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Election: Can the economic gain justify the ‘pain’ of HS2?​

construction The interconnecting issues of transport and the environment can be among the most controversial at any election. Economic interests can often come up against concerns about both the local environment and the planet as a whole, leaving those in power with difficult long-term decisions. The highest profile transport issue facing both Staffordshire and Cheshire this election is undoubtedly HS2, the £50 billion project to link England's biggest cities with high speed rail. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is campaigning for an HS2…

The biggest greenwash going​

freight train 1 According to Alisdair McGregor, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for the Calder Valley, HS2 is ‘the biggest Green project going, because it’s about freeing up freight capacity’. The facts are as follows: The busiest section of the West Coast Main Line is the section between London and Rugby. On that section, there are four tracks (Up Fast, Up Slow, Down Fast, and Down Slow). In normal service, intercity passenger trains use the Fast lines. Freight and most Commuter traffic uses…

£80m tourism income threatened by HS2​

misbourne £80m is spent annually by visitors to the area of the Chilterns AONB affected by the HS2 proposals, a study by Tourism South East has revealed. The study uses 2013 data to estimate that 2.3 million tourists visited the HS2 corridor part of the Chilterns and generated £80m for the local economy, supporting around 2770 jobs. These figures provide a clear indication of the scale of loss to the local economy that may occur if HS2 goes ahead. TSE Research…

HS2 live you longtime​

hs2 blurred image_18 At the ‘Next Generation Rail’ conference in December 2014, Cheshire East council leader Michael Jones explained how the HS2 railway would help people live long, and prosper. [NGR conference, Crewe, 4 Dec 2014] Q: What are the benefits of a fully integrated transport system on societal concerns such as public health? [Michael Jones]: Believe it or not, there will be a very strong link between HS2 and public health. We’re in the situation where we have women (in Cheshire East) with a…

Japan maglev train breaks world speed record again​

maglev A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji. The train beat the 590km/h speed it had set last week in another test. Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks. Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. The 280km journey would take…

Lord Shipley: We need a national investment plan for our transport infrastructure​

Lord John_Shipley As a member of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee Lord Shipley has already injected a much needed dose of reality into the all things are possible world of HS2 this year. Writing in the LGC today, he voices further fundamental concerns about the project. He observes: “There may be separate plans for road and rail but there is little sign of the necessary strategic integration to promote connectivity across the country. When air connectivity problems are added, the…

China trainmaker CSR sets sights on London’s £50b high-speed rail project​

tvg China's top trainmaker plans to go head-to-head with European rivals such as Alstom in bidding for a range of contracts including rolling stock for Britain's £50 billion (HK$580 billion) High Speed 2 rail line. CSR Corp would seek to make and maintain the 360 km/h trains at the heart of one of the world's biggest infrastructure projects, said Li Donglin, the chief executive of rail technology arm Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric. It could also build the track and manage the…

HS2 ‘threat’ to Stafford’s train services​

farming cla Giving the go-ahead to HS2 could mean Stafford ending up with a worse train service - or even none at all - a general election hustings on the environment heard. If "premium" traffic deserted the West Coast Main Line and switched to HS2 it could threaten the future of the existing line, Stafford Conservative candidate Jeremy Lefroy said. "My fear is that it would result in a degraded service or even closure of the West Coast line on which we…

Sunday People readers poll – 1% think HS2 should be a priority​

tracks Each week our People’s Panel examines key issues in the run-up to the General Election.   Only one in a hundred believe the HS2 high speed rail to link the north and south of the country should be a priority. Sunday People 19 April A spokesperson for 51m commented:" When you ask the people who will have to pay for this gigantic vanity project - the taxpayer, the answer could not be clearer.

Cost of HS2 compared to conventional railway​

HS2 train going left 20110903_LDP002_0[2]_6 From: J Marriott 17 April 2015 Dear Department for Transport, When Alison Munro and David Prout appeared before the House of Lords Economics Affairs Committee on 28th October 2014 Lord Hollick questioned them about the extent to which HS2 could be done at lower cost if it wasn't going for world record speeds. David Prout did not answer the question but Alison Munro said that they did look at this in the early days. To paraphrase, she said that a…
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