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High Speed Train Link On Track

Jonathan Schofield thinks its great news for the North but beware the naysayers and nimbys

Written by . Published on January 28th 2013.

High Speed Train Link On Track

IT's full steam ahead for the High Speed (HS2) rail link for Manchester and the North. The cost will be around £32bn.

Sometimes the French approach seems preferable. A Gallic attitude of "We're doing it, and here's the Parliamentary approval, so it's a bit late to whinge about your begonia beds and dormice. Coming through!" 

Northern civic and business leaders are cock-a-hoop. The rest of us should join in the celebrations.

Manchester more than any other city should understand the value of state-of-the-art transport links.

From the Bridgewater Canal, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, Manchester Ship Canal and Manchester Airport, the city and region has 250-years of history defined by transport. 

The only worry is the length of time it may take to complete HS2.

The finish date is supposed to be 2032, a massive nineteen years away. Instead of full steam ahead we may have a very slow coach. As a point of reference from the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway in 1830 it took eight years for a rail link to be established to London and they were inventing the very notion of rail travel as they went.

Confidential learns that leading figures in the North are hoping to cut that development time significantly. 

The problem is that HS2 will hit the nimby and environmentalist buffers. It will be a lawyers' love-in as the link fights its way through a Middle England whining about its fair fields rather than looking to the big national picture. The pockets of weasel faced 'briefs' and oily consultants will doubtless split at the seams from taxpayer cash. 

Sometimes the French approach seems preferable. A Gallic attitude of "We're doing it, and here's the Parliamentary approval, so it's a bit late to whinge about your begonia beds and dormice. Coming through!" 

The Department for Transport has said that HS2 phase two would almost halve journey times between Birmingham and Manchester - to 41 minutes - and between London and Manchester from two hours and eight minutes to one hour and eight minutes.

The high speed line to Manchester will include stops at Piccadilly in the city centre and Manchester Airport.

According to North West interest groups the line will also free up capacity on the conventional rail network for passengers and freight, easing the traffic burden on motorways and boosting economic growth.

Manchester route of HS2Manchester route of HS2

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “High speed rail is good news for the economy – not just for Greater Manchester but also the wider North.

“Today’s announcement isn’t just about faster trains. High speed rail will create up to 30,000 station-supported jobs in Manchester and help to drive productivity in the region.

“It will help businesses to connect with one another and improve access to major commercial opportunities, helping the North to prosper and reach its full economic potential – and crucially, it will also release much-needed capacity on the rest of the network for regional and local services and freight traffic.

“While the details of the actual route from Birmingham to Manchester are a matter for High Speed 2 to decide, we’ve always made the case for high speed trains to stop at Manchester Airport as well as a central Manchester station so we’re delighted to see this forming part of the scheme.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The UK is lamentably playing catch-up to our global competitors in our rail transport systems, but it is crucial that we close the gap. Without this link the North West – and Manchester – will be left stranded, unable to compete with the likes of Munich, Milan and Copenhagen who are already well ahead in the high-speed stakes.

“It is commendable that the government has had to foresight to push ahead with these plans against opposition – but the future of the UK’s economic success relies on its capacity to compete on a global stage.”

Confidential reckons it won't only be Southern and Midland suburbanites up in nimby arms. Beware the burghers of Hale Barns too.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of MAG, owners of Manchester Airport, said: “Greater Manchester has a record of delivering innovative infrastructure projects that work both nationally and locally and I believe our region has spoken with one voice again, which has helped to bring the new line into Manchester city centre and the airport.

“We believe it will bring major benefits to businesses and residents of the North West and allow greater access to the UK’s major airport outside London. Along with the city centre station, it will provide an additional boost to the economy of the region and help spread the benefits of the airport’s existing international connectivity further. We’re already the third largest UK airport and will soon begin construction of the country’s first Airport City, and this is another sign of progress for Manchester and the North of England.”

Proposed junction at Hale BarnsProposed junction at Hale Barns

Department for Transport documents make it clear it expects Manchester Airport to pay for the airport station. Initial proposals indicate the favoured location for the station would be off the M56 motorway close to Hale Barns.

