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Author Topic: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion  (Read 231903 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1080 on: October 24, 2020, 01:11:08 pm »

Paradiddle paradiddle tum tum tum:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/loss-of-ancient-forest-to-hs2-inflated-h2rbnrxn9

I suppose we can expect much, much more of this from the press.

The best that the anti-HS2 alliance can hope to achieve now is that the later stages of HS2 (on which the whole project is justified) are not built, and that a lot of money is invested in fighting off various challenges and clearing away protesters.

While people's attention is focused on HS2, the Lower Thames Crossing (a road scheme which will destroy almost as much ancient woodland and will also encourage people to travel in private motor cars) still appears to be getting a free ride.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1081 on: October 24, 2020, 05:20:36 pm »

Paradiddle paradiddle tum tum tum:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/loss-of-ancient-forest-to-hs2-inflated-h2rbnrxn9

I suppose we can expect much, much more of this from the press.

The best that the anti-HS2 alliance can hope to achieve now is that the later stages of HS2 (on which the whole project is justified) are not built, and that a lot of money is invested in fighting off various challenges and clearing away protesters.

While people's attention is focused on HS2, the Lower Thames Crossing (a road scheme which will destroy almost as much ancient woodland and will also encourage people to travel in private motor cars) still appears to be getting a free ride.


Has the Lower Thames Crossing been approved yet?
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stuving
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« Reply #1082 on: October 24, 2020, 05:27:18 pm »

Has the Lower Thames Crossing been approved yet?

Not quite. The application for a DCO to the Planning Inspectorate only went in yesterday! Mind you, the initial notification of intent to apply for a DCO was submitted nearly two years ago. Mustn't rush, must we?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1083 on: October 24, 2020, 06:02:21 pm »

Has the Lower Thames Crossing been approved yet?

Not quite. The application for a DCO to the Planning Inspectorate only went in yesterday! Mind you, the initial notification of intent to apply for a DCO was submitted nearly two years ago. Mustn't rush, must we?


Probably explains why it isn't getting much attention compared to the ongoing circus that is HS2.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1084 on: October 24, 2020, 06:45:22 pm »

Has the Lower Thames Crossing been approved yet?

Not quite. The application for a DCO to the Planning Inspectorate only went in yesterday! Mind you, the initial notification of intent to apply for a DCO was submitted nearly two years ago. Mustn't rush, must we?


Probably explains why it isn't getting much attention compared to the ongoing circus that is HS2.

Perhaps so. Just seems eccentric. If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?
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« Reply #1085 on: October 24, 2020, 07:50:54 pm »

If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?

Having put ... so much ... effort into a campaign, it's very, very hard to draw a line - even a pragmatic one and move on as the chance of success trickles away, or becomes more glaringly obvious if there ever was a chance of success.   So it may be a poor choice of the head, but opposing HS2 is a choice of the heart.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1086 on: October 24, 2020, 09:18:27 pm »

If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?

Having put ... so much ... effort into a campaign, it's very, very hard to draw a line - even a pragmatic one and move on as the chance of success trickles away, or becomes more glaringly obvious if there ever was a chance of success.   So it may be a poor choice of the head, but opposing HS2 is a choice of the heart.

One view certainly, albeit an entirely subjective one.

When the subject of HS2 is discussed in this forum, I remind myself that it is overwhelmingly populated by rail enthusiasts (not intended in an y way derogatory), and as such is not representative of the view in the Nation where only around 25% (and falling) support HS2.....it is, in essence, an echo chamber, which tends to happen where interests are strongly shared.....the external environment is not always considered, and contrary opinions and inconvenient facts downplayed, mocked or ignored.

With such a low level of support, the massive overspending and delay, the much reduced demand for business rail travel going forward which was a main justification for the project in the first place, and the parlous state of the economy, there's every possibility of it being curtailed and/or its scope drastically reduced.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to be climbing trees (not at my age!), I don't even object to it as strongly as many, I've just questioned the need from the start and the ongoing colossal escalation in cost, versus what seems to be diminishing benefits. I've read a lot of interesting opinions here, but nothing that's changed my mind.

If it was up to me, I think the money could have been better spent on developing and extending regional routes,  rather than what many have seen from the start as a vanity project.

It'll be interesting to see how things progress.
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TonyK
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« Reply #1087 on: October 24, 2020, 09:50:40 pm »

Perhaps so. Just seems eccentric. If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?

I don't know if it's just because HS2 is longer than the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) and therefore passes by more people, or that it will carry lots of people very fast in new trains rather than just a few more thousand of the cars that we are all familiar with, but it does seem to have drawn the crowds from the road building projects. Maybe the core  protesters are too few to attack two or more projects at the same time? As Red Squirrel says, the first part of HS2 is absolutely unstoppable, whereas there remains at least a glimmer of hope that LTC can be altered, possibly even scrapped.

