Monday, 16 September 2013

Weekly Poll Lowdown

We apologise for the delayed service of the HS2 express poll leaving London to who knows where. There will be no refunds of the £80 billion price tag. Your results are pretty conclusive; you think HS2 is a stupid idea and should be scrapped by the government.

Sorry for the delays.

Should the Government scrap HS2?


Total votes: 17

For the first time in a long while we are in agreement. You're completely right. HS2 is the biggest waste of money under this government and since my last post on it, which you can read here, there have been developments which further damn this Victorian folly.

The CBI, although believing in a push for infrastructure spending from the government, issued a warning over its cost saying of HS2 "it must be demonstrably clear that the benefits outweigh the costs" (obviously this is not true at the moment). 73% of business wants money spent on the 'deterioration' of the road networks rather than the railways; do remember that the vast majority of transportation of goods is done by lorries and no new railway will change this. Only 35% of businesses back the government's policy of HS2 at the moment which must be a blow for coal miner Patrick McLoughlin, who also happens to be the Transport Secretary. 

Patrick McLoughlin after a hard days work.

Indeed the Transport Secretary over the past few weeks has re-written the entire government argument on HS2. He has admitted inaccurate plans from his predecessor, which I'm sure Justine Greening took very well, and is now basing the HS2 plan on capacity. The Government is now saying that soon we will run out capacity on the railways lines and will have to build more tracks so that's why we need HS2. However it is worth noting that actually HS2 doesn't go near any lines that need extra capacity (if you're that interesting in commuting they run down the East Coast Mainline). Also if we need extra capacity and it is no longer about the 20 mins saved by high speed rail why not just use ordinary and cheaper trains? I don't think this new argument has been thought through very well.

HS2 may even be defeated in the Commons. If Ed Miliband, who usually can't make his mind up on what flavoured tea to have at breakfast, finally decides that the cost is too much there is a definite defeat for the government ahead. Even if Red Ed does back HS2 the rebellion in Labour and the Tories may be so big that the vote is lost anyway. I think the government, if the pressure is kept on them, will quietly kick the high speed rail idea out. 

So sorry train spotters of Britain, HS2 may never happen. 

Vote in the new poll on the sidebar.

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