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Old December 7th, 2012, 09:42 PM   #261
Gareth
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Remember the reluctance with which Gareth conceded that the Mersey Gateway Bridge just might have some benefit to the City Region.
For goodness sake, Martin, I never even slightly insinuated that the MGB (as the kids in the hood are calling it) would have no benefit whatsoever to the city region.

Last edited by Gareth; December 8th, 2012 at 02:25 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #262
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The government should look at a Liverpool-Manchester-Sheffield Transpennine high speed rail service.

Sadly, 'the north' does not seem to be worthy, shall we say, of such an investment. Absolutely blinkered if you ask me. When was Britain greatest? During the Industrial Revolution. Which cities led it? The cities of the north.

Those rentiers down south genuinely believe pumping all investment into London and exchanging money in Canary Wharf are grounds for a strong economy. This is despite the fact that the banks are failed miserably. In short, the system is bankrupt.

So why do they still believe this? Because they are complete and utter morons.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #263
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The failure of British Governments to invest in high speed rail, over a period of decades, simply highlights the failings of our particular form of capitalism.

There is easily enough money in the UK economy to dramatically renew and expand our infrastructure, to invest in the nation's future.

However, far, far too much of that money is hoarded by a small minority, or diverted out of the country altogether to international owners and investors.

The result is, whilst countries like China are building high speed rail, bridges, motorways and cities, Britain struggles to finance and build one simple line from London to relatively nearby Birmingham.

High speed two is a pathetic, drawn out farce. By the time it ever gets built, Britain may already be on fixed downwards trajectory compared to emerging economies.

Our system simply doesn't work.

Much the same can be said for the United States, which is also held back by vested private interests and similarly impotent when it comes to investing in its future.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:05 PM   #264
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Nail on the head.

We've been used as fodder for generations to enable a tiny minority to globalise at our expense.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #265
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The Chinese are moving mountains literally!

China to flatten 700 mountains for new metropolis in the desert
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...nzhou-new-area
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Old December 10th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #266
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It's unfair to compare Britain to China. Many of these bridges, motorways and housing developments are unnecessary and end up unused and empty. The Chinese government is unopposed, it is an unrelenting monster that can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, whether the local people want it or not.

This isn't me excusing the inept British government though, but there are more favourable comparisons closer to home, such as France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (which all benefit massively from having a connected high speed rail system, considering they border one another, and domestic usage of high-speed rail in many of these countries is low, and it is primarily used for foreign travel).
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Old December 10th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #267
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No mention still of Liverpool getting the HS2 however the Derby, Leicester and Nottingham look likely to be getting a share.

Patrick McLoughlin, Cabinet Minister for the Department for Transport - "I'll be announcing early in the New Year, where the line will go from Birmingham to Leeds and from Birmingham to Manchester. And I think for the East Midlands - for Derby and Nottingham, and Leicestershire- it is a very, very important development."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20661484
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Isnt it time they closed this white Elephant and stop wasting money
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Old December 11th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #268
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none of those cities will be getting a direct service though, pretty sure it will be a parkway station.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #269
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He is an MP in that area.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Richard_A View Post
The failure of British Governments to invest in high speed rail, over a period of decades, simply highlights the failings of our particular form of capitalism.

There is easily enough money in the UK economy to dramatically renew and expand our infrastructure, to invest in the nation's future.

However, far, far too much of that money is hoarded by a small minority, or diverted out of the country altogether to international owners and investors.

The result is, whilst countries like China are building high speed rail, bridges, motorways and cities, Britain struggles to finance and build one simple line from London to relatively nearby Birmingham.

High speed two is a pathetic, drawn out farce. By the time it ever gets built, Britain may already be on fixed downwards trajectory compared to emerging economies.

Our system simply doesn't work.

Much the same can be said for the United States, which is also held back by vested private interests and similarly impotent when it comes to investing in its future.
Too many NIMBY's in the Tory shires which the route of the line passes through to reach Birmingham, and no doubt there will be more NIMBY's to face in the Tory shires between Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. We know what a hard time Isambard Kingdom Brunel had with the NIMBY's of his day when the project to build the Great Western Railway ran up against a host of vested interests 180 years ago. He was cross-examined in Parliament over a period of 11 days, before the bill to build the GWR finally got Royal Assent, so that says plenty about what HS2 will face.