Changes to a big infrastructure project are often made at the early stages because of public sentiment, forcefully expressed. The extra tunnels on HS2 are an example, as is the tunnel for the coal conveyor between Portbury Dock and Avonmouth, originally planned to be overhead. The various reworkings of the A303 design past Stonehenge is another example, although nobody has yet decided on the least worst option to date. However, I cannot think of a single such project that stalled after construction began because of people in trees or tunnels. That doesn't mean that resistance is futile, as it could alter minds on future projects, but when the diggers start digging, they generally keep on doing so until the end. Remember to that HS2 is keenly awaited in the newly blue-painted north, with lots of ancillary work under way, and watering down of the project would be seen by many in the business and political class as yet another betrayal to appease the middle class marginal constituents. It is always easier to campaign against something than for it.

Much has been made of the reduction in rail traffic, and the probable future emptiness of all trains north of Watford, seeing this as justification for abandoning HS2. That will no doubt be cited as a supporting argument for the LTC project, as well as Heathrow's third runway if it ever gets built. What mitigates against one solution favours another, giving rise to a seemingly endless cycle of planning and protesting. HS2 began life because of campaigns against long distance car travel and internal flights within UK, couple with crowded railways , and a demand that "something be done". I don't think anyone in government thought that they would be cheered to the rafters when the solution was unveiled, and those prayers answered.

In other news, New Civil Engineer carries an extended welcome to Florence and Cecilia, HS2's new very interesting boring machines. They are a great leap forward from the ones that brought us Crossrail (nearly). They are to be assembled soon, and will be ready for protesters to lie in front of next spring.

Quote
High Speed 2 | Tunnellers get ready at the foot of the Chilterns
20 OCT, 2020 BY GREG PITCHER

Work on High Speed 2 is ramping up ahead of tunnelling on the first phase of the route.

When tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Florence and Cecilia are launched next spring, the 2,000t German-built giants will work relentlessly and largely unseen for three years to create the UK?s longest transport tunnel.

Named after local nursing and astronomy legends Florence Nightingale and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, the Herrenknecht TBMs will create 16km of twin-bore passageway under Buckinghamshire?s Chiltern Hills for High Speed 2 (HS2).

Challenging conditions
And like their namesakes, the bespoke machines will display elements of innovation working in challenging conditions.
(Continues at source, with pictures and diagrams)

TaplowGreen may well be right about this being a rail based echo chamber, and attitudes one way or another are unlikely to change much. The same is true of the vocal opponents of HS2, although it is not beyond the realms of credibility to assume that one or two may one day ride on it. On a smaller scale, there was a great deal of noise against the extension of Manchester's Metrolink into Oldham, all of which stopped with the arrival of the first tram. I'm not sure where the 25% figure for support comes from  and whether that means 10% oppose it and 65% don't care one way or the other, but that figure is higher than the one which got Bristol's mayor elected. I do support his call for improvements to regional routes though, and if he is launching a campaign, I will happily join it, and not just to remind him that the finance for HS2 was, like all such projects, calculated on the basis of it being at least repaid. If HS2 is not built, there would be no money to spend elsewhere, just as you can't agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, then tell him you aren't buying the house, but will spend it on a few houseboats instead.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1088 on: October 25, 2020, 05:22:50 pm »

Perhaps so. Just seems eccentric. If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?

I don't know if it's just because HS2 is longer than the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) and therefore passes by more people, or that it will carry lots of people very fast in new trains rather than just a few more thousand of the cars that we are all familiar with, but it does seem to have drawn the crowds from the road building projects. Maybe the core  protesters are too few to attack two or more projects at the same time? As Red Squirrel says, the first part of HS2 is absolutely unstoppable, whereas there remains at least a glimmer of hope that LTC can be altered, possibly even scrapped.

Changes to a big infrastructure project are often made at the early stages because of public sentiment, forcefully expressed. The extra tunnels on HS2 are an example, as is the tunnel for the coal conveyor between Portbury Dock and Avonmouth, originally planned to be overhead. The various reworkings of the A303 design past Stonehenge is another example, although nobody has yet decided on the least worst option to date. However, I cannot think of a single such project that stalled after construction began because of people in trees or tunnels. That doesn't mean that resistance is futile, as it could alter minds on future projects, but when the diggers start digging, they generally keep on doing so until the end. Remember to that HS2 is keenly awaited in the newly blue-painted north, with lots of ancillary work under way, and watering down of the project would be seen by many in the business and political class as yet another betrayal to appease the middle class marginal constituents. It is always easier to campaign against something than for it.