Confidential reckons it won't only be Southern and Midland suburbanites up in nimby arms. Beware the burghers of Hale Barns.

From the airport to Ardwick it's proposed to construct the most dramatic element of HS2. This will be a 7.5 mile tunnel via Wythenshawe, Northenden, Didsbury, Withington, Fallowfield, Rusholme and Longsight. Confidential might have to enquire about a supplement route to its already famous Manchester tunnel tours

At Manchester Piccadilly HS2 proposes major changes with new platforms alongside the existing ones.

Plans with north to the south showing preferred route into Piccadilly StationPlans with north to the south showing preferred route into Piccadilly Station

Maybe a case can be made here for life being breathed back into the derelict Mayfield Station across Fairfield Street from Piccadilly. This is a spectacular structure with good pedigree and seems perfect for purpose. A re-energised Mayfield Station would also be the catalyst for the re-development of the huge Mayfield area behind the station- 2010 plans for a Whitehall of the North there have now been ditched. 

Mouldering Mayfield - Metres From PiccadillyMouldering Mayfield - Metres From Piccadilly

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, echoes Sir Richard Leese's words: “We are in a global race and this government’s decision to make high speed rail a reality is another example of the action we are taking to equip Britain to compete and thrive in that race. High speed rail is a catalyst that will help to secure economic prosperity across Britain, rebalance our economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.”

Britain is frequently at its best when thinking big - look at the morale boost the Olympics gave the country - naysayers and little Englanders shouldn't be allowed to delay and spike this epic and worthwhile project. 

Main illustration at the top of the page from Paul Rogers at Paul Rogers Studio. Click here for the link to the website.

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99 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

So when this whole HS2 network is completed, Londoners will be able to buy high speed rail tickets "direct" to Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield or Leeds and then eventually on to Newcastle, Edinburgh & Glasgow too. But only two HS2 destinations will ever be available to Mancunians - Birmingham & London. Is that right?
The North/South divide, eh? For £32 billion, wonder which city is going to benefit the most though???

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 9th 2013.

Tickets using the quickest possible route (including if high sped) will be available to buy from Manchester

Gimboid.January 28th 2013.

Construction geek consensus is that the Mayfield site is too small for the length of HS trains. Huge shame the station can't be brought back into use, but the new station will hugely boost regeneration all round Piccadilly so even if it takes another 20 years, something will be done with Mayfield.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 5th 2013.

Why not move regional trains there and then utilise the space left behind then?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

It is a pity that we won't have a direct HS link to Leeds and Sheffield based on current plans, since the current services are utterly crap. I know its being electrified but still its going to take the best part of an hour to reach Leeds. The northern cities including Liverpool need better connections between them to compete as a region with the south east. One good bit of news is no link to Heathrow, which can only be a bonus (or at least, not a hindrance) for the development of local airport services

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

No interconnectivity between Manchester and the northern cities, but London gets to be the "effective hub" linked to EVERY HS2 destination! (Plus of course it's own existing HS1 link to the continent already.)
Alright for some, eh?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

"effective hub" linked to EVERY HS2 destination"

Anyone would think it's the capital city and economic centre of the UK.

Duke FameJanuary 28th 2013.

Considering the hoo har over constructing the tracks between London & Birmingham, you can imaging the huff & puff there would be if they blasted through the Pennines. The trans-pennine route is being electrified before HS2 ever gets started, this will take 15 mins off Leeds to Manc & also time off Leeds to York.

Duke FameJanuary 28th 2013.

ANONYMOUS, you realise that to link Hs2 to HS1 you are going to need to link to London. You come across like a chip on the shoulder type

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Now don't be silly Duke, no link to London indeed! Don't be too enthusiastic about that HS2 to HS1 link either - yeah that's another major weakness in this overall plan.

We're being sold this idea that HS2 is a scheme to "rebalance" the UK economy and "heal" the North/South divide (all their words, not mine) - I don't think so. More likely a plan that will probably "reinforce" that imbalance & divide!

