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Moderator: Flyin'Dutch'

#1689952
If there was something to spend £1,500+ per head of population to improve UK productivity way beyond the cost, it would be a free national 5G network, and free fibre broadband to every home.

But it seems that we're a nation of trainspotters that want to suck even more money into London, instead of innovators that want to free up opportunities wherever they arise.
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#1689999
The problem with projects like HS2 is they are viewed in isolation and sold that way. We should build it and not stop building. HS2, HS3, HS4 etc. whatever you want to call them are just modernisation of our railway network to run whatever trains may come along over the next 100 years or more. People talk about it only being about London or knocking 20 minutes off the Birmingham to London journey are missing the point. We should start building new railways and not stop.

Projects of this size bring huge benefits to the UK as a whole wherever they are actually located. People come from all over the UK to work on them taking money back to their home town, likewise suppliers are based all over. Hardly any of our suppliers on Crossrail were actually based in London. Most were from the North or South West.

The cost of HS2 was £52bn when I was on it but even if it ends up at £100bn the project is a 13 year long one. That works out at just over 6bn per year. Still a huge amount of money but will give us a world class railway, a huge tax income, thousands of skilled workers, many of which will go from apprentice to seasoned pro over the length of the project and mean we have the workforce and lessons learned to go forward with all the other high speed lines more efficiently.

Many of the people I hear complaining about HS2 are the very same people that complain we no longer build anything, provide apprenticeships or support our local industries. Something like HS2 comes along and they are all against it. :roll:

I do fear however that this will be used by politicians who can only look 5 years down the road to get back some support after Brexit and it will be cancelled. We will have paid a huge amount and dug up large areas only to end up with nothing. Thousands will lose their jobs yet some will see this as a cause for celebration. Personally I would rather we just cut £6bn from our foreign aid budget to pay for it.
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By eltonioni
#1690000
felixflyer wrote:Many of the people I hear complaining about HS2 are the very same people that complain we no longer build anything, provide apprenticeships or support our local industries. Something like HS2 comes along and they are all against it. :roll:
.

Not me, I'm suggesting that we dig up every street in the UK to install and give away a 21st century technology instead of rebuilding an existing 18th century technology that basically works.
By johnm
#1690002
HS2 might one day make some sense as might the restoration of East West link from Oxford to Cambridge. However they are being looked at in the wrong order.

We need to look at infrastructure requirements North to South not South to North.

As things stand high speed standard design is the default for new lines as they integrate into the overall European Network, but there other ways of improving capacity on existing infrastructure and that's what we should be looking at first.

Moreover we have to look at the environmental implications on a small crowded island and how we mitigate the impact of new construction. Very difficult to do that.
#1690006
We need to do all of it, not bits.

Part of the problem is that too many people are harking back to the good old days, when there was smog killing people, we died at age 40 but the sun never set on 'the empire'
#1690018
The UK needs to become less London centric and business both domestic and foreign convinced to move away from the capital. The best way to do this is by building fast reliable transportation away from London to allow people to gradually move further afield. Kent has been transformed by HS1 and towns like Maidstone & Ashford are building houses and apartments like crazy to cater for all those commuters. This has brought with it more local business to support the influx of new residents and these areas are now becoming viable business centres in their own right. The same effect will happen as high speed services move north.

Building north to south will not have the same effect or, more importantly, be as attractive to outside investors who help pay for it. There are also considerations with the link into Crossrail at Old Oak Common which made sense programwise to be done asap.

In terms of mitigation of environmental impact modern construction projects are all for this. Environmental engineering departments are involved in every step of the process. It is this kind of additional work along with our strict H&S and compensation practices that make these projects so much more expensive than in other parts of the world they often get compared to such as China and the Middle East.
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By PaulB
#1690022
felixflyer wrote:The UK needs to become less London centric and business both domestic and foreign convinced to move away from the capital.


and
Kent has been transformed by HS1 and towns like Maidstone & Ashford are building houses and apartments like crazy to cater for all those commuters.


... and where will the occupants of all these new homes work?

This has brought with it more local business to support the influx of new residents and these areas are now becoming viable business centres in their own right.


So some may work in the local businesses, if they can afford homes in the new commuter belt. That seems like small fry compared to London...
#1690027
Many people have moved away from London whilst continuing to work there helped by these fast connections. Once putting down some roots however they look for alternative employment in the local area or start businesses there. This leads to growth and more jobs.

A lot of couples also choose to move away from the city once they have children to a bigger or cheaper place and these kids grow up to live and work in these areas. Its a long term process not overnight but the effects of HS1 on Kent are already being shown.
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By rikur_
#1690094
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:
Part of the problem is that too many people are harking back to the good old days, when there was smog killing people, we died at age 40 but the sun never set on 'the empire'

In the railways there was no 'good old days' .... I do some work with the Railway Museum, and when you look at media archives over the past 150 years it's a consistent story of dissatisfied passengers, delays, unfair fares, and well intended but unsuccessful Government meddling - the 'golden age of steam' only exists in films.
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By PaulB
#1692061
To live outside London and not drive a car is an exercise in resilience and stoicism. In the north-west of England, where I live, public transport exists mainly to drive people bonkers. If you’ve lived in London or the south-east, as I did for many years, the effects of extreme regional inequality are plain to see as soon as you step on to a bus or train.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ors-london

Empowerment of the Northern Powerhouse is just a figment of the imagination.
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By Popeye
#1692069
I may well be wrong, SWMBO assures me I usually am, but I have been informed that HS2 is not a UK idea but EEU, they want railways from Greece to Scotland (SE- NW) and others just to prove that there's a "joined up" transport policy. Apparently Brussels/Strasbourg haven't heard of the internet/e-mail/teleconferences, etc.; twenty years ago I spent my life flying around Europe designing international telecom cable systems, now it's all done electronically from my home office. If I do have to travel I fly.
By johnm
#1692115
Popeye wrote:I may well be wrong, SWMBO assures me I usually am, but I have been informed that HS2 is not a UK idea but EEU, they want railways from Greece to Scotland (SE- NW) and others just to prove that there's a "joined up" transport policy. Apparently Brussels/Strasbourg haven't heard of the internet/e-mail/teleconferences, etc.; twenty years ago I spent my life flying around Europe designing international telecom cable systems, now it's all done electronically from my home office. If I do have to travel I fly.


Fake news that I've seen before. It arises because there are European standards for new build high speed railways so that any such fit together properly, there's no requirement to build any railway anywhere.
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By PaulB
#1692116
I guess that if it really was EU mandated that it would have to extend to Holyhead for connections to Ireland.

Anyway, back to the point, public transport is woeful I’m many northern areas. (And why is London the only area in England to offer free transport to the over 60s? How can they afford it?)