Nope, never heard of it

Posted by @ 11:33 am on Monday 28th January, 2013.
Categories: A bit of a rant

This from the Beeb's news website this morning:

"HS2 phase two route details announced... The preferred route of phase two running northwards from Birmingham will have five stops at: Manchester; Manchester Airport; Toton in the East Midlands; Sheffield; and Leeds."

Toton? Where the fcuk is Toton? I've lived in the East Midlands for 46 years and I'd never heard of it.

With the aid of Google Maps I found it hiding near Long Eaton in that No-Man's Land that's not quite Nottingham and not quite Derby. 30 miles from here as the crow flies. Oh, and it's on the Trent floodplain, so that'll be nice if the country's tendency to suffer from regular deluges continues to increase.

We're looking at spending at least 32 billion quid (money that we don't actually have) to get a few posh nobs (the only ones that will be able to afford tickets) to work 45 minutes earlier. These are folk that are probably rich enough to be able to lose 45 minutes of salary a day anyway. If those 45 minutes are really that important to them, why can't they get the hell out of bed a bit earlier and save us all a fortune? We could use some of that 32 billion quid to buy them all decent alarm-clocks and then spend the change on things that really matter, or better still just don't borrow it all in the first place.

There is a better solution anyway - the posh nobs could move closer to where they work, and leave the rest of the country to those who know how to look after it. Maybe then the Chilterns won't need to be trashed and the new Curzon Gate student digs in Brum won't need to be ripped down before or just after completion (link).

And then there's the bigger question... do we really need a rail network? Most of the time the one we already have isn't effectively integrated into the transport network anyway, the integration nodes being made from sticky-back plastic, bits of string and the elastic from a pair of Val's old knickers. Rail is a restricted and archaic transport system - it only takes you where the tracks go. That's why travelling by road/path/cycle-path, and to a certain degree by air, is so much more flexible - it permits options. Iceland has never had a rail system and it's hardly a third-world country.

They say that HS2 will create jobs. Maybe. For the predicted annual influx of 50,000 Bulgarians and Romanians, perhaps.

Interestingly, there's nothing in the plans regarding the construction of a bridge over the North-South Divide. This implies that said divide must be somewhere to the north of Leeds  🙄  

Oh well, if we're all going to Hell in a handcart at least the rich will get there first. Us minions may yet have a little respite from them before we get to the End of the Line. Maybe the toffs will put the kettle on and have tea and cucumber sandwiches waiting for us.

HS2. Highly Suspect too.

Where's my Valium?

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5 Responses to “Nope, never heard of it”

  1. alan.sloman says:

    Phew!
    Better now?
    I wonder how we could better spend £32billion?
    I quite like rail, but as you say, it's not as good as it could be since Mr Beeeching did his job.

  2. Robin says:

    Huge waste of money and time. Better to spend the money improving the road network. Vanity project.

  3. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By alan.sloman
    I wonder how we could better spend £32billion?

    For starters we could have kept the Ark Royal going for many a year - only £35million for FY 2010-2011 including pay and allowances, fuel, stock, and port fees. Link

    Modern nuclear* power stations cost somewhere between £1.5bn and £2.25bn a pop so we could have ten of those as well, and still have enough change left over for a pie and a pint for every man, woman and child in the country. Link

    Of course, it would be much better to not spend what we don't have. We're already in the shit financially, why make the stuff deeper?

    * - that's "nuclear", not "nucular". Often goes with "missile", not "missle".

  4. BG! says:

    @Robin - Agreed on the vanity thing, but surely the road network should be paid for out of the VED (Road Fund Licence as was)... erm... Fund?

    "Receipts from motoring taxes total £38.5 billion a year, equivalent to 7% of all Treasury income, with the Office for Budget Responsibility putting income from VED at £5.8 billion a year." - June 2012. Link

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