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15 hours ago, Covkid said:

 

But while those metropolitan areas in England are sitting on their hands the Scottish have progressively electrified both inter city and regional routes.  20 years ago who would have believed all four routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh would be electrified, when one was actually just a closed trackbed.

 

There is a whole different dynamic north of the border

 

Hmmm. We all feel that don't we? But.....Scotland spent roughly £150 per head of population on rail schemes, per year, at 2017prices, over the past 10 years, which is roughly the same as for most of England and Wales, per capita (source Commons Transport Committee briefing papers  - 2018, various). It is just One Fifth of what London spent, per head, and London rate payers and developers paid for that, not Westminster, in the main.

 

You may say that this was because it was all they had in the piggy bank. But, on the other hand, they spent roughly seven times that, per head, on road schemes. The A9 bridge was a classic, where they refused to add a rail bridge, which would have have knocked off a huge detour by rail, and something like 40 mins to rail journeys to the Highlands. (You could argue that was before full devolution, but there is no apology for or attempt to rectify it now).

 

Investment has been very Lowlands-centric (entirely logically you might say, as that is where most people and industry are located), and the Edinburgh tram implementation made Network Rail look like a beacon of efficiency. I worked with the emerging Scottish political situation, alongside the SRA (whose most prominent SRA-employed supporter of their schemes, Bill Reeve, is now their Rail Director - quel surpris), and it was all too evident that, whilst their aspirations were enormous, it was almost entirely about Glasgow and Edinburgh and the bits in between. I got funding for a few platform extensions towards Dundee and so on, but it was mainly around Glasgow where we had to let contracts.

 

I cast no aspersions over what they have managed to do with their money so far - it is lurvely -, but I would strongly suggest that there is a growing problem between their North and their South - you can see some of that in the election results - just like in England. It is not a new problem, but it is one that regional champions in England choose to ignore when making comparisons. It is a comparison that Scots may not like - that Scotland should be compared to Yorkshire or suchlike - it is a country within a Union of Countries, that prefers to do things its way, and preferably without kowtowing to London. But it does not have the sovs (whatever the SNP say) so is stuck with the same problem as the rest of England and Wales - kowtow a bit and get some dosh, or go it alone and hope for the best.

 

I know what some would say, but then...... if only it was still 1895, and most of the wealth was still generated by stunted 10 year olds in Lancashire and Yorkshire mills. But it isn't, so regional comparisons must be per capita, and not per se. And arguing that everyone else should have more of the pot, does not mean they would use it the way we would like. Arguing that expenditure is greater in London, per capita, than anywhere else, is fine, so long as you are prepared to do what London has done - pay for it yourself through increased domestic rateable values and consequent community charges, increased commercial rates and increased costs to developers and employers. Manchester has begun to do this, because the Luvvies have moved to Media City. Leeds are ever hopeful, with boom, bust and now the signs of boom again. Edinburgh started doing it a long time ago, when its banks were not being subsidised. But it means normals cannot afford to live there, so efficient transport becomes even more important. What else you got?

 

 

 

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On 01/06/2019 at 08:41, Colin_McLeod said:

 

Won't using that energy cause the earth to slow down, and make the days longer! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_wink3.gif

 

(....over the next few million years)

Same as all those wind turbines dissipating the winds energy and upsetting the climate.....

 

However, if the wind is in the right direction, it will counteract the tidal and all is good, the days remain the same length.

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There is a lot of 'scrap HS2' loose talk around the Johnson idiot populist camp and it would be foolish to dismiss it. Liz Truss is keen to use it to further her career and nothing matters more [to her] than that.

 

If HS2 gets past this year end unscathed it will be doing well and probably get built at least to Birmingham. Otherwise we can resign ourselves to living on a Ruritanian branch line and collect our Senior Citizen Railcards for slow trains.

