Yes To High Speed 2, HS2. for the economic and green future of the UK
What planet are you on ! How many Miles per gallon , Kiliowats per foot ? will a train do at 200+++ MPH , Thats really economical, Plus Where is the so called " GREEN PARTY" in all this, Waiting to buy their first class tickets on expenses , i suspect
one thing that cuts down on time travelling from a to b on hi speed is that it doesnt stop every 5 miles. surely if they just ran non stop trains from a to b on existing track they wouldnt need to build a dedicated line. simples
Supporters of HS2 need to educate themselves on the realities of HS2. Those along the proposed route are not NIMBYs but are merely those mostly affected by the current scheme, thus the most concerned and therefore the most well informed.
The so-called NIMBYs have taken serious note of the many highly respected responses to the government proposal from such opponents as the Taxpayers Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the RAC Foundation, the Green Party, the Friends of the Earth, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and transport experts such as Christian Wolmar. Even the Government’s own body - the Transport Select Committee’s November 2011 report damned the proposals - it found a host of problems with the economic case, its environmental impact, treatment of alternatives, technical issues, even problems with consultation itself – all which adds up to a scheme that needs to go back to the drawing board.
Chris - you too need to go back to the drawing board - HS2 spells disaster for the UK's 'green future' and, as for HS2's contribution to the economic future of Britain, it is very clear that it will present a great big minus figure for this generation and generations to come.
so i wont even consider voting for this totally stupid and wastefull idea NO WAY
kathrin well said and yous abou so right we dont want HS2 as for all of you who think that having a rail network that is going to cost us a lot of money when we cant find the money to care for the sick elderly and disabled im sorry you are all so wrong to me this about pandering to the needs of the the rich and NOT everybody else
Vote yes for our industry.
personally, I believe this idea is unpheasable, and isn't the solution to a quicker and easier lifestyle. this will have to be thought into better to win me over.
dave Davey commented
Personally I think advances in technology will make HS2 redundant by the time it has been built. Businesses already work remotely and with improved technology connectivity there will be no need for commuters to make the journey from London to Birmingham. Businesses are working remotely and think HS2 is a very naive, quick fix that has not been fully thought out. £100 for a Ticket on HS2 or £20 on the existing line, I think i'll spend the extra 15mins and save myself £80 thanks. They won't have the volume of costumers needed to make the project feasible, whilst virtually empty trains will be screaming across the devastated countryside. Yes, France, Japan Germany have high speed rail because their country is larger, therefore faster trains save them hours not minutes.
Chris, do you really want your hard earnt taxed income spent on HS2? Surely even you think that there are better things to waste taxes on.
@Jess I ignored your arguments about megleve because to put it simply, I find the magleve argument laughable. People say that the plans for HS2 have no interconnectivity, they should see the plans for maglev, unless they have invented a maglev/rail hybrid train? You are opting to support a more expensive technology that will cost more there is no doubt and for it to work must be built to Manchester, Leeds, Scotland from day 1. Rather than a progressive system of upgrades that will allow train to connect into HS2 from the north from day 1.
Critics argue about green credentials of HS2, well how green is flying at 3 times the speed of the fastest HS2 service, or maglev twice as fast. Green arguments can not be brought to the table when opponents choose to forget about planes or give alternatives such as maglev. Forget the friction free bit maglev is twice as fast as HS2 and on those grounds using critics arguments will use 4 time the energy of HS2.
And that is before we even get into the look of maglev. HS2 will in tunnels and cuttings for the most part or hidden by mounds. Maglev on the other hand has a wide invasive looking track bed that you usually find on purpose built elevated viaducts.
Linda Mead commented
Kathryn, I totally agree with you!