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

I'll ask, why? Is this another of your statements that you never back up?

I agree that to look at a train map, you see everything radiating from London. Nevertheless, to sort out the imbalances, we have to link everything up. Linking fast lines from London through Brum to leeds & Manc covers a lot of the country. Given that Leeds will link with a fast Link to ECML and to Manc with an upgraded trans pennine route, the only remaining issues will be links from Brum to Wales and Newcastle to Scotland where the ECML slows considerably. Of course, before HS2 starts, we may have already parted company with out Scotch friends.


AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

This paragraph;

"The problem is that HS2 will hit the nimby and environmentalist buffers. It will be a lawyers' love-in as the link fights its way through a Middle England whining about its fair fields rather than looking to the big national picture. The pockets of weasel faced 'briefs' and oily consultants will doubtless split at the seams from taxpayer cash."

is spot on.

I like to do my bit for the environment but I still agree with it.

Calum McGJanuary 28th 2013.

It's fantastic news that we'll get HS2 up here and thank goodness they've proposed a 7.5 mile long tunnel under south Manchester to avoid demolishing tons of stuff. Great proposal. Now, get on and build it :D (NIMBYs/NOTEs*/BANANAs** can do one.) *Not over there, either. **Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.

MJanuary 28th 2013.

As a Manchester resident it's hard to moan as we really are one of the main benefactors. However, if you lived in Norwich or Cornwall I think you'd have a pretty viable complaint about the cost of it all.

The 7 mile tunnel under south Manchester will be a relief for some as there was the potential for a lot more places to get flattened for this.

As it stands, if you're a a resident in many areas of South Manchester, particularly if you have easy access to the M56, M60 and Princess Parkway, you stand to benefit by being well connected to the new station at the airport.

This means you won't have to go into town to get a train to London. It'll be a very attractive park and ride and one which will have you in London in about an hour.

For Manchester it's great. But 20 years though... you may as well start walking.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie HulmeJanuary 28th 2013.

And if you live in Stockport and don't have a car, you *will* have to go to town to catch a train to London, 15 minutes by train plus maybe 15 minutes allowance for the the connection.

I just hope I'm past caring by the time all this happens. 7-mile tunnel? Good grief. What will the world be like in 2032? Hundreds commuting from Manchester to London maybe.

MJanuary 28th 2013.

Yes, you're right that does seem the case.

A reduction in service is never going to be popular but train connections between Stockport and Manchester are exceptionally good and will remain so. Even with a 10 minute transfer and wait at Piccadilly it will still be an improvement on how it is now and is better than for most.

Going from East Cheshire to Manchester on the other hand is not so good. Don't know the details but I imagine Stoke won't come out of it well either.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Charlie, are you expecting them to build a station at your front door?

They won't stop at Stockport because the more stops there are, the less high speed it will be.

It is about connecting cities, not all the small towns along the way.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

Its route into manchester seems to be following palatine road all the way from northenden to somewhere past rusholme? Is there a disused line I dont know about or will there be some uber long tunnel?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Gimboid.January 28th 2013.

Uber long tunnel. 7 miles. Crazy.

Duke FameJanuary 28th 2013.

IF they didn't tunnel, they would have had to destroy literally tens of pounds worth of property

David AddisonJanuary 28th 2013.

Was going to comment but in 19 years I will be 75 I don't suppose I will be able to afford a ticket on a pension, wonder if you can buy now? Like a really advanced purchase?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

Nice Article...!!

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

It would be nice to see a high speed rail link across the Pennines linking Hull with Liverpool via Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, with a link to Sheffield thrown in. This would provide a real competitor to the metropolis of London and the south east, helping the northern cities take on a united yet individual front and providing a global identity. A high speed rail development, providing a 'London underground map' of the north would be a welcome development of Will Alsop's 2005 vision of the Supercity 'Coast to Coast' - Eg See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4187409.stm

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameFebruary 1st 2013.

Work has already started on electrification on trans pennine route. It will not be 200mph and you can imagine the opposition to the pennines being blasted apart to enable a high speed link.

