Written evidence from Craig Todd (HSR
Thank you for your Select Committee inquiry into
HS2. I have submitted my personal feedback via the [DfT] Online
Public Consultation site and additionally wish to supply you my
alternative view to HS2 as detailed below.
While I agree with most of the reasons for people
rejecting HS2, I have not heard too many radical alternative suggestions.
I wish to offer one.
The main driver for HS2 seems to be the case for
bridging the economic divide between London and northern cities
(Birmingham, Manchester etc). While a high-speed rail network
connecting these northern cities to London appears like a good
idea in principleit is unfortunately fundamentally flawed
in my opinion.
Rather than investing billions of public funds (and
in the process blighting the countryside and thousands of homes)
surely it would make far better sense to use this money to encourage
Government/Public Organisations and Private Companies to relocate
their offices to northern cities? This has already been demonstrated
to be a success in places like Leeds. The benefits to this simple
but seemingly overlooked plan are numerous:
1. Less commuters impacting on an already overcrowded
2. No massive infrastructure costs.
3. No damage to the countryside and wildlife.
4. No detrimental noise/visual impact to thousands
5. No exposure to the risk of rising commodity
prices (which must have already significantly inflated the projected
cost of HS2).
6. No huge energy costs or CO2 emissions.
7. Fully sustainable.
"Local jobs for local people" is surely
much more sensible than a multi-billion pound HS2 for City-to
City commuters. Additionally, part of the savings of not going
ahead with HS2 could be used instead to invest in the Digital
Infrastructure of the UK (again encouraging local and home working).
I hope that you will agree with my views, and if
yes, that they can be a constructive part of an honest appraisal
of the HS2 proposal.
18 March 2011