Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

NCE readers poll questions government plans to build high speed rail route

NCE readers have panned the government’s plan for High Speed 2 (HS2), according to the findings of a poll.

Almost half (46%) of the 100-plus respondents said that they agreed with High Speed 1 chairman Rob Holden that the route should be completely redesigned as a classic railway to provide capacity from London to Manchester and beyond.

Just 9%of those who responded said they were convinced the current planned scheme from London to Birmingham and then on to Crewe, Manchester, East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds was the right one.

The online poll accompanied an NCE story in which Holden heaped criticism on HS2’s need for speed and said that the threat of opposition from people affected in the Chilterns would be so great the project will be beset by costly delays.

If the speed was downgraded, and the route then able to be diverted from its most direct alignment away from the areas most contested, the scheme would be more viable, Holden argued.

While the majority of respondents agreed with the need for a new route of sorts – a further 18% said they wanted a new high speed route but with some changes – almost a quarter (24%) called into question the need for any new railway – high speed or otherwise.

A nominal 3% said they believed it was too late to change the scheme in accordance with Holden’s suggestions.

Jim Steer, chief executive of the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group and director of lobbyist Greengauge 21 said readers’ views were out of step with political opinion.

“Only a third say HS2 is about right as defined,” he said. “This is very different from the views of MPs who recently voted 10:1 in favour of the Phase 1 scheme [from London to Birmingham]. “And do [46%] of NCE readers really think it would be a good approach to re-start the whole process and go through another five years of planning and consultation on a conventional speed route? No government would contemplate this – perhaps that’s the intention.” 

Readers' comments (4)

  • Of course the politicians don't want to hear the truth. Nor do they want to take any notice of public opinion.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Downgrading the speed to a more flexible alignment for a classic compatible railway will only mean a different group of objectors. Why have a new railway route to deliver required future capacity that cannot also deliver high speed? A two track compatible railway at current line speed will not deliver capacity so we will need to have 2 separate north-south routes and twice the objectors more environmental impact and disruption.
    Once again Britain shies away from embracing the future and pretty soon the lights will go out, we will run short of hospital beds and then we can all retire to the caves. It is disappointing that civil engineers seem to be at the forefront of negative development.
    Roger Colton

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • David Williams

    I endorse Roger Colton's comment. David Williams.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just because politicians justify the scheme doesn't make it right. I would much prefer to hear the opinions of trained professionals rather a bunch of vote-seeking individuals whose sole aim in life is to maintain their seat in Parliament.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.