There will also be upgrades to the bottleneck junctions taking 15 mins off the journey and allowing at least 1 extra service an hour.

Well done the coalition.

DavidJanuary 28th 2013.

The biggest beneficiary of HS2 will be Manchester it has a real opportunity to be the economic power house of the North and a rival centre to London.Reducing travel to London down to just one hour will make it significantly more attractive for business to locate here,because like it or not London is one of the top global cities that people want to be in or near.Also having a station at the airport gives the airport a huge advantage because it won't be that much further away by train from central London than Standsted Airport.
Links to other northen cities are already being improved by the electrification of line to Liverpool and the whole Northern Hub project.The one missing piece of the jigsaw is direct through high speed services from Manchester to the continent.Something that was promised in the past but not delivered by previous governments.
Also I think the Tory government deserves praise for pushing ahead with a project that is most opposed by rural Tories.I hope the Labour Party will not be tempted to encourage them just to impose a defeat on the
government in parliament .

David FoxJanuary 28th 2013.

My favourite paragraph of the year so far.. "The problem is that HS2 will hit the nimby and environmentalist buffers. It will be a lawyers' love-in as the link fights its way through a Middle England whining about its fair fields rather than looking to the big national picture. The pockets of weasel faced 'briefs' and oily consultants will doubtless split at the seams from taxpayer cash." I enjoyed reading it hopefully as much as you enjoyed writing it!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidJanuary 28th 2013.

There is nothing more nauseating than the spectacle of the so called Greens being prepared to get into bed with the fox hunting Cheshire set to block progress.

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 29th 2013.

Thanks David, I'm sure all my lawyer friends will appreciate it too.

Chris Gray shared this on Facebook on January 28th 2013.
Bob BobbinsJanuary 28th 2013.

What exactly is "the bigger picture"? Sounds like paving over yet more of the country in the name of unsustainable growth for growth's sake.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

Gravel, Bob. Railway tracks have gravel beds, not paving. Get it right.

Charlie BJanuary 29th 2013.

Bob, if you can't see the bigger picture maybe you need to take a step back

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

What a cool painting used to illustrate the article at the top of the page. Where did it come from....?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
It's the city, duffusJanuary 28th 2013.

Shinkansen 1964?

Manchester 2032. Who said we were only decades behind?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2013.

I really like it too. I used reverse Google Image Search to find it, it's by an illustrator called Paul Rogers paulrogersstudio.com/… - naturally Man Con will have got use permission from the artist.....?

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

The biggest opposition to HS1 and HS2 seems to be coming from both the Daily Telegragh and The Guardian.Thats not not surprising from the Telegragh given its readership but every article written and commissioned in today's Guardian is anti this project.They clearly have an agenda for some reason to stop this development from happening.

I think there a line of self interest amongst the London elites that wants to see this project stopped and the money diverted to building a hugely expensive new airport in the South East instead.

Jim MetcalfJanuary 29th 2013.

And it is not the only thing going on, train wise, in Manchester - fingers crossed


1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameFebruary 22nd 2013.

Well done the coalition

Wilmslow MikeJanuary 29th 2013.

Excellent news! 'Piccadilly (HS2)' ticks all the right boxes for accessibility and interchange with the 'classic' station. Mayfield would require a long traipse over a (reinstated) bridge and the platforms are too short in any event for HS2 trains. It is ridiculous that it is going to take 19 years to achieve - 6000 miles of railway were built in Britain, from a standing start, between 1830 to 1850!

The 'Airport (HS2)' station is a bit of a misnomer, being on the wrong side of the tarmac and far away from the existing station and terminal buildings. I understand it was a late addition to the plans and it certainly shows. 'Hale Barnes (HS2)' might be more appropriate. I was stunned that a 7.5 mile(!) tunnel is proposed under Palatine and Wilmslow Roads. If we are to have that level of expenditure I would have thought a fully fledged suburban underground railway, continuing under Oxford Road and the City Centre would offer far more benefit. We might call it 'Picc Vic' . This would free up the 'Styal' line for conversion to HS2 and enable the existing, and far more convenient Airport station to be converted and expanded into a 'through' station.

