@daily_express @number10gov is the HS2 part of a vanity project

A letter to the Daily Express prompted by an item in Fred Forsyth’s column.

When Fred Forsyth made mention of Corridor 2, (http://www.corridor2.eu/corridor2/home.html?L=1) I immediately thought of the roads of the Roman Empire and the Autobahns of the Third Reich but Corridor 2 is merely a route and the HS2 would be too vulnerable for military purposes.

Then again, how would it be of use for freight, which by its nature is massive and therefore ponderous and  for which the time element is not significant?

Eurocrats would fly (first class), if the time element was important.

Which all leaves me thinking that whole purpose is that of a vanity project, unless The Daily Express knows better.

Either way, it seems worth a little more clarification than “it’ll allow people to get from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly in 1 hour, rather than 2 hours”. The cost will be a mere £33 Billion. (about £400 for every man, woman and illegal immigrant in the country).

The other main argument for HS2, is that the existing lines would be unable to carry the anticipated increase in passenger numbers. This leads to two area’s where we are short of information.

How will these two main stations cope with the increased capacity? Will they be expanded? Will the feeder roads and Tube be upgraded, to cope with this increased passenger load, or will the stations act as bottlenecks.

What would the cost be, if we merely duplicated the present rail lines?

It’s worrying that when you try to get information, all one can find are turgid reports (e.g. http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/sites/highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/files/hs2-economic-case.pdf) with their “never mind the quality, feel the width” attention to minutiae and disregard for substantive issues.  

It reminds me of Sir Humphrey’s placing of memo’s at the bottom of the tenth dispatch box.


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