Written evidence from Chris James (HSR
The business case is seriously flawed. The main benefits,
business time savings are incorrectly evaluated, the impact on
the environment has not been properly completed prior to a decision,
the proposed routes and investment have not been properly reviewed
against other alternatives eg RP2. It will also have no impact
on economic rebalancing as according to HS2 data most of the economic
advantages accrue to London and the South East.
1. HSR FIT WITH
Based on the data that has been presented I don't
believe it does for the following reasons:
increases in demand can be met by developing the West Coast Main
Line under Rail Package two proposals which will cost less than
1/10 the cost of HS2, create minimal environmental impact and
provide a scaleable solution for the future.
Package 2 offers a cheaper alternative to addressing reasonable
estimates of future demand, therefore this high speed rail network
does not provide the best value for money, which it must do, particularly
in the current economic climate and with the general issues of
the Consultation does not provide sufficient details of alternative
solutions and different scenarios for future demand growthsimply
taking an extreme growth case, by definition it is not possible
to determine whether this is the best value for money.
domestic travel shows signs of saturation for short and long distance
journeys, the DfT's rail demand forecasts are excessive and take
no account of impacts from high speed internet connectivity on
future travel trends.
scenarios have been not been developed to evaluate the benefits
of this investment, for example versus improvements in commuter
services or road transport.
scale enhancement to the rail network should only be done in a
way that ensures the rail network will cause significantly lower
carbon emissions after the enhancement takes placeHS2 is
2. BUSINESS CASE
business case is flawed and provides no supportive basis for investing
such a large sum of money.
benefit is based on business people not doing productive work
when travelling, which is absolutely wrong. Everyone uses the
internet for business during travel.
are cheaper alternatives that have not been properly evaluated
versus HS2 eg RP2.
passenger demand is seriously overstated, although already it
has been significantly reduced from the original estimates. The
HS1 demand was also very overstated and proved to be wrong.
are understated eg Interest charges are not included.
is likely to lose money and require subsidy over time, not factored
into the case.
trains schedules are not proven at the proposed speeds so capacity
estimates may be wrong.
environmental costs and impacts have not been provided or costed
at a realistic level in the data available and will only be complete
after the decision.
current business case is for the London to Birmingham phase only.
That business case is flawed. There should be a business case
for the entire HS2 programme before decisions to commit £bns
3. THE STRATEGIC
experts agree that for high speed trains to be really worth building,
the distance between stations should be at least 150km. Britain
is a small island compared to other European countries with high
speed rail and its major cities are closer together. By the time
the proposed route has got out of London to an area where trains
can run at maximum speed, the distance will be far less than 150km.
Hence the route chosen by the DfT and HS2 Ltd is not suitable
value approach would be to leverage the existing rail network
like RP2 suggested.
disruption if the route follows existing major transportation
routes eg M1 or M40 corridors.
route ignores AONB, green belt, farming land, footpaths, ancient
monuments and listed buildings.
4. ECONOMIC REBALANCING
seen no evidence this will help bridge the north south divide.
new jobs will be created in the South, and even then will be re-distribution
of existing roles.
investment in the North would be a much better way of addressing
is likely to increase commuting into London from further out.
5 of the Consultation has a short summary of the Appraisal of
Sustainability: the actual document is extensive. However, despite
the length of that document the Environmental Impact Assessment
has not yet been published. It is therefore inappropriate to proceed
with a major infrastructure project without such detailed assessment,
particularly as it is already known that HS2 threatens 160 wildlife
sites; there will also be loss of 21 ancient woods, in existence
since 1600 AD, and huge swathes of agricultural land.
will impact on a further 27 woodlands. The HS2 route goes through
4Wildlife Trust reserves and 10 Sites of Scientific Interest.
There will be irreparable damage to the Chiltern aquifer which
supplies water to millions of homes in London and the South East.
are no proven savings in CO2 emissions because of the speed and
resultant power consumption of the trains, and despite the rhetoric,
as accepted by HS2's Sustainability Report; there will be no significant
modal shift from air or car travel to trains.
new trains will use around three times the amount of power of
existing trains and cause more pollution than any other form of
travel other than air.
construction period and its aftermath will have a significant,
detrimental and permanent impact on the leisure and tourism industry
along the entire route.
not been able to find a detailed "noise map" of the
proposed routes and there is no information on the effects of
vibration on properties locate on or close to tunnels.
is no information on how noise, dust, and vibrations will be controlled
during the construction process.
traffic congestion will cause major disruption through small towns
and villages all along the route.