I rather suspect, however, that the HS2 project will be seriously 'de-scoped' as consultation proceeds and rather more use made of the 'classic' lines to access the city centres. This is the French TGV experience - no new central Paris stations were built, for example.

Poster BoyJanuary 29th 2013.

Everyone should calm down, especially our so-called 'civic leaders' and jingoistic leader writers, until we are provided with a proper analysis of the economic and social benefit.

Most of the countries that benefit from high speed rail are geographically much larger than our very small island.

The reality will be that you can forget about a positive impact on a 'regional' economy.

The sphere of influence that London exerts over the rest, will get larger. The 'top' jobs will be more concentrated than ever in the capital, house prices will increase as more places become London commuter towns, and individuals will lead more disparate lives as they are economically forced to travel longer distances as a matter of course.

Sure it will happen, but at a cost.

It also has the smell of a weak reactive Government, being panicked into announcing a major capital investment project...

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Errmm, if you check, Labour wanted to build HS2 as well. Check your facts!

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

No they are not.Are Belgium and Holland much larger?.Taiwan is not larger and it has bullet trains.You are guilty of forgetting that we have a whole continent that we are connected to by the channel tunnel.
The exact opposite will happen,with a commuting time of one hour thousands of Londoners will move north to take advantage of the cheaper and better quality of life.This will lead to far more jobs being created in Manchester open,sustained by a larger more wealthy population.

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

Don't talk economics to this left-leaning lot, they will get confused.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2013.

Evidence not dogma Duke, that's all we want.

Evidence based policy is, of course, anathema to characteristically anti-intellectual right wingers.

This is not to say that HS2 is bad or flawed but we need to understand how to exploit this piece of infrastructure rather than just blithely assuming it will have the benefits that politicians - very few of whom, particularly on the Tory benches have a background in science - say it will.

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

" anti-intellectual right" jeez, there's a defence for when you have no valid argument.

Answer this? Why is the north under performing the South East?

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2013.

Answering a question with a question. The classic response when you have no argument.

Duke FameFebruary 1st 2013.

Anon, the question is key. The solution to bringing the performance of the North up to that of the level of the south is partially given in HS2 (according to the govt.) if you disagree, you need to answer the question and propose your solutions.

I suspect I know what your solution is but I'd hate to put words in your mouth.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Well said Poster Boy.
London is going to benefit "the most" from this, not Manchester, Leeds or the North - as the whole idea is being sold to us.
Rebalance the UK economy & heal the North/South divide, indeed!

8 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

You are wrong It will encourage a rebalancing of wealth in this country,as more of it will be encouraged to move from the south to the north.i wonder if you would be complaining if it was not a Tory government supporting it.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

More evidence, less dogma David,

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

Anonymous, I keep holing myself back from being rude to you.

If London benefits too, so what? What is your solution to the North-South divide? The north was once the powerhouse as it had skilled labour and raw materials with great ports to our trading partners in the US and Northern Europe. Those skills are no longer valid and we no longer need to west-facing seaboard for trade. Given that it has a reletively cheaper, plintiful & sometimes willing labour-force, the big obsticle to get over is geography. So the answer has to be to make it's remaining disadvantage less of a problem, hence speeding up transport links.

I do think the Heathrow lonk would have been an important addition.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2013.

Duke's GCSE-level economics to the fore once again.

What we need are a rigorous examination of the business case so we can understand what interventions we need to make to exploit the potential economic advantages that HS2 can bring and build-upon the concentration of economic activity in the region rather than letting it drift south.

Merely spewing forth unfounded assertions and parroting ministerial rhetoric is not very helpful.

Without this detailed understanding upon which to lobby for the right investments in pan-northern infrastructure there is the risk that more companies involved in the high paying, highly productive activities will deem that the costs of being in London are outweighed by the benefits of being in the midst of an enormous networked community in London; given the fact they can draw on a much much larger labour force via HS2.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2013.

