Yes To High Speed 2, HS2. for the economic and green future of the UK
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.
lisa dishman commented
looking at the most popular campaigns here in environment ,it is all about windfarms and nuclear power - the fact we are unable to keep up with our electricity requirements. as 250mph trains use more than double 125mph trains (which are considered highspeed in europe) and the green party is now against HS2 when are you pro HS2 people going to wake up to the fact that 250mph trains are unsustainable when we have viable alternatives.
I am sorry I am very much mistaken! I asked several questions that have been avoided, and only made 3 statements (of fact?)
Europe is bigger than Birmingham (or even GB for that matter)
The Channel is between UK & Europe
HS1 still requires a subsidy (and was privatised at a loss too)
Which one of these was wrong?
I very much support this campaign. Britain needs HSR for a number of reasons, and will suffer the consequences in terms of jobs, economy and travel if this is voted down. We've a history of doing wrong by our railways, let's not continue!
Crucial report showing benefits for people living between Birmingham and London
Key articles for your consideration
I'm sorry to say you are very much mistaken. HS2 even in it’s first phase will serve destination across the north and not only that those stations served will enjoy the time saving of up to half an hour and will enjoy the benefits of not having to stand on crowded trains, something we are already seeing on the busy WCML.
Transport networks across the world drive economies. So we can either pay for HS2 across the next 15 years or we can pay for a poorly performing northern and indeed UK economy in decades to come due to unsolvable overcrowding on the WCML. This isn’t about what you or I want now it’s about securing jobs for your children’s future.
So, how is a taxpayer subsidised 225mph train, only partly full, more efficient than the planes that DON'T actually fly between London & Birmingham (check the airlines)? How much time and trouble is there to get to and from the termini rather than direct from home to your destination? HS1? Europe is a bit bigger than Birmingham and doesn't have the channel in the way. It STILL costs a huge subsidy!
So 225mph train carrying 500 to 1200 people is less efficient than a 600mph plane carrying around 200 passengers? Let's think about that.
We have to be realistic here, trains no matter how fast are much more efficient than planes and cars for than matter. For a car to out perform a train it has to be a brand new fuel efficient model with at least 4 occupants, which lets face it is a rare sight indeed.
HSR has the potential to slash air travel numbers, you only have to look at HS1 and the Euro tunnel to see that people prefer to go by train.
It's not even if HS2 required a lot of land. Not when you compare it to a motorway, It's safe to assume people from the Chilterns enjoy the benefits of the M1 and M40? So why should't people enjoy the benefits of HS2 which requires 40% less land than any motorway. For the most part It will be hidden by cuttings and buried in tunnels so any claims of "destruction of the countryside" are at best massive overstatements.
As for cost, it is comparable to the London centric Crossrail project at a cost of £16bn that's £2bn every year until 2019! You won't hear any complaints about the cost of that from people living in the Chilterns. HS2 (£17bn) as StopHS2 has pointed out "will be built after the recession", thank you for that concession StopHS2.
It's a straightforward choice, HS train or overflights, which may be less noticeable but do far more long-term environmental damage. Business people and regular travellers also prefer the train if it is there - look at what's happened between Barcelona and Madrid since the HS train arrived.
When a country owes 4.8 trillion pounds debt, it can't afford such schemes financially, moving people around quicker will not increase economy, as we have emails and there instant, digital democracy is more likely to improve this culture, than a national debt bloating, fast link to Birmingham airport ?
Dave Davey commented
Think of what this money could be spent on. Whilst Military personale are loosing jobs via email and huge education & NHS cuts are planned can we really justify the Billions being spent on this. Not to mention the fact that it will no doubt go WAY over budget!!
Just like the Oylimpics the day after we won the oylimpics "Oh yer we just realised this is now going to cost 3x more than we thought"!!
Dave Davey commented
A truly ridiculous statement. How on earth is a 250mph train Green!! The countryside that will be destroyed the pollution. It's a total Joke of a statement.
Economic!!! if you look into all of the other European High Speed rail Services, all started well but due to the huge running costs and overpriced tickets they are all running at a loss.