 

Dava

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Cant see how the costs are going to be kept to £50billion to many on the gravy train  and now they are saying that the new road to Cambridge will be built all that will do is create millions of houses plus attendant cars progress I don't think so.The numpty who wants HS2 cancelled is standing up for her voters as they can see all services not on HS2 being downgraded slowed and service levels reduced,how else will the DFT force people to use this white elephant And before I get rude comments they have admitted this plus interesting interview with Branson not good for DAFT showed up the total control mentality at said department.What a world we live in run by self seeking idiots still we can enjoy the sunshine and hope England win the cricket at weekend.

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14 hours ago, Dava said:

There is a lot of 'scrap HS2' loose talk around the Johnson idiot populist camp and it would be foolish to dismiss it. Liz Truss is keen to use it to further her career and nothing matters more [to her] than that.

 

If HS2 gets past this year end unscathed it will be doing well and probably get built at least to Birmingham. Otherwise we can resign ourselves to living on a Ruritanian branch line and collect our Senior Citizen Railcards for slow trains.

 

Dava

 

Not sure they can scrap it without another Act of Parliament (or at least parliamentary agreement to rescind the existing Act)? Hard to see which way another vote would go, given that so many other investment schemes, both public and private, are going nowhere fast.

 

There are two clear camps on the No-HS2 side - one that simply does not want it, even if it cost a Pound, and one that is moaning about unproven, but certainly possible, cost increases later on. Hard to tell how many in each camp. There are certainly variations in between, and different reasons for the first camp, but if cost is the primary concern for the majority, then the CEO's latest comments make sense - "there are difficult choices ahead to remain within budget".

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13 hours ago, lmsforever said:

Cant see how the costs are going to be kept to £50billion to many on the gravy train  and now they are saying that the new road to Cambridge will be built all that will do is create millions of houses plus attendant cars progress I don't think so.The numpty who wants HS2 cancelled is standing up for her voters as they can see all services not on HS2 being downgraded slowed and service levels reduced,how else will the DFT force people to use this white elephant And before I get rude comments they have admitted this plus interesting interview with Branson not good for DAFT showed up the total control mentality at said department.What a world we live in run by self seeking idiots still we can enjoy the sunshine and hope England win the cricket at weekend.

 

Nothing wrong with an individual politician opposing something on behalf of the voters in their constituency - it is what they get sent to Westminster to do.

 

Similarly we have seen Philip Hammond during his brief tenure at the DfT saying he would veto Heathrows 'Airtrack' scheme to provide a Southern link to Heathrow due to the increase in level crossing downtimes in his Runnymede constituency - although he never got the chance as Heathrow pulled the TWA application before it got that far.

 

However you should also note however that such things can, and do change once said person gets moved elsewhere. As London Mayor that very same Boris who wants to scrap HS2 was quoted as saying he would be lying down in front of the Bulldozers to stop Heathrow expansion - yet once back in Westminster is quite happy to support Heathrow expansion because its 'crucial to the UK economy'.

 

This is because Governments have to take into account the entire country - and as has been relatedly been explained to you without a radical change in economic policy that drasticly reduces the need to move about, the WCML corridor desperately needs relief. THAT MEANS BUILDING A BRAND NEW RAILWAY - even if it is only a 90mph one) through non-built up areas.

 

Also I take it this is the same Branson who recently wanted to dismantle the current 'turn up and go' system  in favour of companies like Virgin 'bidding for groups of paths to run long distance trains on a reservation only basis (i.e. he true airline model) while dumping everything else on PTE type bodies (who it is presumed will be restricted in focus to providing middle and short distance commuting services. Such a plan if it ever came to fruition would cause massive harm socially - but I have no doubt it would be very profitable for Virgin

 

Moreover with a 'no deal Brexit looking increasingly likely  (thanks to both candidates insistence they will leave by the end of October) and the negative effect that will have on inward investment to the UK, canceling a project that is ramping up to employ lots of people and thus generating plenty of trickle down economic benefits would be very foolish - particularly given the way many politicians from the northern half of the UK strongly support it.