... different Anonymous to the one at the top btw.

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

I was trying to keep it at a level you can understand Anon. If it get's too tough for you, that would explain voting Labour

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2013.

What a childish, irrelevant response.

Duke FameJanuary 31st 2013.

Touche Anon, had a drink have we?

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 29th 2013.

I don't understand this 'only London will benefit' nonsense? Journey times from Manchester to London are already short enough for that to be happening in that case.

And just think if we'd thought that every single time we'd planned to improve infrastructure to and from Manchester and the North. We would have sat on our hands and whinged about losing people and jobs and all of us become as chip-on-the-shoulder as so many appear to have in these responses.

We can't barricade ourselves against good links with London and elsewhere and think that will benefit us. That is so small-minded.

I also reckon the civic and business people (even leader writers), who all seem to endorse HS2, have thought it through. I don't think they've been brain-washed or made snap judgements.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
crisbyJanuary 29th 2013.

Jonathan, I enjoyed the article and you're right to be positive. This country needs a new high speed railway system and you're right support it, especially as it recognises the key position of Manchester. But we'll need more than a railway line to mend the 'north south divide.' HS2 might however improve the prospects for a revival of regional policy if it helps get more people out of London (cf. BBC) on the back of a faster route to go home at weekends.

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

This is not true with HS2 going to the airport it will actually be quicker to get from there into into central London than it it is from Heathrow if you take the underground.This makes Manchester a potential alternative hub airport for the south and could attract a lot more long haul airlines and jobs

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Basicly trains go both ways so how about a little optimism. Its as much a chance for manchester firms to grow as it is a chance for london firms. A lower cost base in the northwest might also make northern based firms more price competative than their london rivals.

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

Also There will be no need for anty Manchester MP to have a second home in Londo,with a commuting time of one hour.I bet they will be pleased about that?.

crisbyJanuary 29th 2013.

David that's a good point about airport location (especially as MAG now owns one of the London airports?) I hope if all this happens that we'll get a Government that puts some effort into investing in economic development in the north on the back of it. I'm still not convinced that transport links are enough. To be fair not all Manchester MPs have 2nd homes in London, doesn't G Stringer make a thing abut staying in a Travelodge?

Duke FameJanuary 30th 2013.

Crisby - The last thing the North needs is the tokenism of moving state administration to the North. TH eBBC move amazingly costs the BBC more than when it was in London.

We need proper businesses to feel that it makes economic sense to operate from the North, not just fill the place with state departments creating jobs to make us all look busy.

Fortunately, this seems to be the approach of the coalition away from inventing roles to keep everyone looking busy.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

The north-south divide is essentially cultural and won't be fixed by a new railway connection. I don't want too many southerners discovering what its really like and moving up here anyway ;) My only complaint is that Brum will get HS2 about 7 years ahead of Manchester. Also I have to defend the NIMBYs to a certain extent. They will only get compensation if living within a hundred metres or so, which isn't very far at all for country folk used to peace and quiet and not into town or city living. Surely existing motorway corridors could be used more for the sake of a few more minutes?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

Nobody is claiming that this one development will fix the north south divide,but at least it's a start.
What is wrong with southerners moving north.It does not belong to you,just because you had the good fortune to be born there.Many of the people who have contributed greatly to this city were not born here,like the Russian Nobel scientists.

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

Not one of the opinion articles in the so called national(London) press is positive about HS1 and HS2.The national press has declined in the last decade,but one of the great failings of the north is to not have had control and ownership of one if these newspapers so that our point of view was faily reflected instead in the public discourse.Instead we get a steady stream of London based journalist,writing negative stories about the Media City development or HS2.While they write endlessly about Heathrow and need for another Libdon airport.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

You know what ;) means right? Lighten up - they won't come anyway. Even if they like the place they won't stop complaining about the weather which isn't in truth that different but it seems hard-wired into their brains that they live in a semi-tropical zone compared to Manchester.

crisbyJanuary 29th 2013.