Much has been made of the reduction in rail traffic, and the probable future emptiness of all trains north of Watford, seeing this as justification for abandoning HS2. That will no doubt be cited as a supporting argument for the LTC project, as well as Heathrow's third runway if it ever gets built. What mitigates against one solution favours another, giving rise to a seemingly endless cycle of planning and protesting. HS2 began life because of campaigns against long distance car travel and internal flights within UK, couple with crowded railways , and a demand that "something be done". I don't think anyone in government thought that they would be cheered to the rafters when the solution was unveiled, and those prayers answered.

In other news, New Civil Engineer carries an extended welcome to Florence and Cecilia, HS2's new very interesting boring machines. They are a great leap forward from the ones that brought us Crossrail (nearly). They are to be assembled soon, and will be ready for protesters to lie in front of next spring.

Quote
High Speed 2 | Tunnellers get ready at the foot of the Chilterns
20 OCT, 2020 BY GREG PITCHER

Work on High Speed 2 is ramping up ahead of tunnelling on the first phase of the route.

When tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Florence and Cecilia are launched next spring, the 2,000t German-built giants will work relentlessly and largely unseen for three years to create the UK?s longest transport tunnel.

Named after local nursing and astronomy legends Florence Nightingale and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, the Herrenknecht TBMs will create 16km of twin-bore passageway under Buckinghamshire?s Chiltern Hills for High Speed 2 (HS2).

Challenging conditions
And like their namesakes, the bespoke machines will display elements of innovation working in challenging conditions.
(Continues at source, with pictures and diagrams)

TaplowGreen may well be right about this being a rail based echo chamber, and attitudes one way or another are unlikely to change much. The same is true of the vocal opponents of HS2, although it is not beyond the realms of credibility to assume that one or two may one day ride on it. On a smaller scale, there was a great deal of noise against the extension of Manchester's Metrolink into Oldham, all of which stopped with the arrival of the first tram. I'm not sure where the 25% figure for support comes from  and whether that means 10% oppose it and 65% don't care one way or the other, but that figure is higher than the one which got Bristol's mayor elected. I do support his call for improvements to regional routes though, and if he is launching a campaign, I will happily join it, and not just to remind him that the finance for HS2 was, like all such projects, calculated on the basis of it being at least repaid. If HS2 is not built, there would be no money to spend elsewhere, just as you can't agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, then tell him you aren't buying the house, but will spend it on a few houseboats instead.

When you agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, you generally know the cost of what you're buying.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 05:29:19 pm by TaplowGreen » Logged
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1089 on: October 25, 2020, 05:31:28 pm »

If (for the sake of argument) we were to agree that both schemes were equally bad in terms of environmental damage, then it wouldn't it be a poor choice to invest a lot of time and effort in trying to stop the one which won't be stopped, when there is still time to stop the one that could be?

Having put ... so much ... effort into a campaign, it's very, very hard to draw a line - even a pragmatic one and move on as the chance of success trickles away, or becomes more glaringly obvious if there ever was a chance of success.   So it may be a poor choice of the head, but opposing HS2 is a choice of the heart.


One view certainly, albeit an entirely subjective one.

When the subject of HS2 is discussed in this forum, I remind myself that it is overwhelmingly populated by rail enthusiasts (not intended in an y way derogatory), and as such is not representative of the view in the Nation where only around 25% (and falling) support HS2.....it is, in essence, an echo chamber, which tends to happen where interests are strongly shared.....the external environment is not always considered, and contrary opinions and inconvenient facts downplayed, mocked or ignored.

With such a low level of support, the massive overspending and delay, the much reduced demand for business rail travel going forward which was a main justification for the project in the first place, and the parlous state of the economy, there's every possibility of it being curtailed and/or its scope drastically reduced.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to be climbing trees (not at my age!), I don't even object to it as strongly as many, I've just questioned the need from the start and the ongoing colossal escalation in cost, versus what seems to be diminishing benefits. I've read a lot of interesting opinions here, but nothing that's changed my mind.

If it was up to me, I think the money could have been better spent on developing and extending regional routes,  rather than what many have seen from the start as a vanity project.

It'll be interesting to see how things progress.

Whilst much of your post is well-reasoned, there are a few points that could be picked up on.

I agree that a forum mainly comprised of people with similar interests and perhaps experiences can turn into an echo chamber at times. However, such a group is usually better informed on their specialist subjects than a more general one. Most people who understand the railway?s current issues will know of the capacity problems on the WCML and other routes north to south, and also that the then governments message that HS2 was all to do with speed of travel for passengers between London and Birmingham was ill-conceived, and capacity issues should have been emphasised from the start.