The aim of HS2 is to link London with Birmingham Airport. Increasing the airport's size and without doubt increase Pollution.
By the time the government have finished spending the billions of pounds, destroying the countryside, and send the first train down the track it will all be out of date. At the rate technology is progressing no one will need to travel such vast distances for buisness as people will be working remotely as they increasingly are.
It might be more green than other trains but to say all the destruction, pollution (Noise, Emmisions etc..), increased flights to/from birmingham result in a GREEN furture is utterly ridiculous.
Clichéd but never the less true, perfection is the enemy of the good: Yes, it would be brilliant to live in a society where we ALL get what we want, when we want, where we want at no significant cost to our selves (family, friends and relations) or adverse impact to our aesthetic tastes (whatever so ever they may be)... it would be nice if we weren't made too aware of anything distasteful happening to anyone or anything else where. In reality every action has inevitably consequences which while unquantifiable can be estimated if only on the basis of past similar experiences... History suggests that net faster/higher capacity communications do increase economic activity - Roman roads, canals, railways, telegraph, motorways, fibre optic/microwave/cellular data links..... HS2 seems unlikely to buck that trend and end up like..... Concorde, if considered a failure.
The Green credentials of the project re carbon output / passenger/freight mile will depend on how comprehensively the calculation is made - Yes, simplistically power requirements, to overcome drag, are in proportion to the cube of velocity plus surface friction so 700% less green than an identical train trundling along at half the speed. But unless ALL significant (i.e. estimable and of similar net total proportions) factors are included in the equation and these over the full life of the project, any resulting calculations of cost or benefit will be no more valid than deciding it on the basis of the colour of its upholstery.
Given the scale of the investment required and "adverse" impact on numerous vociferous voters am I being naive in assuming that the sponsors - OUR Government - have not conducted a truly comprehensive investment appraisal drawing upon all available expertise and evidence? I and I suspect most respondents do not have access to find let alone capture all the available data or the time and knowledge to quantify and assess the comparative accuracy and impact of the relevant factors in order to reach a reliable conclusion on the net economic cost or benefit of the project - Our government may prove wrong but I'd trust its judgement over my own, especially if my house, business or even anticipated holiday stroll lay in the path of the tracks as I might possibly be biased.
Looked at globally, if the sponsors sums are correct, and it does reduce our national net CO2 output below what IT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE by some millions of tons over the life of the project, it is long overdue - See http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/ to see where we are currently heading. It falls in the category of one of those larger national actions that though not "Nice", will have a significant net beneficial or at least ameliorating effect on the rate of climate change, compared to the "Do nothing" / alternative options, which if left unchecked will make all arguments irrelevant .
@Mike. I live in neither of those places. I would class the village I live in as in the 'country'. I even have views of the welsh mountains, which are peppered with evidence of industry and transport and I have to say it's not as bad as the critics are making out.
I bet you have electricity, well, I have to look at a power station "spoiling my view", do I have a right to say it shouldn't be there? No, because it is in the national interest as is HS2.
@Mike, Do you really think that being condescending to supporters will do the your own campaign any good? It just shows true nature of an emotive and biased campaign blinded to the facts by a sheer desire to stop the project.
You know full well what Julie meant. HS2 will financially benefit the whole country. With direct benefit reaching all the way to Scotland from day one. Doing nothing will will harm the economy of the UK in the not to distant future, by then we will be asking why the government didn't build HS2 whilst it had the chance.
No mike, get it right. Protest groups have unsurprisingly been set up along the route. There are even handy maps to show where they have been set up and guess what, they are all in a nice line along the route. I have no problem with that but don't try and pretend that whole country is behind the critics. I'm sure the general population are intelligent enough to see past some of the misleading information released by a heavily biased no camp.
Mike P. Ryan commented
Yes Chris. Unlike your one group in London, or is it Manchester, the Stop HS2 campaign is supported by (as you say) a lot of groups the length of the country with many common reasons to oppose this decorative environmental scar from blighting the many to satisfy the fantasy of the few.
And, poor Julie (5days ago) thinks it goes ACROSS the country.