

“Recent independent surveys show that 52 per cent of Britons are against HS2, while only 30 per cent support it.

"As a transport project, HS2 is on political life support. A Ministry for HS2 would break every rule of austerity and fiscal common-sense that the Chancellor has been harping on about."

Comments (6)

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9:37pm Sat 22 Mar 14

mms98 says...

I think you are mistaken,look whats happening to great britain, nothing, its stagnating, we need to invest in our country and I think this is a great idea.

You say "promoting a fast track for business, talent and jobs lost to London from the regions. "

How about business and talent moving to manchester from London and the regions?

Look around, Manchester is becoming a great centre for commerce, the BBC have moved quite a few depts up here, Manchester airport cargo centre is expanding.

Now why would they expand if it wasnt going to be used?

Stop winging because a few houses may lose a little value,and a few cattle and sheep may be inconvenienced.

This is needed, we need investment.we need to keep up, if not go further forward than the rest of the world!

Things change, there is a far greater population now than ever, they need homes,jobs, and places to enjoy, Come to manchester- your are all welcome, sure we have a few people up here who are selfish and living in the iron age but there are far more who want to get on in life and enjoy life and look forward to the future!
I think you are mistaken,look whats happening to great britain, nothing, its stagnating, we need to invest in our country and I think this is a great idea. You say "promoting a fast track for business, talent and jobs lost to London from the regions. " How about business and talent moving to manchester from London and the regions? Look around, Manchester is becoming a great centre for commerce, the BBC have moved quite a few depts up here, Manchester airport cargo centre is expanding. Now why would they expand if it wasnt going to be used? Stop winging because a few houses may lose a little value,and a few cattle and sheep may be inconvenienced. This is needed, we need investment.we need to keep up, if not go further forward than the rest of the world! Things change, there is a far greater population now than ever, they need homes,jobs, and places to enjoy, Come to manchester- your are all welcome, sure we have a few people up here who are selfish and living in the iron age but there are far more who want to get on in life and enjoy life and look forward to the future! mms98
  • Score: 14

11:14am Sun 23 Mar 14

padav says...

This article (and others like it) forms a major part of the problem, representing an element within a self-perpetuating cycle. Why does this media outlet provide valuable column space to a spokesperson with a hidden self interest agenda to pursue (Richard Hougton resides in and around Great Missenden, in very close proximity to the planned HS2 phase 1 pathway), allowing them to propagate wholly unsubstantiated and grossly exaggerated claims?

For example, Mr. Houghton claims the budget (already exaggerated at £50bn when in fact the official construction budget is £28bn + £14bn of Tresury mandated contingency) will be, to use his words; "in charge of a project with every sign of going to two or three times the original budget"

Now, here's a real factual comparison; the only realistic project comparable with HS2, constructed on UK soil is HS1. The contract price for HS1 was £5.8bn - it opened a few weeks early and the outurn cost was £6.1bn - so hardly the time and cost overuns implied (falsely) by Mr. Houghton?

Yes, I support HS2 (and before anyone asks, I don't work in the rail industry and I have no direct or indirect benefit to gain from HS2, I just want my Region, NW.England to benefit from the same connectivity already taken for granted by London & the South East, courtesy of HS1 - a world class rail link underwritten by ALL UK taxpayers) and it's high time we stopped prevaricating and started building.

