The past couple of days have seen news come out that will have the remaining folks opposed to HS2 either crying into their cornflakes or banging the breakfast table in frustration. More realistically, a few of them will take to social media to spout the usual inane or splenetic nonsense they’ve been trotting out on an endless loop for years. But enough of them, let’s look at what really matters.
A new independent report has been published that was commissioned by High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) and produced by Ralph Smyth, the man who formerly led the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) engagement on HS2. Called ‘HS2 – towards a zero carbon future’. Amongst a number of things, it looks at the most recent evidence of how much carbon will be generated by building HS2, how HS2 is crucial to the Government hitting its zero carbon target by 2050. It counters many of the myths and canards spread by HS2 antis with forensic precision, expert data and facts. Here’s some excerpts. You can download the full report here.
This completely demolishes the antis propaganda that HS2 will be carbon positive for the next 120 years. The report goes on to say…
This highlights something that those who’re opposed to HS2 resolutely refuse to face, the fact that they have no credible alternative to HS2. The report hammers this home on a number of occasions in different ways, such as this, pointing out that HS2 has the same capacity as a 10-lane motorway. So, which would you prefer running through the countryside?
The report goes on to detail why the original (pessimistic ) calculations of how much carbon would be generated by building HS2 are woefully out of date now many aspects of the route design and construction has been finalised.
The last paragraph pointing out the tiny amount of ancient woodland being lost is “remarkable” puts the Woodland Trusts scaremongering into perspective. I’ve blogged about the WT’s dishonesty and distorted figures here.
Another common anti complaint about the speed of HS2 is neatly skewered here…
I’d recommend reading the full report as there’s an awful lot more in it. I just wish the Green party would do so but they’re too dogmatic and hidebound to do so, which is a great shame as this report exposes (in great detail) just why their opposition to HS2 make them part of the problem, not the solution to Climate Change. We desperately need a change of policy from them if they’re going to retain any credibility, but they’re very good at finger-wagging and lousy at listening.
To add further to Hs2 antis woes today’s Times newspaper has published what it claims is a draft copy of the Oakervee review into HS2. Spread over the lower part of the cover and pages 6-7 (plus the pro HS2 Leader on page 29 it’s a well written and in-depth article. The gist of it is that there will be no major changes proposed to HS2 and speculation that the Eastern arm to Leeds would be axed was incorrect. However, earlier suggestions that Phase 1 and 2a should be merged have been accepted. The report reinforces the HSRIL report on the carbon benefits of building HS2, the lack of any credible alternatives and also stresses the positive economic impacts to the North of building the full Y network. It also suggests that Oakervee is keen to see an updated business case that look much further into the future than the current conservative modelling which cut off after 60 years. There is one very curious assertion contained in the page 1 story (albeit carried on to page 7). It claims “Hs2 is due to run through Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the seat Mr Johnson held (held? He still does! Ed), where the StopHS2 campaign has 5000 supporters” Sorry? It has what? This seems to be a glaring typo as the StopHs2 ‘campaign’ doesn’t even have an active action group in the constituency! They’ve clearly confused StopHs2 ‘support’ with Johnson’s 5034 majority at the last election! Here’s how many people in Uxbridge signed the last StopHs2 petition. Just 232!
Needless to say, these leaks have sent the remaining HS2 antis into a meltdown on social media, although the reaction’s very subdued compared to previous years for the simple reason that so many of them have given up and moved on, figuratively and literally! Another interesting thing is the way there are far more pro HS2 voices sticking their heads above the parapet nowadays, and these are organisations with both a physical and political reach, like this tweet from Adam Marshall the DG of the British Chambers of Commerce.
Add Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
In contrast, we have the usual infantile ramblings from individual Nimbys opposed to HS2, along with a few hastily reprogrammed pro-Brexit bots like this!