Graham, It disturbs me that you appear to think that people (like me) who live in villages are upper/uppermiddle class folk, living the life of a Lord etc just because we CARE about the environment. We moved to a village (after living for 27 years in a town) to be nearer to beautiful countryside and to appreciate it more, and to realise how lucky we are, what's wrong
with that? Let me tell you, we do not live the life of a Lord, we work damn hard to earn a living (and by the way, we don't use oil) and I will not be made to feel like "I'm alright Jack"
@Chris, well what did you actually want me to say? Well done you on compiling that evidence for me, good work. I simply responded with a counter argument. And, well it seems you actually have done the ignoring anyway, you haven't actually responded to the content of my last comment.
And @Graham, I think you may need to create a fourth 'mold' there, as I don't appear to fit into any of those three. Either that or I very much resent that comment, it's insulting.
Graham Martin commented
The big problem with critics of HS2 is that they miss one simple fact - just because you're a NIMBY, you aren't automatically an environmentalist. I note that at least one person before me in this discussion has started out with a reasonable argument, only to ruin it by talking about "village life" - what village life? Lord of the Manor and his serfs? Or upper and uppermiddle class folks residing in the countryside whilst the masses suffer from the smog of the city? That's not a vision of the future, thats historically inaccurate rose-tinted waffle.
Britain has an excellent tier 3 rail system, but it has no tier 4 system to speak of, other than the one connecting London to Paris, Lille and Brussels. As a resident of York, I accept that this system will not reach my city, but I know that I will have the option of a very fast connection through to London and beyond if I so choose. Its pretty clear that the opponents of HS2 fit three molds:
1) They are essentially fighting for the rights of the upper middle and upper classes to live in peaceful, idyllic countryside, far removed from the realities of daily life. Again, this is NIMBYism and not environmentalism.
2) They are fighting for the oil lobby by promoting a status quo of mass oil usage and individual consumption, through submitting themselves to projects like the Tax Payers Alliance, who's really motivation is a goal of non-tax-payment.
3) They fail to understand the difference between government annual spending and government capital investment, generally by pretending that the money will all be spent in one year, and forgetting, deliberately or otherwise, that Britain will reap the rewards for decades, if not centuries, to come.
@Jess So when given evidence rather than accepting it you ignore it, sums up critics of HS2 fairly well to me. Unable to deal with real facts on the issue and would rather release misleading information.
Where are out priorities? Currently in London, the government is spending over £20bn on London rail schemes alone now, during cut back. HS2 won’t start until 2019 after current spending round. HS2 can not be argued in terms of how it will effect current spending now were as £20bn London projects should be. Why not try getting angry over them instead?
So, the governments that have chosen to build tens of thousands of miles of high speed networks all over the world must be stupid also then? And don’t give the “distance between cities argument” that is a complete fallacy. Most high speed networks around the world span comparable distances to those of cities across the UK. Japan is a good example, with a higher population density to our own has the most successful HSR network in the world.
If you want rail ticket prices to continue to go up you carry on arguing against HS2. The reason tickets are so expensive now is because train operating companies are pricing people off of routes such as the WCML and ECML, it’s very simply economics to do with supply and demand, there is too much demand and not enough seats currently on peak hour trains and it is only getting worse. You have no evidence that tickets will be ridiculously expensive, there is however a good case to say that tickets on slower lines will reduce and tickets on high speed services will only be slightly more expensive in order to compete.
I don't understand how anyone with a brain can think that HS2 is a good idea. We have a reasonable system in place that can be improved at a fraction of the cost. HS2 will never run at capacity and will never reduce the carbon footprint of travel. The tickets will be so expensive that real people will never afford them. Even now you can fly London to Edinburgh for £50 but a train ticket is £300. We don't want to move more people around faster, we want people to work from home thus reviving village life and communities, cutting emmisions and traffic. Lets get moving on better broadband speeds and an internet based office society. HS2 is just vanity, a huge keeping up with the Jones'es for politicians egos. Get Real!
How can we justify a high speed railway as a priority on any grounds when we can't even find funds to care for the sick and elderly .Where are our priorities as a nation.
