Darling thinks HS2 will wreck the rest of the rail network

23 August 2013

traintrack Former chancellor, Alistair Darling, reckons that spending £70 billion on one railway line could well have "catastrophic" consequences for the rest of the network and that he doesn't support the HS2 project because it seems "foolish".

If you can't remember the news, the Government are planning on having trains travelling between 8 out of Britain's 10 largest cities, travelling at speeds of 225mph.

Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, Darling warned that if HS2 goes ahead, there will be no money for "maintaining and upgrading existing lines." He said: "What has changed my mind is principally the cost because it’s gone from £30billion to £50billion and recent reports suggest it might even be as high as £70billion."

"My principal concern is that if you spend this money on this one railway line then we will not have the money on maintaining and upgrading existing lines, such as the East Coast line, the line to Bristol, the commuter lines and so on and my experience as Transport Secretary is if you do not spend money on upgrading and improving the track and the trains, then eventually things will start falling apart, as they did in the mid 1990s. And that would be catastrophic."

"We're spending a lot of money on something that still isn't finalised and I’ll also question whether or not we’ll get the gains claimed for it."

TOPICS:   Travel


  • chimichanga
    it's already fucked, it's just that people are used to it & are grateful when it works(ish) as that's the norm.
  • Dick d.
    HS2 FROM London, FOR London based companies, in order to expand London's wealth, not for the sake of the rest of the country. It'll be convenient for non Londoners too (they said as an afterthought). Does this mean LONDONERS pay for 98% the fucking thing then? Does it eck.
  • Yog S.
    Sort the roads.
  • Warwick H.
    ERRRRR Didnt Beeching do that in 1969 ?
  • great s.
    £80bn to get out of that there london 30 minutes quicker. Sounds like a good deal. Just improve signalling & enlarge existing trains to increase capacity-piece of piss. Fine these private TOCs for overcrowding/late trains etc, etc

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