 

The challenge which has been put to you before remains - rather than spouting half truths or quoting opportunist politicians / businessman please propose a credible alternative which delivers the same capacity between London and Manchester / Leeds without causing mass disruption to current railway routes during construction.

 

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A few weeks ago I was listening to "Any Questions" on R4, and one of the participants was Fraser Nelson of the Spectator, usually well in tune with politics on the right.

 

His observation, and this was said without any particular personal view, was that the present Cabinet almost to a man/ woman, considered HS2 to be a waste of money in respect of value delivered. In consequence the minute May was out of the door the project would be cancelled, by whoever came in. He claimed that a detailed capex review then underway headed by Ms. Truss at the Treasury was assembling the data to support this action.

 

I think it's 23rd July that we get the result of the latest bun fight, so not long to wait  now to see if Mr. Nelson is correct.

 

John.

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14 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

 As London Mayor that very same Boris who wants to scrap HS2 was quoted as saying he would be lying down in front of the Bulldozers to stop Heathrow expansion - yet once back in Westminster is quite happy to support Heathrow expansion because its 'crucial to the UK economy'.

 

 

Yes

Boris has done a total backflip. Against Heathrow expansion, Pro HS2 (or at least not anti-) to Pro Heathrow Expansion, Anti HS2

I know which stance would be more beneficial to the UK's so called "Climate Policy".*

I actually can't see the Heathrow runway being built as by the time it has run the course of objections, court cases etc. we will be in a different era travel wise.

 

* another load of confused, illogical policies.

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25 minutes ago, melmerby said:

 

* another load of confused, illogical policies.

 

Not very ethical, I agree. But I can not see any lack of logic in promising what your voters want when you are trying to get elected. And it's not just Boris.

 

I am still hoping that our Monarchy means something and HMQ will appoint someone else as Prime Minister.

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56 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Nothing wrong with an individual politician opposing something on behalf of the voters in their constituency - it is what they get sent to Westminster to do.

 

Similarly we have seen Philip Hammond during his brief tenure at the DfT saying he would veto Heathrows 'Airtrack' scheme to provide a Southern link to Heathrow due to the increase in level crossing downtimes in his Runnymede constituency - although he never got the chance as Heathrow pulled the TWA application before it got that far.

 

 

 

 

There is often a conflict of interest when your MP is also a minister.

 

In France, they get round that very sensibly. Any depute who is made a minister steps down from the Assemblee Nationale and is replaced by a substitute. It's a change that is long overdue here to rebalance politics.

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

 

 

However you should also note however that such things can, and do change once said person gets moved elsewhere. As London Mayor that very same Boris who wants to scrap HS2 was quoted as saying he would be lying down in front of the Bulldozers to stop Heathrow expansion - yet once back in Westminster is quite happy to support Heathrow expansion because its 'crucial to the UK economy'.

 

 

 

Boris has never opposed airport expansion and has always understood the importance of airport capacity to the economy.

 

The question is: how do you deliver that - an all-new airport or an expansion at Heathrow. It would seem silly to abandon Heathrow when so much has been invested there. But it is, in many ways, in the wrong place.

 

We have been here more than 50 years ago (Wing/Cublington). That, or somewhere near there, would be ideal as easily served by HS2. Boris Island (in the Thames estuary) would be good for London, Kent & Essex but not much use to the rest of the country.

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8 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Not very ethical, I agree. But I can not see any lack of logic in promising what your voters want when you are trying to get elected. And it's not just Boris.

 

 

And that is pertinent point. The current Conservative leadership election in which only Conservative party members can vote is being pitched rather differently than one in which the public at large might vote in.

 

As such Johnson / Hunt will say the will do all sorts of things to get support (repeal the ban on fox hunting being one, spending cash far too freely on what amount to bribes acording to the current chancellor being another).