Whatever well informed/ill informed arguments each side comes up with, there is still never a case for HS2, when there is Maglev. I will never be able to happily sit and watch this country's ever dwindling, outstanding countryside be torn up for the sake of a few impatient city commuters. I wonder what the opinions of some might be if the proposed route was to rip through the grounds of Chequers. But you should have a look at www.500kmh.com and then come back with a better convincing argument to further push the pro HS2 campaign.
"Despite all the cuts we will face as a nation"
The government are investing billions of pounds now on current and new infrastructure. GWML electrification £1bn, Intercity express program £4.5bn, CrossRail £16bn, Thamelink £5bn, North West electrification £700m, Midland Metro £130m, 2100 new carriages. All in the spending period from now until 2019. HS2 construction isn't due to start until 2019. So the current financial climate argument is a complete red hearing.
People who state CO2 figures from HS2 reports always forget about the CO2 saving also predicted. CO2 levels were calculated using energy usage models and included the relatively small amount of CO2 produced during construction. CO2 would only increase if internal air travel and car journeys stayed the same, if CO2 intensity of electricity production stayed the same as today and figures do not include reduction in CO2 due to freight transferring from road onto the WCML which will happen due to freed up capacity. It's funny how opponents of HS2 forget those small details when trying argue against it.
No HS2 is not 70m, sorry now 75m wide. To make that claim must mean that you haven't looked at the plans AT ALL. Trains sucking each other off of the tracks? Some one best worn Chinese and Spanish passengers. Having looked at the full plans in detail which are all drawn up in detail now there is no 25 meter gaps between rails and HS2 has no plans for areas outside of the fencing other than pruning back trees much like they do on current lines.
Just double checked 25m between tracks is, with no other word for it, a lie or a typo.
"The separation between the centre lines of the pair of tracks would be 5.0m where 400kph running was required" From Dft technical documents.
Where sloped are needed for cuttings the actual line will only be 57m much less than an equivalent motorway of up to 84m wide with cuttings. The actual line fence to fence including road and masts is 22m.
Critics of HS2 never fail to surprise me with there claims about HS2, with many making wild assumptions which are way off the mark and some critics releasing misleading information.
I feel that either critics have not read all the facts and looked at all the plans or they are purposely releasing misleading information in order to shock the wider general public.
With HS1 services already travelling at 185mph I really do not see a speed increase of only 35 to 40mph brining the onset of the apocalypse. The whole issue of HS2 needs to be put in some perspective.
dave Davey commented
The reason for HS2 is not for a environmental reasons in any way. HS2 connects Birmingham to london in 55mins, more precisely Birmingham airoport to heathrow. Convientently JUST under the 1hr mark. This means that Birmingham Airport Will be expanding and getting a new extended runway that can accomodate Jumbos. More Jumbos, more flights to birmgham because Heathrow failed to expand. There are no benifits to the people who live along the route and to be honest I live in london and I wont be travelling on it if i have to go to birmingham. I'd rather pay the cheaper fee to get the existing line and leave 15mins earlier.
I still fail to see any benfits to HS2.
HS2 will struggle to fill all carrages, every 8mins and therefore will not create enough revenew to make the project viable, not to mention half empty or three quarter empty tranis running at 200mph will not be more environmentally freindly that car that take you door to door.
Despite all the cuts we will face as a nation, and the fact the new Prime Minister has stated that "things are worse than we thought", the Coalition Government still want to go ahead with HS2 and even extend it to link with Heathrow and HS1, meaning it will cost even more than the current £160 million per mile.
The business case assumes three times the number of passengers carried by the West Coast Mainline (45,000 increasing to 146,000 per day), despite there has been no increase in long-distance train travel since 1995 and the only increase has been on discounted fares.
This also ignores the fact that in 15 years time when it is scheduled to be ready, people will need to travel for work less, as who knows what we will have in terms of internet connections and video conferencing.
