Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “HS62”

Massive boost to rail services brings Northern Powerhouse to life

Duh, have I missed something?

To sustain “our” capital city, London gets:

  1. HS1 (to link to the continent – onward links North were abandoned years ago)
  2. HS2 (to bring commuters in from the South Midlands)
  3. Crossrail 1 (to link East West)
  4. Crossrail 2 (to link North South)
  5. Various improvements/extensions to London Underground
  6. Mega-laneing of the M25
  7. Heathrow 3 (or some equivalent once Dave has got his inconveniently anti-Heathrow mayor installed in City Hall)

In the North we are to believe that the Northern Poorhouse will be “brought to life” by a “massive boost to rail services”. This must mean new tracks, high-speed lines (HS62/HS3?) “connecting the Great Cities of the North”, new high-speed trains, better stations,  …

Er, No. This Government Website Headline is more like a Tory Central Office Propaganda headline. Read more…

President Gideon and Lame Duck Dave

Listening to our future leader on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1 22 November 2015) it strikes me that we (the UK) have a very odd national political leadership.

The Chancellor is becoming increasingly Presidential speaking on all sorts of matters and appearing in photo-opportunities such as in GCHQ and in various provinces as “their leaders” sign up to his preferred mayoral (presidential) form of local government.

The Prime Minister seems to be increasingly irrelevant as he puts his remaining energies into his final tilt at the European windmill.

Is this just an extreme version of the always difficult relationship between the Prime Minister and “his chancellor”? I think not. Read more…

Second Class High Speed Rail

There seems to be a bit of momentum behind HS3 – or High Speed Rail along the M62 corridor.

Only a bit mind – part of the route and not very “high-speed” and only possibly planned.

Read more…

Seeing the light?

I have to admit to a degree of surprise. Who might have said this?

… the cities in the North of England were individually strong but were “collectively not strong enough

He said that in the past few decades giant global cities, such as London, had emerged – and that the string of northern cities, with better transport links and careful planning, could take them on and be “greater than the sum of their parts”.  …

it was not “healthy for our economy, not good for our country” if “the powerhouse of London dominates more and more”. …

“We need an ambitious plan to make the cities and towns here in this northern belt radically more connected from east to west – to create the equivalent of travelling around a single global city.

“I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high-speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds.”
BBC News Website 23 June 2014 : High-speed rail link needed to boost north – xxxxxxx

A Clue? … Well, it’s a Tory. A very senior Tory – in office

More? … It’s a Tory who is tight with our money and believes in Austerity Read more…

A federal Britain?

Gordon Brown  has been considering the future structure of Britain and an article in the Guardian reports that:

he is the highest profile UK politician to utter the political F-word during this debate. He is right to do this, because federalism, in some shape or form, is one of the great awakening issues in the debate about what happens after 18 September. The four nations of Britain need to engage with federalist options before the referendum takes place, because if there is a no vote they will have to engage with it afterwards.

Federalism is a Janus-like word. In Britain’s Europe debate it is routinely misused to mean its opposite, centralism.
The Guardian 11 June 2014 : Gordon Brown is right: federalism is on its way if the Scots shun independence

I have struggled to get my mind around an effective structure for English Devolution in a Federal Britain. No solution is optimal – we just need to decide where the non-optimal pain is felt. Read more…

English Devolution – Identity and Viability

On Democratic Audit Ellie Geddes of IPPR argues that the north of England should take the opportunity to make the case for a degree of devolution and range of powers, concluding.

Whatever the outcome of September’s referendum, it is likely that Scotland will get further powers through some form of greater devolution. There is no doubt that the United Kingdom is evolving and the devolution agenda is coming to the forefront. If the north of England is ever to get its voice heard and gain control over its own affairs, ensuring it is not left behind, now is the time for it to speak up and be noticed.

This raises important issues of identity and viability. Read more…

HS2: Labour surprise

Labour is questioning whether the HS2 rail project is “the best way to spend £50bn for the future of our country”.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the party conference they still backed the idea of a new north-south rail link, but there could be no blank cheque.
BBC News website 23 September 2013 Labour ready to cancel HS2 ‘if costs rise’

Well, there’s a surprise! Read more…

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