And you're right, about 28% of the nation's wealth, or about £414 billion, is in the hands of the richest 1,000 people or so.

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Old December 17th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #271
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Could the derelict Copperas Hill Sorting Office site be set aside for a potential extension to Lime Street Station, to allow for captive high-speed rail services right into Liverpool? I know John Moores Uni have plans for student halls of residence on that site, but the city isn't exactly short of such schemes at the moment.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #272
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December 26, 2012 5:01 pm

Northern support for HS2 jumps the rails
By Andrew Bounds and Mark Odell



The widespread support from northern cities and towns for the £32.7bn high-speed rail line is fracturing over concerns some will be left on the slow track.

Intense lobbying from communities including Liverpool and Warrington has left the government with a near impossible task as it prepares to announce in January the second phase of the scheme, north of Birmingham.

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, had already delayed from December details of the so-called Y-route that would link Manchester and Leeds to the proposed London to Birmingham section.

That delay led to feverish speculation over the winners and losers in northern communities from the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, still in its planning stages and facing many hurdles before work is due to start in 2016.

While attention has focused on the southern opposition to the first phase, due for completion in 2026, the more supportive northern councils and business leaders are at odds over the route for phase two as well as the number and location of the stops. On the current timetable, the Manchester and Leeds legs are due to become operational in 2033.

In the northwest, some of the strongest lobbying has come from Liverpool and Warrington, which fear they will suffer serious disadvantage, compared with Manchester and Leeds. Authorities in Cheshire are also pushing hard for a stop at Crewe. Manchester and Leeds are concerned mainly with maintaining the fastest possible connection times to London, which would be undermined by many intermediate stops.

Robert Hough, chairman of the Liverpool city region local enterprise partnership (Lep), said: “The route must not disadvantage Liverpool by making the journey to Manchester quicker. It is vital for Liverpool to maintain its economic position . . . If the government is backing localism and creating city regions there must be a level playing field.”

When the government laid out the London to Birmingham route in January, it released outline proposals for the second phase that alarmed Liverpool.

The plans showed trains serving Liverpool would rejoin the existing West Coast mainline just north of Birmingham, giving a journey time to London of 106 minutes, a little less than 40 minutes slower than high-speed services to Manchester. Presently the fastest London to Liverpool service is two minutes slower than one to Manchester.

Merseyside MPs want Liverpool services run on the high-speed line further north, possibly to the old railway town of Crewe, before splitting off, which would reduce the gap with Manchester to 20 minutes.

That plan would be welcomed by Pete Waterman, the record producer and a steam train enthusiast, who is leading the Cheshire and Warrington Lep’s push for a stop at Crewe, which could connect with trains to Chester, Wales and the Midlands.

Mr Waterman, who owns L&NWR Heritage, a Crewe-based rolling stock maintenance company, said: “There are 6m people within an hour of Crewe. It is why the Victorians built the station there. You need connectivity. It would be a tonic for the whole northwest.”

However, further to the north and nearer Liverpool, the town of Warrington, which is less than two hours from London on the existing mainline, fears being marginalised.

“We are concerned,” said Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the town council. “We have a very good service to Euston and if the investment is not maintained in the existing railway we could be at a disadvantage.”

Graham Brady, Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale West, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives, said he was pressing for a station in south Manchester. That could be near Manchester airport, the UK’s third busiest, and in the Tatton constituency of George Osborne, chancellor, and there could be pressure for expensive tunnelling to “hide” the line there.

The main split in HS2, the so-called Y, is likely to be near Lichfield and this has led to a tussle on the eastern line to Leeds. Derby and Nottingham are vying for a station, with speculation favouring Toton Sidings, a goods yard in the outskirts of Nottingham, near the M1 motorway, or at East Midlands airport. A stop in South Yorkshire is also probable.

James Newman, chairman of Sheffield City Region Lep, which spans an area from Doncaster to Derbyshire, said he was “hopeful” the city would get a station. One theory favours Meadowhall, a big shopping centre next to the M1, which has rail links across the north and a tram line to Sheffield.

Advocates of more stops point to recent remarks by Mr McLoughlin emphasising the need for connectivity. But high-speed rail executives offer a counter argument based on Treasury concerns about the cost of HS2.

