Tuesday, 29 January 2013


This is not a blog with particularly much thought behind it (are any of them you may well ask), but I am in favour of High Speed 2.
It will make little to no difference to my working life, as even if it arrives on time I should be on track for retirement (pardon the pun).

That this is a the first major investment in new train lines north of London for nearly a century shows how little we as a country have responded to the changes in behaviour and interconnectedness over that time.  I rarely work within walking distance of my house (apart from when I am working from my office),  and the motorways are increasingly full at all times of day and in all weathers.  So we use the trains. 

2 and a bit hours to London is not bad but 1 and a bit hours is better.  I find it difficult to grasp that people value their own time so little that they dont want to save 2 hours on the round trip.  Obviously they are made of hardier stuff than me, and are never resort to thinking "Oh its too much trouble", as I do.

Are there better things to spend the money on?  Possibly.  That is a choice and decision that a lot of people have opinions about - mostly of the "spend it on this thing I know about" variety.  In fact HS2 may be one of those things.  Meanwhile Thameslink and CrossRail will cost about the same and are hardly on people's radar.

Should we protect the countryside?  Oh please.  We are not as a nation rich enough that we can afford to have a perfectly landscaped environment everywhere.  No nation is.  So again there are choices, and sometimes perfectly nice places will need to have train lines, wind turbines or electricity pilons (or all 3) in order that the country as a whole benefits.  And a damaged view is not the same as a broken leg - take pictures and photoshop them if you must.

Then there are the usual "it will never work" voices, that I hoped would have been at least slowed down by the Olympics.

Personally I think the Birmingham -Manchester line should go on at full speed to Glasgow.  That would do wonders for both Scotland and places on the way such as Carlisle and Preston.
Will it really benefit the North?  There are arguments both ways, but I think it is better to have improved infrastructure than not.

In the meantime it will create employment and economic impact, and at the end of it we will be able to travel that much more easily and quickly. 

In short, I'm in favour.

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