The same old myths about Birmingham from HS2 opponents

Moor Street station, Birmingham city centre. the site of the planned HS2 station is immediately to the left.

Moor Street station, Birmingham city centre. the site of the planned HS2 station is immediately to the left.

Misleading myths about HS2

It’s disappointing that Cheryl Gillan MP’s piece in the Sunday Telegraph has repeated a misleading myth about HS2 and Birmingham.

The article begins:

“If the rail fare rises have made your eyes water, wait until you start paying the costs of the Labour-initiated folly HS2 – the leviathan scheme to take a few minutes off the time of a journey to Birmingham…….”

This is simply not true but it’s an oft-repeated myth from HS2 opponents.

HS2 will not ‘take a few minutes’ from the journey time, rather 35-40 minutes.

The journey times from London to Birmingham will be cut from 1h 24m to around 45m. This is hardly ‘shaving a few minutes’ as opponents often claim.

HS2 in the city centre

The same piece makes the claim HS2 will not even connect with Birmingham city centre, but this is entirely false.

The HS2 station will be at Moor Street (see above).  Moor Street station is next door to the Bullring and within five minutes walk of New Street station.

Interestingly, critics of HS2 have been quick to point out the continuing growth – and their  belief it offers potential as a HS2 alternative – of Chiltern’s service from Snow Hill and Moor Street.

So, it would seem Moor Street can be distant or close to Birmingham city centre depending on the argument opponents are making at the time.

HS2 opponents have repeatedly made these claims, including telling BBC’s Inside Out that HS2 was half an hour away from New Street!

Tim Fenton has also summarised his observations on the Telegraph story at his blog Zelo Street.

Finally, we should note that, similarly to Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, Cheryl Gillan MP supports high speed rail, but not the proposed route of HS2.

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5 Responses to The same old myths about Birmingham from HS2 opponents

  1. Chris Neville-Smith says:

    And (as I’ve said before) the daft thing is that had Cheryl Gillan used her position at the cabinet table to push for some sort of HS service to Amersham (either a station on the HS2 line or a branch to the existing Amersham/Aylesbury line), she would probably have got it. Ho hum.

    • gohs2 says:

      Yes and it’s often overlooked by opponents that Cheryl Gillan and Michael Fabricant MPs are NOT against high speed rail. They are, however, opposed to the HS2 route.

      • Chris Neville-Smith says:

        I suppose one point I can make in her defence is that she does at least attempt to support other rail schemes when it’s consistent with what she’s trying to promote, in this case the GWML upgrade.

        One would have thought that if StopH2, HS2AA, 51m et al are so convinced you can solve all problems on the railway by upgrading existing lines, they would have given their support to the GWML modernisation (and, if they like, suggest this approach is used on the WCML). Likewise for the Northern Hub, But no. I’ve searched their sites and I can’t find a single positive word about either of these schemes.

        It appears StopHS2 et al are more interested in making it look like the DfT can do no right and they can do no wrong. Which basically means they would rather support no rail schemes at all (at least not anything that has a realistic chance of being built) than admit the DfT might sometimes do something they agree with.

  2. Pingback: HS2 Myths: Cheryl Gillan’s comments in the Telegraph « hs2northwest

  3. How central do they want the HS2 station? Victoria Square central? Why not demolish half of Colmore Row.

    I have heard one person say “demolish half of Broad St near to Five Ways and have it there”. Seems an awful lot less central there.

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