The quotation of a poll stating that 75% were opposed to HS2 is, as Tony K pointed out, not really reliable. We know that 25% were in favour but we don?t know why 75% were not. Was it because 75% were actually opposed? We don?t know, and cannot find out. They may have said they oppose it because it is of no personal benefit to them, like the man on the Clapham omnibus, let alone the Penzance omnibus. They may oppose it, as I think you do, because they erroneously believe that there is a pot of money sitting in the bank that could be spent on modernising the rest of the railway instead (or more specifically perhaps their local bit of railway), blissfully unaware that many sections of railway are being modernised anyway as we speak. They may not give a toss either way but answered the survey as an opponent because there wasn?t a don?t know option. We don?t know how the question was formulated, and it is well-known that how you phrase a question can have a major bearing on the answer you get

They may of course even have bought the hype put around by the opponents that it is a vanity project. What exactly does that mean? Whose vanity project? David Cameron? Andrew Adonis? Most people won?t even know who they were by the time it opens. And even if you can find a donkey to pin that vanity project tail on, it is worth bearing in mind that people like Brunel and Frank Whittle had their own vanity project, and we are rather better off with them today than we would have been if they hadn?t bothered.

Finally there are a number of issues involved here that are nothing to do with railways and more to do with politics. Firstly, cancelling a major infrastructure project because of COVID would not only be short-sighted from the point of view of the pandemic, which will be over one day, but is also the wrong thing to do because such a project creates employment, something the country could do with a lot of at the moment.

Secondly, and to perhaps over-generalise it, the north wants HS2 built and those that live in the leafy glades of the south don?t want it. Those in the southern leafy glades will vote conservative whether or not HS2 is built; those in the north, especially in those former red wall seats, may do something else come the next election if HS2 is cancelled. And that might, just might, be the most important reason the current government has in its arsenal, to keep the diggers on site. I doubt they?ll actually say so, though...




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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1090 on: October 25, 2020, 05:56:01 pm »

When you agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, you generally know the cost of what you're buying.

But HS2 hasn't been built yet. This isn't like buying a bijou maisonette at Taplow Riverside.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1091 on: October 25, 2020, 06:53:36 pm »

When you agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, you generally know the cost of what you're buying.

But HS2 hasn't been built yet. This isn't like buying a bijou maisonette at Taplow Riverside.

Sarcastic and patronising in one sentence. Well done.

As I said above, an echo chamber where alternative opinions are downplayed or mocked.

I'll leave you to it.

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1092 on: October 25, 2020, 07:02:11 pm »


When you agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, you generally know the cost of what you're buying.

Do you?

You know how much you are paying to the vendor, but you dont know what your repair and maintenance costs will be, nor what will happen to interest rates over the period of the mortgage. Part of the cost of HS2 is to cover the contractors potential costs of repair in the future

It will also be unlikely that the neighbours will group together and insist your house is put in a tunnel so it wont spoil their views
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TonyK
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« Reply #1093 on: October 25, 2020, 07:34:55 pm »

Sarcastic and patronising in one sentence. Well done.

As I said above, an echo chamber where alternative opinions are downplayed or mocked.

I'll leave you to it.

I didn't read it in that way. There may be something about the riverside in Taplow that I don't know, though.

This isn't a true echo chamber, though. Here, in this thread, we have two diametrically opposed opinions on the main topic, and lots of side-discussion about the various engineering elements. True, this all comes under the umbrella of railway, but I wouldn't say there was only one view.

The mortgage simile may be slightly wide of the mark, by the way, but I couldn't think of a better one. As Robin points out rather more lucidly than I did, this is not a case of the cabinet wondering what to do with a large pot of money, with a binary choice between regional improvements or HS2. The money does not exist without the programme. It is going to spur on wider improvements in rail infrastructure, though, as stations are adapted or even built to receive HS2 and services improved to meet it. Don't forget also that it will join the WCML, giving three routes between Euston and the north, rather than the two main ones.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 10:04:50 am by TonyK » Logged

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1094 on: October 26, 2020, 12:17:52 pm »

When you agree a mortgage on a house with your bank manager, you generally know the cost of what you're buying.

But HS2 hasn't been built yet. This isn't like buying a bijou maisonette at Taplow Riverside.

Sarcastic and patronising in one sentence. Well done.

As I said above, an echo chamber where alternative opinions are downplayed or mocked.

I'll leave you to it.



Mentioning 'Taplow' could be seen as tackling the player rather than the ball, and for that I apologise.

I don't accept that this is an echo chamber though. It is important that alternative opinions continue to be expressed, on this topic and on all the others on this forum where opinion is divided.
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