This petition calls upon the government to:
1) Re-examine its commitment to the 'High Speed 2' railway project, following claims that the benefits have been overstated
2) Provide an extra £200 million over the next ten years for the creation of the 'Strategic Freight Network' project
3) Provide £560 million for the Manchester Hub project
4) Provide £500 million for the electrification of the East Midlands line
Why re-examine High Speed 2?
Although the RL government has claimed that the £33 billion project could bring benefits of up to £47 billion, this has come under fierce criticism. It is clear that more reaserch is needed before embarking on such an expensive project, in case it turns out to be a white elephant. (Note: As mentioned in the discussion, clause 1) is essentially redundant as the current TSR government has no immediate plans to begin HS2)
What is the Strategic Freight Network?
It is quite simply a plan to increase the efficiency of freight transport in the UK: see here. Some £200 million has already been allocated at the time of writting, but it is thought that more money will be needed to make it effective
According to this and this, the £560 million project could bring 30,000 jobs in the North, economic benefits of £4.2 billion and increase capacity by 3.5 million per year. It is also important to note that transport spending in the North is currently significantly lower than around London
East Midlands line
See here for more detail on this project. According to reasarch, the comparative fuel cost per mile is 47p for diesel compared with 26p for electric, while track wear and tear per mile is 9.8p for diesel and 8.5p for electric.
As Shadow Transport Secretary, I strongly disagree with building a High Speed Railway right through the middle of our glorious countryside. The construction of the High Speed Railway will force people out of their homes, destroy parts of the countryside and generally not be an effective solution for this problem.
(Original post by stanlas)
Inefficient? How is it less efficient than cars? Or buses? Any statistics on the 'inefficiency' of trains compared to other services? (or do you have some personal bad experience with trains?).
Trains are used by the minority I oppose spending so much money on such a niche market.
The TSR Liberal Democrats strongly support HS2 but the demand for more research will delay this vital piece of infrastructure. HS2 has got to go ahead because the WCML will be chock of block soon. Network Rail (the Infrastructure Company) is saying it.
I looked into this issue last term as part of my tenure as Transport Secretary. There was a call by the current Leader of the Opposition who was the former Secretary of State for Scotland for HS2 to go to Glasgow and Edinburgh which I started looking into.
We (the Lib Dems) disagree with the Transport Secretary's comments and we feel he is out of touch and out of depth
(Original post by davidmarsh01)
What about the possibility of HS2 to Scotland?
That was considered some time ago, but I think it has been dropped by now (the £32 billion will be the cost of the network up to Leeds and Manchester).
I'd just like to make it clear to everyone that I am not actually taking a position on HS2; I just think that it is such a major investment that we need more concrete facts on the costs and benefits before spending any money on it.