PANIC: HIGH SPEED RAIL INDUSTRY HS2 GRAVY-TRAINISTS FEAR PENSIONS ARE DESTINED FOR THE SIDINGS.

HS2 ACTION ALLIANCE

NEWS

 

March 3, 2014.

 

PANIC: HIGH SPEED RAIL INDUSTRY HS2 GRAVY-TRAINISTS FEAR PENSIONS ARE DESTINED FOR THE SIDINGS.

 

HS2 Action Alliance is available to comment on the claims made by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group.

Corrected para 3.

 

Commenting on the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group report that Britain’s economy would suffer if HS2 was cancelled, Richard Houghton of HS2 opposition group HS2 Action Alliance, said:

 

“This is blatantly transparent self-interest from near-panicked businesses and individuals who stand to make millions if not billions of pounds from a project claimed to address a problem which exists only in the imagination of HS2 gravy-trainists. As they get progressively more desperate, so will their claims become ever-increasingly alarmist.

 

“There is no capacity crisis – West Coast Main Line intercity trains operate at just over 50% capacity in peak hours, and usage is declining, and Euston is at 60% capacity. These are figures from Network Rail and the Department for Transport.

 

“HS2 is in chaos: the consultants and construction companies are in a panic that the project might not go ahead, the government doesn’t seem to know whether the bill will be £28 billion or £73 billion, the hundreds of thousands of commuters on standing-room-only peak hour trains into our major cities are bemused as to how HS2 could possibly help them, and Sir David Higgins seems intent on building from the north when the current hybrid Bill going through Parliament only covers for construction starting in London.

 

“Jim Steer, who is leading this contract grab, is a consultant who works for HS2, and if this project goes ahead, then he will never have to work again.

 

“And to claim that HS2 is the only way to create jobs outside of

London is an insult to regional business which is battling like crazy to retain staff and income against the backdrop of London growth.

 

“A recent Centre for Cities report confirms London is a city creating ten times as many jobs as the likes of Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham – and academics commissioned by HS2 themselves have said that London will be the main beneficiary of high speed rail, with regional benefit being either tiny or even negative. HS2 will suck jobs and business to London.

 

“Intra-regional projects would create jobs, grow regional economies and address commuter over-crowding.

 

“If HS2 is cancelled, and the government of the day suddenly says that the HS2 budget cannot be re-distributed even in part to enhance regional transport issues, then there is something very odd about what was either a budget that never existed – or a budget that was never intended to benefit the regions in the first place.”

 

 

Ends

Notes to Editors:

In the most recent national YouGov Poll, well over 50 per cent of the UK public were opposed to HS2.

 

For further information please contact:

 

North:

Iain Macauley

im@pressrelations.co.uk

07788 978800

 

Midlands and South East:

John Read

john.read@readdillon.com

07774 476391

 

South and South West:

Peter Chegwyn

chegwyn@talk21.com

07931 177940

 

http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/