This article continues the same circle of deceit, feeding a frighteningly ignorant public with a toxic cocktail of selectively edited misinformation and gross exaggerations - in this climate it's hardly a surprise to find public opinion turning away from this much needed project?
This article (and others like it) forms a major part of the problem, representing an element within a self-perpetuating cycle. Why does this media outlet provide valuable column space to a spokesperson with a hidden self interest agenda to pursue (Richard Hougton resides in and around Great Missenden, in very close proximity to the planned HS2 phase 1 pathway), allowing them to propagate wholly unsubstantiated and grossly exaggerated claims? For example, Mr. Houghton claims the budget (already exaggerated at £50bn when in fact the official construction budget is £28bn + £14bn of Tresury mandated contingency) will be, to use his words; "in charge of a project with every sign of going to two or three times the original budget" Now, here's a real factual comparison; the only realistic project comparable with HS2, constructed on UK soil is HS1. The contract price for HS1 was £5.8bn - it opened a few weeks early and the outurn cost was £6.1bn - so hardly the time and cost overuns implied (falsely) by Mr. Houghton? Yes, I support HS2 (and before anyone asks, I don't work in the rail industry and I have no direct or indirect benefit to gain from HS2, I just want my Region, NW.England to benefit from the same connectivity already taken for granted by London & the South East, courtesy of HS1 - a world class rail link underwritten by ALL UK taxpayers) and it's high time we stopped prevaricating and started building. This article continues the same circle of deceit, feeding a frighteningly ignorant public with a toxic cocktail of selectively edited misinformation and gross exaggerations - in this climate it's hardly a surprise to find public opinion turning away from this much needed project? padav
  • Score: 13

11:38am Mon 24 Mar 14

Altfish says...

When will one of the anti-HS2 brigade actually propose a sensible, costed alternative to HS2? I don't mean the debunked, use old lines, widen existing arguments which have been proved to be costlier and unfeasible.
The railway lines are full, we need more capacity; HS2 is an answer that also gives the benefit of increased speed.

Stop arguing about it and get it built!
When will one of the anti-HS2 brigade actually propose a sensible, costed alternative to HS2? I don't mean the debunked, use old lines, widen existing arguments which have been proved to be costlier and unfeasible. The railway lines are full, we need more capacity; HS2 is an answer that also gives the benefit of increased speed. Stop arguing about it and get it built! Altfish
  • Score: 11

10:42am Sun 30 Mar 14

NorthStart says...

Well, unlike the Unquestioning Three, I reckoned HS2 was the wrong scheme for Manchester and the North when it was announced.

HS2's twin destinations of Leeds and Manchester are only 40 miles apart. If HS2 construction began, not with a speed-first diagonal dash to Birmingham but with a fast-connector to draw these two centres time-closer, using the M62 corridor, it would halve the rail time between the two centres and shrink the trans-Pennine Divide from the outset.

Construction of my full-scheme alternative to HS2, Plan B, would start with a full-capacity trans-Pennine link. It would fast-connect Manchester Victoria to Leeds, following the M62 corridor eastwards from Rochdale and halving the rail time between the two city centres. It would also open an upgrade-able Northern Cities Crossrail from Liverpool in the west, to York and Hull in the east and Sheffield to the south. Much better for the North South Divide:

http://hsnorthstart.
wordpress....

More particularly, this fast, full capacity trans-Pennine link would join up the sort of agglomeration of urban centre, commuters, technology and skills seen by the BBC's Mind The Gap, with Evan Davies reporting, as essential for competing with London's world-city attractions to the south:

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/programmes/b03y3y8k


The electrification of the Piccadilly-Huddersfi
eld-Dewsbury line will not do that. It's a modest donation by London but when it's done (and got some decent trains on it ..) it will still be an electrified Victorian route with unwelcome curves and junctions. Ditto the Hub. Meanwhile, Londoners will be using their new east-west Crossrail and Boris will be rooting for Crossrail 2.