Looks to me like a large % of the route is near (or even along) the existing main line and/or the motorway. So not such a massive blow to tranquility as some are suggesting.

Poster BoyJanuary 29th 2013.

This page should be retitled "The blind leading the blind"...

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Well I think it's a fantastic idea, I would like to say I am an environmentalist but I'm not. Whether it only cuts 40 mins off a journey to London, you have to remember this is futuristic progress. The UK's population is ever growing, so it doesn't really matter if we don't think we need it now, we very well could need it then. And I live in Sharston, and am quite excited about the possibility of the tunnel, does it matter if its 7.5 mile long? It's only going to take 2 mins to travel through it. I mean 100 ago, would you ever have imagined travelling to France by car on a train through a tunnel??? I think we have adequate rail links to Yorkshire, even j would like them to be improved upon, we are people the 3rd largest city in England, and we are going to be part of one the major transport events in this country. I can probably trace my family lines back to the original MAN-LIV rail builders nearly 200 years ago... Mancunians have transport in their blood, if you don't like it.....MOVE!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
crisbyJanuary 29th 2013.

I think it's a fantastic idea too. I live in Beswick and I think I'll be able to see the trains coming out of the tunnel at Ardwick from my bedroom. Mind you, by 2033 I might not be able to get up the stairs ...

JJanuary 29th 2013.

Think it's great myself, should have been started 15 or 20 years ago! Of course it won't 'solve' the divide but will be beneficial to both, and surrounding areas too of course

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2013.

Great Article!!!

RedflagwalksJanuary 29th 2013.

We can already get to London in 2 hours or so which seems quick enought to me. The tens of billions would be much better spent on local commuting services which the vast majority use and which badly need more trains and carriages and in re-opening closed lines.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
crisbyJanuary 29th 2013.

Don't forget - as so many do - the Northern Hub plans which should improve commuter services and enable us still to be able to get to Leeds (or even better, back from Leeds) in a shorter time than to London - on a good day.

DavidJanuary 29th 2013.

Some people have no understanding about the benefits HS2.For one building the new lines frees up the existing lines for more trains,especially local and freight.its not all about faster trains.

RedflagwalksJanuary 30th 2013.

People do seem to have fallen for the hi-tech propaganda...I'm old enough to remember when Tomorrow' s World told us that Concorde was going to be the future of air travel and the 8 -track cartridge the future of recorded music..

1 Response: Reply To This...
Karen McDonaldJanuary 30th 2013.

I remember when the word was everyone would get almost free electricity with nuclear power. ROFL
Gas and oil would be cheaper when we drilled in north sea. PMSL
Poll tax, tried twice, trams in Manchester, on the second go at the mo.
I need a holiday! But it's too expensive to holiday in our own country!!! LOL

Rob ShevlinJanuary 30th 2013.

I could build this myself with my bare hands in under 19 years, which then goes 50% over budget and years over, only in England. If we could handle the polictical pressure we'd get the germans in to build it in 5 years, in time, in budget. only that won't happen.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Karen McDonaldJanuary 30th 2013.

You're hired Rob!! lol

Kevin PeelJanuary 30th 2013.

Great news for the city, the region and the country. It will cut journey times, create jobs and boost the regional economy and we should give it 100% support. I agree with ManCon though that 19 years is far too long, the government need to get on with it. Perhaps a ManCon campaign to speed up high speed rail could be started?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2013.

Yeah, because that would work...

Karen McDonaldJanuary 30th 2013.

Ill thought out, if at all. In 19 years time, I hope we could all have better transport options than we can envision right now. There will be jobs created, but many many lost in competing modes of transport. Employment will never reach the point where anyone will be able to afford the extortionate rail fares that will arrive with this new HS2 - many are already being priced out of rail travel as a regular commute as it is; Saving a few minutes in travel time, sounds OK on paper. But I think the cost of buying that extra speed and time will be too expensive. When those HS trains crash, which they inevitably will at some point, probably during the teething period, or disgruntled population blocking the track with shopping trolleys - or heaven forbid - a wet leaf on the track (eek!) then the compensation will be mind numbingly humongous! Travel fast - crash fast.

