I must declare an interest. I am prejudiced against wasting £30 billion of public money to shave 33 minutes off the journey time between London and Birmingham but nothing or only a few minutes for other destinations. Travelling to the Continent will require a connection from Euston to St Pancras stations on  part of the commuter-standard North London Line .

The economics don't stack up and the environmental impact is horrendous. Why should people's homes and lives be wrecked to satisfy the hidden demands of The Trans European Rail Network . That's not merely the unspoken elephant in the room but the iron bonds to shackle the countries of Europe together. It looks good on a map (see p42 for the UK and p27 for the whole of Europe).

If £30 billion can be afforded to improve the UK's transport infrastructure then surely reinstating the public  transport links that feed into the main networks would make more sense economically, socially and evironmentally. This second and third level network was first cut in the Sixties by Dr Beeching, without a cheaper flexible alternative system to replace it, and now this year with the removal of local authority transport subsidies. 


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your opposition to HS2, but not the rhetoric about "Trans European Rail Network" - the 'TER' is about a rail system that allows high speed trains to travel from one country to another without problems such as incompatable signalling etc.

It's not a scheme to bind the UK to the EU - there is no requirement for the UK to build a high speed line from the EU. Conversely, even if the UK was not part of the EU it could still build a high speed line to 'TER' standards if it wished to do so.

If you are looking for something that was designed to shackle the countries of Europe together it was the "European Coal and Steel Community"

Please, there are no hidden demands in the "Trans European Rail Network" legislation - a line to these standards could be built along a pre-existing transport corridor (eg the M1 or M6), an alternative route, or not at all.

The decision to create a line connecting London and Birmingham with no benefit to intermediate places is the DfT's choice, not a EU one.


Anonymous said...

Just to clarify - HS2 isn't even on the Trans European Rail Network - if built it probably would be built to European high speed rail standards, but there is no requirement from Brussels to build anything, nor does Brussels determine the route of any line that is decided to be built.

It's essentially the UK governments decision, as I see it.