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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
The consultation period for High Speed 2 ends on July 29th. Please consider objecting to this damaging rail project which threatens environmental damage and property blight along its length.

The government is asking for your responses to the consultation, but as ever with such large projects, the questions are not easy to answer. For guidance on how to answer the questions, go to:
http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/index.php/consultation

To answer the questions on-line (you can save each answer as you go, and modify your answers up till July 29th)
https://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/have-your-say

To sign the petition to stop HS2:
http://www.gopetition.co.uk/petitions/s ... /sign.html

To write to your MP:
http://www.51m.co.uk/about-51m?q=node/20

To read a short FT article explaining why it is not convinced by the government case, go to:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a84d7b80-42a8 ... z1R8IthXs1


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:04 am
Posts: 455
Its great to have these links, I will have a proper read tomorrow when I am awake :wink: . I will definitely sign the petition and leave my views.
Thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:06 pm 
As always there are 2 sides to every story, is there a link to agree with the proposal. Not wishing to attract any adverse attention, but we have the chiltern railway line at the bottom of our garden and it is a real talking point when DS's friends visit. It is busy 24hrs of the day and one just gets used to it. Can't help but think this HS2 thing is a NIMBY thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:22 am 
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When I lived in Salisbury we used to have a railway line at the bottom of our garden - we didn't even know it was there!

You definitely get used to it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
I think it will do more good than bad, and we also have a railway line at the end of our garden. There are worse things out there, sorry.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
The government link provided allows you to make whatever comment you wish, positive or negative.

I too used to live very close to a train line, and yes, you do get used to the sort of low speed trains that trundle through Buckinghamshire. As I understand it, the high speed trains will be another issue altogether.

However, there's more to it than noise - there are many environmental impacts (Friends of the Earth are opposed), plus there are arguments over whether the cost is justifiable, and whether alternatives have been adequately identified.

This line isn't going through my back yard - my objections aren't nimby. But in any event, who's going to protect the 'back yard' except the people it belongs to? Their objections are at least as valid as anyone else's.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:13 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Thank you for posting the links, DHN - there were a couple that I hadn't seen before and they made for interesting reading.

I feel it is one thing to buy a house in the full knowledge that a railway line is already nearby, but to have a new one imposed on you is quite different. Like DHN, we are not close to the proposed route so I don't feel particularly NIMBY-ish about it either, but I am still worried about the damage that HS2 will wreak on the Chilterns AONB.

HS2 is not just a railway line; it will come with all the associated trappings - road widening for construction and emergency vehicle access, additional buildings and concreting over of the countryside for support facilities. As just two examples of the environmental damage it may cause, the water table in the Chilterns is very fragile, but the impact on that of the cuttings and tunnels required for HS2 seems to have been "glossed over" in the proposals. Likewise the loss of ancient hedgerows will be very considerable. People have drawn attention to those and many similar points, and rightly so.

Friends of the Earth were probably bound to be "anti", but the strength of opposition from rather more conservative bodies (with a big "C" as well as a small "c") has been considerable as well. It is difficult to find anyone locally or, increasingly, nationally who has a good word to say about the project.

If the economic necessity for HS2 was clearly proven I think there would be rather less opposition, but there is a lot of suspicion that it is more about propping up public sector building works than about a genuine need for a high-speed rail line in its own right.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 505
Location: Warwickshire
A couple of reasons why others might like to consider commenting against HS2:

£34 billion could probably be better spent, even the Government's own consultation suggests the business case is minimal over 60 years and it's based on people who travel earning £70k a year and not doing any work on the train...

HS1 has cut the number of trains by half - suggesting it's already not fulfilling its promises. HS2 is significantly bigger, more expensive and more damaging. Once a railway line is built through open countryside and environmentally sensitive areas (whether it's your back yard or not!) the site cannot be restored - even if the railway doesn't bring prosperity to the Midlands and North.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:38 pm
Posts: 109
Sally-Anne wrote:
I feel it is one thing to buy a house in the full knowledge that a railway line is already nearby


A substantial part of HS2 uses the alignment of the Great Central Railway, closed under Beeching. Many of the people who are complaining had bought a house which adjoins, or in some cases is on, the trackbed of the GCR. The GCR had always been seen as one of the less defensible of the closures: it was the last line from the north to London to be built, and had been built with the intent of high-speed running with a large, continental structure gauge and gentle curves and gradients linking eventually to a channel tunnel. Proposals to re-open it have been made on a fairly regular basis, and although the alignment has been substantially lost further north, the southern section was relatively complete and had started to be protected. A lot of the people complaining that it's all come as a surprise to them in places like Brackley would have done well to have paid a bit of attention over the past twenty years.

It's also slightly difficult to see what alternatives people are proposing. Building a high-speed line costs little more than building a "classic" line, and in some cases is cheaper (TGV stock doesn't tilt, for example, and TGV lines don't need to be compatible with other stock). The West Coast Main Line is full to capacity, and trying to mix goods, local and semi-fast commuting services and expresses on an infrastructure last substantially upgraded (and that very, very badly indeed) in the 1920s is never going to work well (which is why Europe doesn't try).

An attempt was made in the 1990s, which spent insane amounts of money (the "PUG2" project cost approaching £10bn) in the hope of delivering 140mph running and increasing capacity, but it failed. You can point to that as a reason to not trust the railways, but we all suffer: capacity on the London--Birmingham--Manchester--Scotland route is desperately short, as anyone who's got a morning train from Birmingham to London will attest. Even with trains at, or arguably beyond, the length limits of the infrastructure running every twenty minutes on a time-table that is horrifyingly fragile, the trains are full to capacity for large parts of the day. HS2 isn't needed for speed: that's just a handy side-effect that it's almost silly not to take while it's on offer. The main problem is raw capacity, which for practical purposes is still at the levels it was in the 1960s.

The alternative to HS2 isn't no railway, it's building another "classic" route for roughly the same money along the same or an adjacent alignment. It would be just as intrusive, almost as expensive and deliver less capacity (faster trains => less track occupancy => more capacity), and for what?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:18 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
Quote:
The alternative to HS2 isn't no railway, it's building another "classic" route for roughly the same money along the same or an adjacent alignment. It would be just as intrusive, almost as expensive and deliver less capacity (faster trains => less track occupancy => more capacity), and for what?


Sorry to be picky, but just one example of the alternative to HS2 - RP2A - is:

- significantly less intrusive. It includes upgrades to current routes in a practical way and does not mean the loss of loads of beautiful countryside, listed buildings, habitats of endangered species and other amenities

- less than quarter of the price


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