I disagree, the long journey times are an issue. A big issue. I used to live in Manchester and the time it takes to get to London is a PITA. According to the HS2 website it will slash journey times from 128 mins to 68 mins. That's an hour quicker and pretty much half the time! I'm not sure how much quicker you'd like it realistically to be!?!
For business that's a massive boost. Now I could easily jump on a train and work in London then commute back. For families the idea of getting to London in an hour is fantastic. I could easily take the kids on a day out and be back same night.
And how long it takes you go get to a main station depends very much on where you live. I live in the east mids now and my nearest main station is 20 mins away. In Manchester I could do it in 30 mins. It's not hard. I guess in London it would be more difficult but then they have the tube so it's not 'that' hard.
I don't doubt that more investment is needed on the rail network but the problem is not the long journey times between major centres but the fact that it takes so long to get from just outside the centres to the main station.
I find it quite funny that everyone agrees that investment is needed to kickstart the economy. Both left & right agree on that, the only issue is where the money comes from.
So here we have your bread & butter investment opportunity. It's high tech engineering which will take years to complete, cost a lot yes but the idea is that it will benefit the economy in years to come whilst providing lots of jobs in the near future.
We could apply the same argument to the M25. I mean why did the government spend all those billions of pounds on building that monstrosity when pensioner's go without and hospitals are short of nurses?!?! Yet undoubtedly the M25 has transformed the SE area and enabled a lot more trade.
Same here. Yes it could all fail and be a giant waste of money. But then again maybe it won't! We need a train system which fits in with the 21st century and they are not cheap.
I don't even think HS2 is going to knock off that much of the journey time though. In fact I'm sure I read it would be around 20 minutes quicker from London to Birmingham, but that the new terminal was to be situated 20 minutes outside the city centre!
HS2 doesn't help anyone en route - no intermediate stations - and will destroy a large number of houses and a large area of countryside. It does NOT open up the Midlands and the North.
the fares will be unaffordable. (Ref: M6 toll - underused and useless because too expensive)
upgrade current lines, reopen closed ones - much more sensible.
Thank you all for your response.
"the Tunnel has made a huge difference to that region in ways that weren't anticipated initially"
As a Kent resident I'd say it hasn't made a large difference to the area. Folkestone, close to the Eurostar terminal, is one of the most depressed areas of the country. The area known locally as "Planet Thanet". Ashford hasn't improved in the last 30 years, aside from a small designer centre. Shops in the main town centres are disappearing at an alarming rate. To be honest the only gain is to provide the odd weekend jolly to Paris or Brussels or surprise, surprise the business man who can afford the £200 a day commute.
It won't make any difference whatsoever to the vast number of people along the route.
To be honest the government should invest in business outside London through reduced rates etc. Like I said before Teleconferencing has been around for years, how about investment in that. How many meetings really need the bodies around the table? or are they just trying to justify their existence?
I'm sorry I see it as a smack in the face for all of those who've been hit by reduced government spending.
What Cogito says. You only have to set foot outside the UK to realise how hopelessly crap our communications architecture is.
If I were ruling the country I'd be borrowing to invest like mad in new infrastructure and creating many more jobs that way, rather than borrowing to spend on welfare.
I remember the fuss when the Channel Tunnel was being planned and then the high speed line from St Pancras in turn. Similar arguments about it being a white elephant, saving a few minutes, could have built a hospital or two with the money etc etc. But it's a case of 'build it and they will come' and the Tunnel has made a huge difference to that region in ways that weren't anticipated initially. Takes hours off freight transport times to the continent, for example, which saves £££s in haulage costs.
The country is far too London-centric and SE-focused already which has led to disproportionate overcrowding, congestion, airports the size of small cities, excessively high cost of housing and all the rest. Anything that opens up the Midlands and North and makes businesses & people see it as a viable option to locate there is going to be a good thing. Difficult to quantify in full exactly how much the benefit will be but I think it's like the days before the motorways were built... if we stick with old-fashioned technology, we'll just get further behind
I could not give any reason. It is shocking. Just money making for someone or other.
Billions already over budget. The everyday man and woman being told their isn't any money anywhere for crucial services..How many pensioners die due of the cold each winter? and for what?
To save a few hours on a train journey!-Bloody disgrace!
Business already have a cost effective solution to geographically difficult meetings It's called Teleconferencing FFS.
Sorry to moan it's so so unfair.
I'd be interested in hearing any reason why it's a good scheme.
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