Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Liberal Democrats against HS2

The controversy around HS2 continues to rage and why not? A commitment to High Speed Rail was clearly stated in both the Conservative and Labour 2010 Election Manifestos but was not part of the 2010 Liberal Democrat General Election Manifesto. It found it's way into the Coalition Agreement because it was part of Conservative Policy.
Some Interesting facts to ponder:

  • Projected HS2  Cost £40 billion - miles of track 330 miles which equates to £121m per mile of track
  • Real probable cost of HS2 £80 billion takes the cost per mile to £242 million per mile of track.
  • Over half a million homes will be blighted and need £14billion in compensation
  • The scheme could cost the coalition parties a million votes in 2015.

Compare that to real alternative to North-South transport infrastructure - the cancelled East Coast Motorway which could make an immediate contribution to GNP growth and promote economic growth in the poor performing Eastern Part of UK - Eastern Scotland, NE, Humberside, Lincolnshire, East Anglia.

Such a vital link would cost a mere £24 million per mile and make a contribution as great as HS2, lowering transportation costs for the British Food Industry and Manufacturing and boosting exports.

Perhaps if we need to consider that a High Speed Rail scheme is necessary (and I'm not convinced) then why not look at reopening the long closed victorian Grand Central Railway closed by Dr Beeching in the 1960's. 

Labour MP for Luton North Kelvin Hopkins advocated such a step and the scheme could provide an affordable HS2 for a mere £6 billions - perhaps 10% of the current £60-80 billions HS2 white elephant scheme!
Clearly the commitment to the current HS2 will lose millions of voters for both the Conservatives to UKIP (who are opposed) and Labour (who are in favour but ambivalent and my look at the cheaper and better Grand Central route) 

A Second alternative which has a great deal to say for it is HS2 PLAN B

This is an imaginative route which would be a Northern Cross rail and would take the route away from Wakefield. 

No comments:

Post a Comment