4:38pm Wednesday 25th September 2013
REGARDING your feature last week on the HS2 plans.
Bernard Gambrill states that capacity is his driving force as the WCML is already running at capacity.
That is at odds with statements made by Patrick McLoughlin and Simon Burns who have quoted the years 2020 or 2024 as to when the WCML will be at full capacity.
The truth is that the current capacity problem is centered in the commuter areas surrounding the large conurbations, eg the section from Milton Keynes to Euston. Here it must be said that outside commuting hours, capacity is not a problem.
Long distance is currently running at 53 per cent capacity, based upon data available from Virgin Trains.
He also denies the continental experience where TGV for example gave rise to capital centric economic flows, not the reverse as Bernard Gambrill claims.
He also ignored the fact that the French Government has halted any further expansion of the TGV network in favour of the traditional routes, which had been starved of investment during the building of the TGV network, and whose performance had suffered as a consequence.
Andrew Went gave bland and, what he hoped were reassuring responses to some of the questions posed by readers.
He made no reference to the noise pollution with levels as high as 96 decibels. No reference land take and loss of farm production, no mention of the chaos and disruption that construction will impose and a wide corridor of thew community.
He inferred that the consultation meetings were a forum whereby the public would be able to ask questions and obtain answers.
Not if the experience on Phase 1 were to be repeated on Phase 2.
There the stock response could be summed up as ‘I don’t know, I’ll have to get back to you’ – but they did not get back to the questioner.
Andrew Went further claims that ‘we always want to talk to the community and understand it better’.
The answer to that claim is simple – abandon this white elephant that is going to be a tax burden on every working family, that will always require huge operational subsidies and will always run at a loss.
EWEN SIMPSON Chairman Cheshire Against HS2.
Whatcroft Hall Lane, Whatcroft
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group