My mind is changed; from being ambivalent as to the case for the HS2 railway I have come to believe that it should be abandoned. Not that my opinion carries any weight, though it is due to pass through more than a mile of our land.
It is hard for a layman to have an informed view on such issues; they include so many factors we are not privy to. We know that when asked, the BBC Question Time audience were all against it and, that being so, if the northern towns felt it was a good idea why have they not voiced their opinion loud and clear? Instead we are hearing that they would prefer an East – West link railway.
It is bound to be difficult to thread a major route through our crowded island and many people’s homes and lives will be affected. The estimated cost is high enough; it seems likely that the actual cost will be very much higher, not least because of all the consultants who have been wandering over our land for the last year or two. It is driven by committee; we no longer have a Stephenson or Brunel to drive the project forward.
Because of its proximity to a motorway junction our land would be needed for construction purposes, and more than a hundred acres is coloured pink on the maps we receive, as being blighted temporarily or permanently. And this is a fluid situation. At a recent meeting we learnt that the planners have been asked to look for cost saving measures, so things could change.
Finally Liz Truss, the minister concerned, has said she will be looking hard at current infrastructure projects. This is one she could scrap and earn herself a ‘shedload’ of Brownie points.