High Speed 2: Campaigners blast new Transport Secretary

Bucks Free Press: High Speed 2: Campaigners blast new Transport Secretary High Speed 2: Campaigners blast new Transport Secretary

CAMPAIGNERS against High Speed 2 have blasted the new Transport Secretary after he dismissed their protests and pledged to fast track the £33bn scheme.

At the Conservative party conference this week Patrick McLoughlin, who recently became the Cabinet Minister in charge of the project, told national media the plans would not be disrupted.

Neither will there be a review into the business case following the fiasco with the West Coast Main Line franchise, which led to a humiliating apology from the Government.

Mr McLoughlin admitted Department for Transport officials had made major mistakes, which could now land the taxpayer with a £40m bill.

Amersham and Chesham MP Cheryl Gillan had called the department to re-examine the HS2 case after the glaring errors were revealed.

But the Transport Secretary has indicated there will not be.

He told the Independent: “All we get is grief. All we get is hassle. But one of the things that government has got to try and do is to look to the long-term future. Whichever route we’re going to put it on we’re going to upset people.”

He said he would love to fast track the scheme if he could.

Joe Rukin, campaign coordinator for Stop HS2 said: “Mr McLoughlin is trying the same old trick, trying to pass us off as just a bunch nimbies and says we are missing the point, but it is he who is missing the point.

“His Government keeps getting grief and hassle because they are pig-headed about a project which is massively expensive, environmentally disastrous, not what the country needs and will not deliver on its promises. The New Economics Foundation, The Institute of Economic Affairs, The Adam Smith Institute and The Taxpayers Alliance all oppose HS2, and even the Institute of Engineering and Technology have said the plans are fundamentally flawed, but he wants to stick his fingers in his ears and pretend the opposition is all about the route.”

He pointed to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee's comments recently that the economic modelling has been 'bonkers' and The National Audit Office's investigation.

Thomas Crane, Director, HS2 Action Alliance, blasted the unwillingness to review HS2 in the light of the West Coast errors, saying: “We would have thought that a project with a cost of £33 billion to tax payers would have at least warranted a proper review when the DfT is so clearly unfit for purpose following the WCML franchise fiasco."

The Government says the scheme will boost the economy, bridge the north-south divide and provide much needed extra capacity on the rail network.

Campaigners say it is unaffordable and will wreck beautiful Chilterns countryside.

Comments (6)

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4:25pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Windsorian says...

It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers!

When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them.

So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election!
It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers! When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them. So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election! Windsorian
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Fri 12 Oct 12

motco says...

Windsorian wrote:
It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers!

When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them.

So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election!
All that and it's 'robust' too!

Err, wait - wasn't the West Coast calculation 'robust'?
[quote][p][bold]Windsorian[/bold] wrote: It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers! When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them. So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election![/p][/quote]All that and it's 'robust' too! Err, wait - wasn't the West Coast calculation 'robust'? motco
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Monte Cristo says...

Windsorian wrote:
It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers! When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them. So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election!
Could it possibly be because some proper solid evidence is needed, and the objections raised by respected bodies need to be addressed, before spending such a lot of money - that we don't currently have? Would it really do any harm to at least delay it until our dire overspending has been corrected?
I don't see anything oddball or loony about exercising extreme prudence given our current massive deficit.
[quote][p][bold]Windsorian[/bold] wrote: It seems that the anti-HS2 brigades love-in with the new Transport Secretary has been short lived and how they celebrated the removal of Greening & Villiers! When will the odd balls and loony tunes realise that HS2 is a major infrastructure project deemed to be "in the national interest" by the major political parties and is not going to be cancelled by them. So why do all the objectors not defect to UKIP or the Greens? Then we can have a big laugh at the 2015 General Election![/p][/quote]Could it possibly be because some proper solid evidence is needed, and the objections raised by respected bodies need to be addressed, before spending such a lot of money - that we don't currently have? Would it really do any harm to at least delay it until our dire overspending has been corrected? I don't see anything oddball or loony about exercising extreme prudence given our current massive deficit. Monte Cristo
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Mon 15 Oct 12

Chiltonians says...

Yes, it was all so typical of you anti HS2 people! First its we love the new secretary of state for transport ...it's the end of HS2...

And now its we hate the new SoS ...and oh my God he wants it even more than the previous SoS!!
Yes, it was all so typical of you anti HS2 people! First its we love the new secretary of state for transport ...it's the end of HS2... And now its we hate the new SoS ...and oh my God he wants it even more than the previous SoS!! Chiltonians
  • Score: 0

10:42am Wed 17 Oct 12

Chiltonians says...

Eat your words suckers ...

Oh how things change so quickly! This is what the local political suckers said just the other week:


"Cllr Seb Berry of Chiltern District Council said: "Good riddance to a Transport Secretary who added insult to injury by arrogantly refusing to visit this area and hear at first hand from local people.

"We now have a Transport Secretary who represents a rural seat and one who will want to take another look at the ever worsening HS2 economic case. It's a good opportunity for the Stop HS2 campaign to build on the momentum of the last months in the run up to the December court hearings."

"Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and chairman of the 51M alliance group, said: "The business case for HS2 has collapsed and there are much more important priorities for infrastructure investment that will bring jobs and growth now, when we need them.

"We trust that Patrick McLoughlin, the new Secretary of State, will approach the issue of HS2 with an open mind, look at the facts and the alternatives that 51m have put forward and decide to consign this project to the waste paper bin."

Oops! Are the local politicians trying to raise local expectations yet again - only to have them squashed flat yet again?
Eat your words suckers ... Oh how things change so quickly! This is what the local political suckers said just the other week: "Cllr Seb Berry of Chiltern District Council said: "Good riddance to a Transport Secretary who added insult to injury by arrogantly refusing to visit this area and hear at first hand from local people. "We now have a Transport Secretary who represents a rural seat and one who will want to take another look at the ever worsening HS2 economic case. It's a good opportunity for the Stop HS2 campaign to build on the momentum of the last months in the run up to the December court hearings." "Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and chairman of the 51M alliance group, said: "The business case for HS2 has collapsed and there are much more important priorities for infrastructure investment that will bring jobs and growth now, when we need them. "We trust that Patrick McLoughlin, the new Secretary of State, will approach the issue of HS2 with an open mind, look at the facts and the alternatives that 51m have put forward and decide to consign this project to the waste paper bin." Oops! Are the local politicians trying to raise local expectations yet again - only to have them squashed flat yet again? Chiltonians
  • Score: 0

11:14am Sat 10 Nov 12

Chiltonians says...

Word on the street is that the "only in it for himself 51M boss" Cllr Martin Tett now plans to stand to become an MP as part of his developing "I'm famous in my own living room" campaign.

So ...will he go for David Liddington's seat (head) or Cheryl Gillan's seat (head) I wonder?
Word on the street is that the "only in it for himself 51M boss" Cllr Martin Tett now plans to stand to become an MP as part of his developing "I'm famous in my own living room" campaign. So ...will he go for David Liddington's seat (head) or Cheryl Gillan's seat (head) I wonder? Chiltonians
  • Score: 0
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