Quite how this tiny band of Nimbys and pro-Brexiters are going to stop HS2 is never adequately explained. Mainly because they have absolutely no idea, they’re just going through the same motions that they have for years. They’ve no political clout and their organisation’s collapsed. There’s no national strategy and they’re so skint there’s no anti HS2 advertising, not that it’s made any impact when there was. Their empty threats to vote for Farage’s Brexit Party have been rendered even more laughable by the man’s decision not to stand in Tory seats (which is what the majority of HS2 runs through on Phase 1! Even poor Peter Deeley is starting to realise he’s been shafted by Farage…
HS2 antis are going to have a terrible election. I can’t see the likes of Arch-Brexiters such as Deeley voting Green and damaging Tory chances so I’m looking forward to crunching the post – election numbers in constituencies HS2 passes through – such as the Chilterns, Warwickshire and Tatton!
Until then the voting’s over, stophs2’s tale of woe will continue…
We don’t want any of your stinkin’ facts in this discussion – says everyone anit-HS2.
Paul Bigland said:
They do show a long tradition of sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to updated information and new facts.
It does seem to be the case that most if not all the comments on the Stop HS2 sources are the same old regurgitated waffle.
It’s a scam.
It’s only for the rich few (shades of the Hunger Games).
It’s a stitch up and always was going to be.
Vote Stop HS2.
It’s destroying the environment / ecocide.
The WCML is empty, my mate sat next to it for hours and didn’t see a train.
I know someone who’s losing all their farmland.
All those in favour stand to gain personally.
We shouldn’t build it because it will be flooded.
£7.4 Billion spent so far and no work done.
There will be no modal shift.
Nobody wants it.
I could go on, but we’ve seen it all.
Paul Bigland said:
Very much so Phil, Hs2 anti’s churn out the same old rubbish on an endless loop. It’s a bit like the old pub bore – everyone stops listening after a while…
The BBC “Have your say” forum is entertaining today. Very fact-free, which is odd as I’m sure all those comenting have read and digested the report before hitting the keyboard.
Excellent analysis Paul. The point about the rising fares is pertinent – the less affluent will be priced off the railways without HS2 – HS2 is the opposite of a rich man’s train.
I note that Lord Berkeley of London is stamping his feet saying that all the other members of The Oakervee Committee are wrong…..no surprise there – he always claims that he supports HS2 in The Lords, and then does everything to undermine it. The GB Freight group explained why HS2 is required, and Lord Berkeley is meant to be in favour of rail freight.
The Green Party is all over the place. Yesterday there was data showing that passengers are moving ro rail from domestic air on TWCML from Glasgow to London. Without HS2 this would go into reverse.
Paul Bigland said:
Very good point about folk being priced off the rails without HS2 Nigel. As you say, this is exactly the opposite of the ‘rich mans train’.
I live in Uxbridge; I get a bit miffed with a certain duck on Twitter that keeps telling us HS2 is a “hot topic” of conversation in the Uxbridge pubs. He must go to different pubs to me then – in the ones I frequent literally no-one gives a stuff.
Never do you see Greene, Kier and any of the other Harvil Road protest campers campaigning on Uxbridge High Street. One would think it would be an easy win for them, but they seem to prefer hunkering down around their brazier at Harvil Road burning up trees and moaning to each other about carbon emissions (the irony.)
Paul Bigland said:
Thanks for your input Steve! I suspect the next election results will show exactly what every election result since 2010 has. Few people are that bothered by HS2, and even less will change who they vote for in a General Election because of it.
LOL – just to make me a liar, Joe Rukin has turned up outside Uxbridge Tube station today (2019-11-15) dressed as a tree!
Paul Bigland said:
Oh, for the love of God…Can you get a picture? Mind you, Rukin’s always been as thick as two short planks, now he’s going back to his origins!
There’s a video of it on Twitter, though it would not surprise me if it’s posted by one of the accounts who have you on block. You’re not missing much! It’s a few pensioners brandishing an XR banner and a guy in an orange jumpsuit re-enacting the “felling” of tree Joe as the bask in the apathy of passer by. If they are true to form it’ll possible turn up on YouTube later
paul andrews said:
Great News, and it also makes sense to build Phase 1 and 2 at the same time so that there are services running to the north (Crewe) on day one and it’s not all London to Birmingham.