And, do look at the HS2 map. Spot which centre HS2 serves best and which two centres it will reach and leave divided. Previous posters go figure.
Well, unlike the Unquestioning Three, I reckoned HS2 was the wrong scheme for Manchester and the North when it was announced. HS2's twin destinations of Leeds and Manchester are only 40 miles apart. If HS2 construction began, not with a speed-first diagonal dash to Birmingham but with a fast-connector to draw these two centres time-closer, using the M62 corridor, it would halve the rail time between the two centres and shrink the trans-Pennine Divide from the outset. Construction of my full-scheme alternative to HS2, Plan B, would start with a full-capacity trans-Pennine link. It would fast-connect Manchester Victoria to Leeds, following the M62 corridor eastwards from Rochdale and halving the rail time between the two city centres. It would also open an upgrade-able Northern Cities Crossrail from Liverpool in the west, to York and Hull in the east and Sheffield to the south. Much better for the North South Divide: http://hsnorthstart. wordpress.... More particularly, this fast, full capacity trans-Pennine link would join up the sort of agglomeration of urban centre, commuters, technology and skills seen by the BBC's Mind The Gap, with Evan Davies reporting, as essential for competing with London's world-city attractions to the south: http://www.bbc.co.uk /programmes/b03y3y8k The electrification of the Piccadilly-Huddersfi eld-Dewsbury line will not do that. It's a modest donation by London but when it's done (and got some decent trains on it ..) it will still be an electrified Victorian route with unwelcome curves and junctions. Ditto the Hub. Meanwhile, Londoners will be using their new east-west Crossrail and Boris will be rooting for Crossrail 2. And, do look at the HS2 map. Spot which centre HS2 serves best and which two centres it will reach and leave divided. Previous posters go figure. NorthStart
  • Score: 0

8:53am Mon 31 Mar 14

Altfish says...

As one of the ‘Unquestioning Three’ let me respond – firstly, why do you have to start with an insult, if your argument stacked up you would not have to resort to ad-hominem attacks? I have seen the North Start site and scrutinized it before reading your comment.

Starting in the north sounds great and I have no problem with that idea until one starts looking at the facts. London to Rugby on the WCML is full; so when HS2 is started from the north the shiny new trains reach the midlands and grind to a halt because there are no paths spare for them to take. These 250mph trains then have to battle with freight and commuter traffic to get the final 60 plus miles into London.

I agree Leeds to Manchester needs improving, I use that route regularly and it is too slow and overcrowded. But it doesn’t have to be either/or. Both schemes can be progressed, indeed the Northern Hub and the additional electrification in the north west is already beginning to address much of what you are suggesting. Electrification between both Piccadilly and Victoria to Stalybridge is planned and funded, gantries are already going up. Piccadilly to Wigan is now electrified and the rest of the Piccadilly to Liverpool line will be completed this year; the new trains are starting to arrive. As I said, it is NOT either/or.

You do not elaborate on what exactly a ‘full capacity trans-Pennine link’ is; are you suggesting we currently have less than full capacity links?
What happens to the Manchester to Birmingham link? Are you seriously proposing it goes via Leeds and Sheffield!!!! Then what if Liverpool were to be connected, even further travel round the houses.
It is a preposterous idea that is badly thought out. The main demand is Manchester/Birmingha
m to London, how crazy to go to Leeds and Sheffield. We gain 7-minutes on your timings, the Northern Hub improvements will deliver more.
I also notice that there are no costings… there never are! A trans-Pennine high speed route will be virtually all in tunnel in order to eliminate the ‘unwelcome curves and junctions.’

Finally, I do question all schemes, there are still thing I’m not in agreement with on HS2, but I will never be totally satisfied.
As one of the ‘Unquestioning Three’ let me respond – firstly, why do you have to start with an insult, if your argument stacked up you would not have to resort to ad-hominem attacks? I have seen the North Start site and scrutinized it before reading your comment. Starting in the north sounds great and I have no problem with that idea until one starts looking at the facts. London to Rugby on the WCML is full; so when HS2 is started from the north the shiny new trains reach the midlands and grind to a halt because there are no paths spare for them to take. These 250mph trains then have to battle with freight and commuter traffic to get the final 60 plus miles into London. I agree Leeds to Manchester needs improving, I use that route regularly and it is too slow and overcrowded. But it doesn’t have to be either/or. Both schemes can be progressed, indeed the Northern Hub and the additional electrification in the north west is already beginning to address much of what you are suggesting. Electrification between both Piccadilly and Victoria to Stalybridge is planned and funded, gantries are already going up. Piccadilly to Wigan is now electrified and the rest of the Piccadilly to Liverpool line will be completed this year; the new trains are starting to arrive. As I said, it is NOT either/or. You do not elaborate on what exactly a ‘full capacity trans-Pennine link’ is; are you suggesting we currently have less than full capacity links? What happens to the Manchester to Birmingham link? Are you seriously proposing it goes via Leeds and Sheffield!!!! Then what if Liverpool were to be connected, even further travel round the houses. It is a preposterous idea that is badly thought out. The main demand is Manchester/Birmingha m to London, how crazy to go to Leeds and Sheffield. We gain 7-minutes on your timings, the Northern Hub improvements will deliver more. I also notice that there are no costings… there never are! A trans-Pennine high speed route will be virtually all in tunnel in order to eliminate the ‘unwelcome curves and junctions.’ Finally, I do question all schemes, there are still thing I’m not in agreement with on HS2, but I will never be totally satisfied. Altfish
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Mon 31 Mar 14