 

Things will be a bit different when the eventual winner has to face Parliament - as we saw with Mrs Mays promise to repeal fox hunting there are enough Conservative MPs opposed to it that any bill will get defeated.

 

Thus if the new team do decide to ditch HS2 they won't necessarily have a smooth ride - if new legislation is required to officially abandoned, then particularly with the Government having such a tiny majority then all sorts of games could be played out in Westminster which could thwart such a plan.

 

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4 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

Thus if the new team do decide to ditch HS2 they won't necessarily have a smooth ride - if new legislation is required to officially abandoned, then particularly with the Government having such a tiny majority then all sorts of games could be played out in Westminster which could thwart such a plan.

And the contracts already tendered may cost more to cancel than to complete the work (as happened when the Cameron government came up with the silly idea of cancelling HMS Prince of Wales). 

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It would be interesting to know how many of the 160,000 voters in the Tory Leadership election live in The Chilterns and elsewhere along HS2.

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From a conversation I had with someone heavily involved in the stop HS2 campaign there is definitely a lot of lobbying going on.  They have produ ed a wish list of potential reopenings that could be done with the spare cash if HS2 is cancelled. One of thse is Penrith Keswick. I think it shows how desparate some of the Stop, people are getting. I would love to ride the Keswick line again but there are other priorities for the whole country.

 

Jamie

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8 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Boris has never opposed airport expansion and has always understood the importance of airport capacity to the economy.

 

The question is: how do you deliver that - an all-new airport or an expansion at Heathrow. It would seem silly to abandon Heathrow when so much has been invested there. But it is, in many ways, in the wrong place.

 

We have been here more than 50 years ago (Wing/Cublington). That, or somewhere near there, would be ideal as easily served by HS2. Boris Island* (in the Thames estuary) would be good for London, Kent & Essex but not much use to the rest of the country.

 

Sorry, while Mayor of London he was vehemently opposed to Heathrow expansion - Instead wanting a new Estuary airport (dubbed 'Boris Island by the press and Critics) to the East. It was during this time he made the comment about  "lying in front of the Bulldozers was made.

 

He (and indeed all Mayoral candidates, including the last Conservative hopeful of Zac Goldsmith) recognises that opposing Heathrow expansion is a necessity to be seriously considered a viable candidate by the London Electorate.

 

Of course as soon as he stopped being Mayor of London he reverted to the party line - i.e. Heathrow had to be expanded.

 

Regrettably this sort of behaviour is not an isolated case - particularly with Boris Johnson who has made it his mission to become Prime Minister and who is known to change his views repeatedly if it advances his personal ambition

 

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35855676

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1 minute ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Sorry, while Mayor of London he was vehemently opposed to Heathrow expansion - Instead wanting a new Estuary airport (dubbed 'Boris Island by the press and Critics) to the East. It was during this time he made the comment about  "lying in front of the Bulldozers was made.

 

He (and indeed all Mayoral candidates, including the last Conservative hopeful of Zac Goldsmith) recognises that opposing Heathrow expansion is a necessity to be seriously considered a viable candidate by the London Electorate.

 

Of course as soon as he stopped being Mayor of London he reverted to the party line - i.e. Heathrow had to be expanded.

 

Regrettably this sort of behaviour is not an isolated case - particularly with Boris Johnson who has made it his mission to become Prime Minister and who is known to change his views repeatedly if it advances his personal ambition

 

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35855676

 

My point exactly. As Mayor he was opposed to Heathrow expansion - not to airport expansion.

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3 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

From a conversation I had with someone heavily involved in the stop HS2 campaign there is definitely a lot of lobbying going on.  They have produ ed a wish list of potential reopenings that could be done with the spare cash if HS2 is cancelled. One of thse is Penrith Keswick. I think it shows how desparate some of the Stop, people are getting. I would love to ride the Keswick line again but there are other priorities for the whole country.