When announcing the sale of HS1 in Kent, Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond said; "High Speed One is a national success story." This is despite the fact half the trains have been cut to stem the losses. HS1, like HS2, was meant to be great for business and was going to carry 21 million people per year. It has managed 7.5 million. HS1 is being sold for £1.5bn, about a quarter of the £5.8bn it cost to build.
Just to make sure people will use it, as in Kent, current services will be cut. Commuters from Coventry currently enjoy three London trains per hour. If HS2 goes ahead, the two express trains will be cut, meaning even if people go up to Birmingham International to use HS2, it will take them longer to reach their destination.
Supporters and politicians are quick to say HS2 will be good for the environment, however when you read the actual plans, you find out this is not the case. HS1 passengers are responsible for 35% more CO2 emissions than car passengers, but HS2 will go faster, so the CO2 emissions will be higher, but we don't know how much higher as there is no passenger train in the world that travels at the proposed 250mph to compare it with. It will also lead to more flights, not less, as Birmingham International Airport is being extended and it will be about 40 minutes on the train from Euston and now will be directly linked to Heathrow. Birmingham will provide Heathrows third runway.
The HS2 report admits that the plan may lead to an increase in CO2 emissions, but in those calculations they ignore the seven years of construction and roadworks that will mean and the fact that in some places a 75 metre (83 yard) wide strip of 'green stuff' will be turned to concrete, due to 25 metre 'no vegetation zones' on either side.
Yes, 75 metres! The pitch at Wembley is only 69 metres wide. The plans state that where the trains will travel at top speed, the tracks will have to be 25 metres to stop passing trains blowing each other other the rails, and there will have to be a 25 metre 'No vegetation zone' on either side.
HS2 will cut right through the heart of the countryside at a noise level of 95 decibels. The noise level at which sustained exposure could cause permanent hearing damage is 90-95dB. It's not planned to go next to motorways (existing transport corridors) as that would cost even more and to travel at 'high speed', the line has to be very straight.
This will create massive social damage to towns and villages along the line. While the government say it is 'good for business', HS1 and the M6 Toll were justified for the same reasons, but have not devilvered the promised benefits. All they have delivered is large losses. The business case takes no account of businesses which will be destroyed, and businesses will only get land value when it comes to compensation.
HS2 will of course lead to the filling in of greenbelts, as once they are blighted by the fact upto 40 trains per hour (1 per 90 seconds), a quarter of a mile long, going past at 250mph, creating 95dB, it's not going to be a green belt any more. There is also the chance of extensive development around the Birmingham International station as a result of this plan.
If we really do need a high speed intercity link, then MAGLEV (as it is now called - magnetic levitation propulsion) has so many advantages. With speeds of 500km/hr (the current record is actually 581 km/h - 361 mph). HS2 max speed is currently 360km/hr but they hope existing wheel on track technology will develop further to give them 400 km/hr by 2020. What? And with no wheels it is much quieter. The Germans picked up on the opportunity and developed the first passenger version in 1979. We did get one at Birmingham Airport in 1984 but it was never developed further. Japan did develop it further, and today there is an amazing opportunity for change to a truly modern technology
You are mistaken in the fact that most if not all successful HSRs such as Shinkansen span similar distances to those between the UK major citis. Most popular HSR (Shinkansen) in the world only spans 300 miles. German's most popular HSR spans 110 miles. Distance argument is a complete fallacy.
HS1 was not sold at a loss. A 30 concession was sold for over £2bn just under half the cost with government retaining freehold. HS1 now has 80% share of London to Paris route.
What is not sustainable is flying from Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester to London at 600mph using massive amounts of fuel and causing more CO2 to be produced. If you say no to HS2 you say yes to continued and increased UK internal flights. The Shinkansen 700 series uses less energy travelling at 300km/h than British pendolinos travelling at 200km/h.
Need to look at all the facts not just broad statements made without evidence.