The Transport Committee’s report into High Speed Rail was released today. You can find it here.

I voted against the report. In my view, it is too supportive of the present proposals.

In committee, a number of us brought forward and voted for amendments which would have softened the report substantially. Some of these were defeated by just one vote. Full details can be found in the formal minutes at the end of the first volume.

I remain concerned that there are significant issues which need to be addressed before a decision on HS2 can be made. These include the strategic policy context, the assessment of alternatives, the financial and economic case, the environmental impacts, connections to Heathrow and the justification for the particular route proposed. I am pleased the summary makes that point.

The debate will continue.


  1. When all you have are broken windows, nothing looks like a fallacy.

  2. Keep up the good work. HS2 is a complete folly. Happy to consider alternative conventional train routes to bring benefit to the communities along its route.
    Please keep challenging the economic and demographic arguments. Do we want to move people out of the crowded SE? Then reduce the £5bn pa subsidy that commuters receive and employers will have to move out of the SE.
    I don’t see hordes of continental companies about to relocate their staff to Birmingham to generate INCREMENTAL” jobs in the UK. If there were I might feel more inclined towards HS2. All it will do is allow rich commuters to live further away from London. Utter madness.

    • Bob….to put you in the picture, Network Rail and the TOCs are already committed to a substantial reduction in subsidy over the next few years on the back of the McNulty report. HS2 also releases capacity on the existing classic network, and as Steve will point out, both Network Rail and Passenger Focus stated at the TSC session a while ago that they were forming a joint task force to quiz passengers on what they would like to see with the freed up paths.As far as relocating or creating new jobs outside of London goes, I was under the impression that the current government has set up Enterprise Zones in certain areas such as Birmingham and Manchester in order to attract investment ???