HS2 – Time to get organised

It was interesting to hear your comments about the HS2 ‘Town Hall’ meeting in Wendover.  As you said, this is not only going to blight the area, it is going to waste a lot of money.  The Washington Post did an article on high speed rail in China (HT International Liberty), emphasising what a disaster these projects tend to be:

High-speed rail is a capital-intensive undertaking that requires huge borrowing upfront to finance tracks, locomotives and cars, followed by years in which ticket revenue covers debt service — if all goes well. “Any . . . shortfall in ridership or yield, can quickly create financial stress,” warns a 2010 World Bank staff report. Such “shortfalls” are all too common. Japan’s bullet trains needed a bailout in 1987. Taiwan’s line opened in 2007 and needed a government rescue in 2009. …the Beijing-Tianjin line, built at a cost of $46 million per mile, is losing more than $100 million per year.…

Despite this it sounds like the MP has made a calculation that whatever happens, the majority of people will continue voting Tory and so it’s in his personal interest to toe the party line and ignore what his constituents want.   In the absence of a system of open or party primaries, I like the idea of fielding a single issue candidate against him.  It could be that a tie-up with UKIP might be useful, but whatever is decided, it’s important that people start organizing now to put pressure on the government.

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