Nobody wants a stupid high-speed rail link

24 June 2011

A really fast train, yesterday

The government are spending £32 billion on a high speed rail link, and what with everyone being up a certain creek without a paddle, people are incredibly wary.

According to a poll commissioned by The Taxpayers’ Alliance, it appears that there's a lot of people in Britain who aren't particularly thrilled at this new scheme. In fact, 48 per cent of people want to see the scheme scrapped entirely and only 34 per cent are actually supportive of the link that will be  capable of carrying trains travelling at 250mph.

If successful, a train journey from London to Manchester will be one hour and 20 minutes long. Imagine how spectacular a crash would be. No-one would survive.

Matthew Sinclair, the director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, says: “The public support alternatives that would blunt the need for some particularly painful measures and make room for lower taxes. There is strong support for cutting expensive projects like high speed rail, which they don’t see as the right use of their cash”

However, the government are looking at the project as if it is some kind of magic cure to close the economic gap splitting Britain. For starters, it might shut the mouths of those whining about the BBC's decision to ship a load of jobs away from London to Manchester. It takes longer to travel across London than it does to get to the North by train as it is.

The Transport Secretary Philip Hammond says: “I believe that it is not possible for Britain to maintain its prosperity in the 21st century in an increasingly competitive, global economy unless we can close the growth gap between the north and the south.”

That said, the whole thing is a way off yet, with the first phase of HS2 due for completion by 2026, and will benefit people in Leeds and Manchester... but not Scotland who will have to pay for it, but see no tangible benefits at all, which must be nice for them.

Still, it won't matter much if we're all crushed into one carriage on a train that arrives late.

TOPICS:   Travel   Banking   Government   Tax


  • Sawyer
    Nice job ignoring 34% of the people polled. Your headline as almost as inaccurate as the article you linked to, which seems to think that 48% is "more than half".
  • Mad H.
    Also the fact that it's a survey commissioned by The Taxpayer's Alliance undermines the conclusion somewhat. Though I suppose "bunch of people who don't want taxpayer's money to be spent on anything don't want taxpayer's money spent on high-speed rail" doesn't quite have the same ring to it
  • Mike
    Surely paying a load of people in Britain to build a railway is one way of stimulating the economy. It's also stupid accounting as they will end up getting loads of it back in PAYE and Corporation Tax (or not)
  • klingelton
    Hmm, that which benefits those in leeds and manchester but not the scots.. I couldn't give a fuck about the scots. Most our money goes up there in the form of benefits anyway. The sooner we can cut off those kilt wearing northern money sponges, the better imho.
  • James H.
    Whoever wrote this thread is a complete douche. I think you should watch some engineering connections as you obviously have not a clue what you're on about.
  • mojo j.
    Any article with the words "The Taxpayer’s Alliance" attached to it should be treated with contempt.
  • Stringer B.
    Klingelton- Fuck off you fucking Cunt. I hope you get fucking hit by a bus.
  • Piloteer
    The Eurostar and HS1 which blat down to kent and beyond from London and bloody awesome. Finally, I can cross London and get to the south coast cheaper and faster than I can using my car. Bring it on I say.
  • Fantastic F.
    Klingelton is currently masturbating over a picture of his hero, Kelvin MacKenzie.
  • Isambard B.
    I can understand people wanting to leave Birmingham at high speed, I've only been past on the motorway and tend to accelerate, but going there at high speed? Why would you want to do that?
  • Bazinga
    We're probably paying for Scottish prescriptions, education and rehabilitation - they can get us to London quicker.
  • Dick
    What's the point? The drivers will be on strike anyway.
  • B-Hockey
    @ Stringer. Whilst fucking?
  • Pobice
    Interestingly it was a 50/50 split with males. Probably the Scottish females OAPs who most wanted it scrapped:)
  • andy y.
    Please can we spend £32bn instead to stop kids arsing around with every damned train that passes through Doncaster. The last one was "we have to slow down as there are roof riders in the area".Surely they should have sped up.This isn't Delhi you know,Delhi has some nice bits.
  • Justin
    I use the train about 10 times a year for long distance journeys (probably hundreds of times a year short haul), generally to travel between North Wales, and West Cornwall, approx 450 miles. I either go across to England and down, via Birmingham, or I go through Wales, via Newport, across and then down. Either way, at some point during my 10 hour each way (no exaggeration!) train journey, I end up spending around 2 hours not only without a seat, but squashed in between carriage doors by other passengers, or up against the door so that every time we stop at a station and the doors open, you fall out! You wankers don't need to spend £32 billion on a new high speed link, you need to spend about £2 billion on some new fucking carriages for every train in service, and you can pay £30 billion off the countries deficit - that would please about 95% of people I think you would find. Less fucking cuts in services & rinsing us for taxes to attempt to pay back your 'this month's minimum amount due = umpteen billion quid interest", and trains that when we finally manage to save enough money to have two pennies to rub together, we can actually go away in a bit of comfort (well, sat in a seat at least). Sorry, rant over, got a bit carried away. The very clear, basic, simple point I want to make is; THE RAIL NETWORK DESPERATELY NEEDS DRASTICALLY INCREASED CAPACITY, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN IT NEEDS MORE SPEED - and you can do it cheaper, and not piss so many people off!
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    Justin, A new North-South line will help to provide the increased capacity you desire. People are getting too worked-up over the fact it is 'High-Speed' as though this makes it a vanity project. In this day and age any new intercity line constructed should be capable of high-speed running. Why won't this benefit the Scots? When they travel to London they could change to the high-speed line along the way. The Scots have also benefited from the recent upgrade of the West Coast Main Line which has slashed journey times between Glasgow and London, and pressure will be taken off this line with the construction of High Speed 2. I agree, however, that there is a dire need for further investment in rolling stock. The backwards franchising system we have means all the trains are owned by holding companies called ROSCOs (banks, basically) who lease them out to the Train Operating Companies, the franchise-holders. The ROSCOs have no incentive to acquire more stock because they want to maximise utilisation and demand for the stock they have. I support this sound investment in the country's public transport which will bring us firmly into the 21st Century.
  • klingelton
    glad i ruffled a few feathers with my post. The intense hostility on display is because of my comments representation of the thruth.
  • Mikeyfitz
    Spend it on high speed broadband. I'm in north Norfolk and the HS2 is no use to me. I object strongly to a project that will cost £1000 per household that will never pay it's way and half the population of this country will get no benefit from. Superfast broadband means it is much more practical to do many productive jobs from home rather than wasting time and fuel getting to work.

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