It’s not hard to see why members of the fourth estate are often held in low esteem when you read unmitigated fact-free nonsense from the likes of Simon Heffer. The man has long opposed Hs2 & uses his Telegraph column to try & rubbish the project as a way of attacking his bete noir, Rime Minister David Cameron. Like another of the projects opponents (Simon Jenkins in the Guardian) he never lets the facts get in the way of his diatribes.
Take yesterday’s Telegraph article as an example.
Amongst the ridiculous claims is this gem about Hs2; ” It has no connections to the existing network; no connections to a possibly expanded Heathrow”
This will come as news to the people of places like Crewe, which is getting a new Hs2 station precisely because of those connections! Or the fact that the East Midlands station will be at Toton because of the connectivity it will be able to offer. London-centric Heffer has even managed to ignore the fact there will be a major interchange at Old Oak Common which will allow folks to easily reach Heathrow.
Oh, and what about the fleet of classic compatible trains that will run off the new Hs2 line to directly serve stations across the network such as York, Newcastle, Wigan, Warringon, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow? These will start running as soon as phase 1 opens in 2026.
Heffer then thunders that building Hs2 is “undemocratic” as the legislation hasn’t yet been passed. He studiously ignores the fact that the Hs2 Preparation Bill (allowing, as its name suggests, preparation work to begin) gained Royal Assent as far back as November 2013. He also refuses to acknowledge that the Hs2 Hybrid Bill’s 2nd reading had a stonking majority of 411, is going through the democratic process now – and still has the support of all the major political parties! It will receive Royal Assent next year and there’s no way a dying number of anti Hs2 protesters or dyspeptic right-wing newspaper columnists can stop it.