 

Jamie

 

And how precisely does re-opening Keswick - Preston help provide more WCML capacity? As ever those opposing HS2 (including quite a few on here) continue to display an Ostrich like ability to not get it into their skulls that the driver for HS2 is capacity - and no amount of regional re-openings (nor indeed the ex GC given the congested tracks south of Aylesbury or the heavily redeveloped formation north of Rugby ) will help with this need.

 

One hopes that those in favour of continuing with HS2 are working hard behind the scenes - including explaining to Ms Truss exactly the REAL reasons for the project as well as just how much public money would be wasted by stopping now.

 

 

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1 minute ago, phil-b259 said:

 

And how precisely does re-opening Keswick - Preston help provide more WCML capacity? As ever those opposing HS2 (including quite a few on here) continue to display an Ostrich like ability to not get it into their skulls that the driver for HS2 is capacity - and no amount of regional re-openings (nor indeed the ex GC given the congested tracks south of Aylesbury or the heavily redeveloped formation north of Rugby ) will help with this need.

 

One hopes that those in favour of continuing with HS2 are working hard behind the scenes - including explaining to Ms Truss exactly the REAL reasons for the project as well as just how much public money would be wasted by stopping now.

 

 

I did some work a good few years back on Penrith - Keswick reopening and i can assure you that if the trains fit what was established as the most viable commercial case (i.e. the one requiring the least revenue support) it will actually reduce paths on the WCML because the trains need to run through to Carlisle in order to be attractive to potential passengers.  That (and now we come to my part of that particular study) meant using 90mph capable DMUs although it was also the intention that much of the branch would also be built to permit 90mph running.   Overall as a case, with some hefty engineering costs including a brand new section of route in one place, it did not come out very well.

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I am actually a shareholder in the Keswick scheme and have fond memories of using the line to visit my aunt, the person who bought the shares.  However  much I would like to see it reopen, along with Skipton Colne, which is also on the wish list, i agree wholeheartedly that HS2 must come first. The cv,s  of some of the people pushing the list does not stand up to close scrutiny. We desperately need more capacity north out of London.

 

Jamie

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I also agree that it would be great to re-open Penrith-Keswick (and it should of course never have closed), but not as an alternative use for HS2 funding; The reasons we need HS2 have been explained, repeatedly and at length.

 

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Whilst opening Penrith to Keswick sounds good, most of the traffic on the A66 which it is supposed to help relieve hasn't come from Penrith but much further afield, so why would they want to change to train at Penrith?

Another fly in the ointment is the section from Threlkeld to Keswick which was very badly damaged by Storm Desmond.

It would in effect require a completely new railway for much of the 4.5 miles as the trackbed was completely washed out in places and the bridges reduced to scrap.

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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

Whilst opening Penrith to Keswick sounds good, most of the traffic on the A66 which it is supposed to help relieve hasn't come from Penrith but much further afield, so why would they want to change to train at Penrith?

Another fly in the ointment is the section from Threlkeld to Keswick which was very badly damaged by Storm Desmond.

It would in effect require a completely new railway for much of the 4.5 miles as the trackbed was completely washed out in places and the bridges reduced to scrap.

If I remember correctly the A66 itself has stolen quite a bit of the alignment too. 

 

Is traffic congestion much of a problem on the A66?  If not then an express coach service treated as part of the rail network with through ticketing, timetabling, Delay Repay etc would provide an adequate connection at far less cost than reinstating the railway.  The same is true of many other routes where rail re-openings are proposed - but conversely a network where buses feed into rail rather than competing would help many existing marginal railways and might itself provoke a few opening proposals in areas where there is too much traffic for buses to work reliably. 

 

HS2 connects the big cities in a way that road or air can't match, but it does need the heavy rail, tram and bus networks that feed into those city centre interchanges to be up to scratch. 

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That could work well but the coachs would need better luggage facilities than are usually offered to cope with outdoor pursuit kit.

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