NorthStart says...

Thanks for the critique, Altfish
I've pasted my response to your earlier Messenger Group post but added an extra para. Apologies for lumping you in with the unquestioning supporters of HS2 and its flaws!

The NorthStart route would compete with the WCML, not close it. So the natural route from Manchester to Birmingham and back would remain: a WCML train from Piccadilly.

For the trip from Manchester to London and back, there would be a second main line: the 165mph Plan B route via Sheffield and East Midlands Airport to St Pancras. It would be the natural choice of those Piccadilly (and Salford etc) and London area users who curse the interchange penalties of Euston for access to and from the City, Canary Wharf, south London, Gatwick, Essex and Eurostar services. But, for those going to west London, the WCML would have more space on its London-Manchester trains.

However, the NorthStart route to London would come after construction of its fast link from Manchester Victoria to Leeds. The key aim would be to fast-connect the rail networks of East Lancs and West Yorks and bring time-closer together an economic zone half as big again as Birmingham. This is to me (and, it seems, to the Evan Davis researchers) to be the North's best means of becoming big enough and well-connect enough to compete with (and remain independent of) London's world city to the south. Otherwise, the North South Divide looks set to remain, sustained by HS2's forks.

Birmingham has much greater risks from that huge economy than Manchester or Leeds, which is why the Plan B route follows the M1 and M6 corridors to reach it: more capacity from St Pancras to compete with the WCML from Euston, but (unlike HS2) deliberately not drawing central Brum and its airport time-nearer to central London and its competitor businesses.

+ The capacity pinch on the WCML is at peak commuter hours between Milton Keynes and Euston, which is nowhere near as bad as commuter pinches on other main lines into London.
Thanks for the critique, Altfish I've pasted my response to your earlier Messenger Group post but added an extra para. Apologies for lumping you in with the unquestioning supporters of HS2 and its flaws! The NorthStart route would compete with the WCML, not close it. So the natural route from Manchester to Birmingham and back would remain: a WCML train from Piccadilly. For the trip from Manchester to London and back, there would be a second main line: the 165mph Plan B route via Sheffield and East Midlands Airport to St Pancras. It would be the natural choice of those Piccadilly (and Salford etc) and London area users who curse the interchange penalties of Euston for access to and from the City, Canary Wharf, south London, Gatwick, Essex and Eurostar services. But, for those going to west London, the WCML would have more space on its London-Manchester trains. However, the NorthStart route to London would come after construction of its fast link from Manchester Victoria to Leeds. The key aim would be to fast-connect the rail networks of East Lancs and West Yorks and bring time-closer together an economic zone half as big again as Birmingham. This is to me (and, it seems, to the Evan Davis researchers) to be the North's best means of becoming big enough and well-connect enough to compete with (and remain independent of) London's world city to the south. Otherwise, the North South Divide looks set to remain, sustained by HS2's forks. Birmingham has much greater risks from that huge economy than Manchester or Leeds, which is why the Plan B route follows the M1 and M6 corridors to reach it: more capacity from St Pancras to compete with the WCML from Euston, but (unlike HS2) deliberately not drawing central Brum and its airport time-nearer to central London and its competitor businesses. + The capacity pinch on the WCML is at peak commuter hours between Milton Keynes and Euston, which is nowhere near as bad as commuter pinches on other main lines into London. NorthStart
  • Score: -2

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