eltonioni wrote:Huh? What is fake news? The crappy trains, the previously electrified trans-Pennine line, that HS2 to Sheffield won't be electrified, or that HS2 is on the skids and about to be cancelled?
My reference is to the general quality of debate about investment decisions in rail, which it seems in parts this thread is trying to emulate.
If we believe the rumours, it looks likely that some big decisions will be made that politicians believe will be popular, based on the general public being half-informed at best, and in many cases I would say deliberately misinformed.
You could write a book on the factors that have created the issues with rail in the north (e.g. Historically the north had too many separate PTEs and local authorities trying to compete with each other and no coherent pan-North transport plan; BR regional railways being the 'poor' cousin to Inter-city and NSE; through to the 2004 franchise decision to effectively stop investment).
However, I do feel that the tides could turn - but need coherent public support. What started with the "Northern Way" initiative under John Prescott - effectively rebranded as Northern Powerhouse by Osbourne, and more recently developed with less fanfare into the most coherent plan for rail transport in the north
in at least a generation. Not something developed by a couple of faceless bureaucrats in a cupboard somewhere, but a pan political, evidence based plan that aligns to the criteria government uses to allocate funding.
Whilst it makes a great political rallying cry to call for HS2 to be scrapped and spend [some of] the money on reopening the Woodhead tunnels instead, people would be better off taking the time to understand the plans that have been developed to improve rail in the north, and supporting them.
Instead what I suspect will actually happen, is that each political kingdom, mayor, MP, council leader, etc will instead push for their own pet project based on a few simple soundbites, and we'll maintain our tradition of 150 years of railways that are brilliant to moan about.