D VernonJanuary 30th 2013.

it’s a £33bn waste of money and the wrong priority

we need high speed broadband throughout the land asap this will benifit all

the business case is flawed

other services will be run down

there are cheaper quicker better alternatives (to meet capacity needs) the numbers are levelling out and with new technologies will drop further.

it won’t bring growth and jobs (and bridge north south divide) - need jobs now, not in 2033

its not ‘green’

And by the we are not Nimby's we have actually read all the detail and followed the arguments. It will become an over buget vanity white elephant

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidJanuary 31st 2013.

How will high speed broadband benefit all?.It will only benefit those like you who can afford to pay,it will not benefit the poor or those not able to use it.
You make the assertion,that other services will be run down to pay for it,without providing the slightest bit of evidence for it
It's not green,what other form of transport is more green,unless you want us all to stay at home gazing at our laptops.
Sorry but you are a 100% nimby if people had listened to you,Manchester would still be all fields,as you would dismissed the industrial revolution as being pointless.

Robert DayFebruary 10th 2013.

I suspect that once it is in place, someone will try to promote HS3 through the Pennines. Woodhead, anyone?

Manc GuyFebruary 10th 2013.

Schofieild's "We can't barricade ourselves against good links with London" statement prompted me to look at Virgin's timetable. It looks like an average 2 hours 15 minutes. Isn't that a good enough link already? IMO the city will never be close enough to London for a realistic daily commute for either city. Even if it was in place, there's thousands I'm sure would still never get out of their cars and use it. I work with people that never use public transport to commute into the city, even when there's a brand new tram station in five minutes walk from their front door. They'd rather get lifts in or pay to park in the city.

I'd rather money be spent on and improve the existing rail infrastucture of the U.K. Even open up more disused railway lines, like the trams have done. Although I'd still never trust Dinting Arches to carry more than the weight of a Hornby trainset, even if it's having work done on it at the moment. That's a scary train experience enough.

Don AllwrightFebruary 10th 2013.

HS2 is great but multiply cost estimates by 4 or 5 as with all estimates of capital projects. Remember O2, Wembly, Olympics, Scottish Parliament, etc,

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameFebruary 22nd 2013.

In fairness Don, the conservatives are pretty good at keeping costs under control, all those over-runs were classic Labour cocktail ups

Don AllwrightFebruary 22nd 2013.

I didn't intend to stop the debate. I counted 30 'anonymous' posts; how many anonymous' are there? How about growing up and signing your name(s)!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Don AllwrightFebruary 23rd 2013.

Bravo Don. Couldn't agree more.

Manc GuyFebruary 28th 2013.

***STOP THE PRESS*** There's two huge JCB's on Mayfield Station right now and they've ripped down the light green corrugated side wall. I don't know what it means, but it's an extreme antidote for the graffiti that was on it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Chris HawkeMarch 5th 2013.

I like that old building. I will be most unhappy if they break it.

Manc GuyFebruary 28th 2013.

OH MY!!! It's going to be a venue for MIF 2013. HURRAHHH!!!

Sid JonesMarch 3rd 2013.

When do we find out which houses will be pulled down? I'd be horrified if forced to move. I live near Christies hospital in Withington

AnonymousMarch 4th 2013.

Sid, I guess your house is safe. Towards the end the article states "From the airport to Ardwick it's proposed to construct the most dramatic element of HS2. This will be a 7.5 mile tunnel via Wythenshawe, Northenden, Didsbury, Withington, Fallowfield, Rusholme and Longsight."

Sid JonesMarch 4th 2013.

So i may have a noisy tunnel UNDER my house then?? How can we find out which homes will have the tunnel going under and which houses will be pulled down?
Are the only people being forced out of their houses in Newall Green and Hale?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GoggleMarch 4th 2013.

The internet is great. But if only there was a way of sifting through this mass of information, perhaps using a form of word search to help bring up only those pages most relevant to my area of interest.

Someone will invent such a device one day.

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