“If the objective is to cut the cost of this project then the best way of doing that is to build a line with as few stops as possible, which also has the advantage of keeping the line truly high speed. Stations are expensive to build and they have to be maintained, while slowing the services down,” said an executive.

Mr Brady said the protests in the south against the line could be echoed in the north unless “quick and generous compensation” was offered to those affected by the route.

Whatever course the government chooses, one thing it can be certain of is that in the eyes of some it will have got it wrong.


High Court to rule on first-phase consultation

January is a key month for the government in keeping the momentum behind HS2, with a High Court judge due to rule on whether the government’s consultation on the first phase of the line was flawed, writes Mark Odell.

Opponents of the rail project were in the High Court this month, where five cases against the London to Birmingham line were wrapped into a hearing that lasted just over a week.

If the judge were to rule in favour of the opponents it could lead to a delay of up to two years and have huge ramifications for the project, which is still in its planning stages. A judgment is expected by late January.

HS2 has cross-party support and the government is backing it with about £500m in funding over the next two years. An arms-length delivery body, HS2 Ltd, is to complete the documentation for the complex planning process that is scheduled to go before parliament at the end of 2013.

The lengthy parliamentary process, known as a hybrid bill, is due to be finished before the next general election in 2015 and was expected to cover only the first phase of the scheme. There has been speculation that the government might put the whole route into the one bill, although it is unclear what that would do to the timing.

If the bill were to pass as planned, construction work on the first phase could start in 2016, a full 10 years before the London to Birmingham section is due to open.
Source: Financial Times
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Old December 27th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #273
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London doesn't give a shit about connections to Warrington,Leeds,Crewe,Manchester,Liverpool,Birmingham etc. it 's all about connections to the big airports. Everything else is just a cosmetic exercise as London amusingly watches it's divide and rule policy in action.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #274
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London doesn't give a shit about connections to Warrington,Leeds,Crewe,Manchester,Liverpool,Birmingham etc. it 's all about connections to the big airports. Everything else is just a cosmetic exercise as London amusingly watches it's divide and rule policy in action.
True.

In all honesty, that is why we don't have it already.

I still think HSR is not needed at best and divisive at worst. So we cut 20mins off travel time from 2hrs to 1hr 40mins. It is no dealbreaker. We are a geographically small country that thinks it is the size of the USA. Delusions abound.

The north west link should run in between both Lverpool and Manchester -- as does, say, the M6 --and favour neither, if it happens at all.

Unfortunately this project seems more about improving access to London, rather than improving our once great provincial cities. And that is both sad and dangerous.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #275
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Both the Telegraph and the Sunday Times reporting that Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool will be big winners when the HS2 route gets announced this week, while Sheffield and Nottingham lose out.

Could mean Liverpool gets a dedicated HS2 spur?

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/...cle1189029.ece

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...loses-out.html
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:49 PM   #276
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It is more likely to be confirmation that a western alignment for the Birmingham to Manchester leg has been chosen, allowing classic compatible trains from Liverpool to join somewhere around Crewe rather than at Lichfield, which would have been the case if an east of Stoke alignment had been chosen.

http://beleben.wordpress.com/2012/09...-on-the-route/
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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #277
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Decent Emperor's New Clothes identifying article in today's Torygraph about the insanity of the whole project: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ntry-dear.html.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:14 PM   #278
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I probably should but I really couldn't care less about HS2 one bit. Just get Liverpool Waters approved.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 06:56 PM   #279
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I probably should but I really couldn't care less about HS2 one bit. Just get Liverpool Waters approved.
Part of me agrees with you, but with a significant time penalty there is no reason that banks and others will relocate jobs from London to Liverpool Waters. And there do have to be quite significant relocations if the proposed new office space is to be filled and the jobs provided. So getting the HS2 timings right is essential for everything now....oddly, even if it never gets built, because businesses will start making decisions on the basis that it may be built.

Can we live with a 20 minute time penalty (ie 40 minutes on a return trip)? I suppose we may have to. But anything else really would be unacceptable.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:35 PM   #280
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It certainly brings Manchester Airport into the London catchment.

This is a good compromise for Liverpool in several ways. The city gains an advantage over competitor urban areas, the choice of flight destinations should increase at Ringway and Speke, the argument for Liverpool/Wirral waters gets stronger.
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