Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Next train.... 2026.....

After a long-drawn out consultation period, HS2 finally got the go ahead from the Transport Secretary today. This is a long-overdue development and I believe that it will be good news for Birmingham. I just hope that the government shift to express speed in terms of development rather than the stopping service we have seen since the election. Get on and get this thing built - let's put some money into transport infrastructure and create jobs - although I'm not sure that spending extra millions tunnelling under Chesham and Amersham is worth the money just to keep Cheryl Gillan in her seat.

Meanwhile, Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, has been quick to declare that this is a Liberal Democrat win, as the LDs apparently called for high speed rail back in 2004. Curiously, I understand that Cameron insisted it go into the coalition agreement and Philip Hammond claims that the Tories were the first party to commit to it whilst in opposition. The fact that Labour launched the scheme and got it as far as route planning is conveniently airbrushed out of the narrative.

Julian's claim that the Liberal Democrats convinced other parties might be more powerful if he had convinced his own. His comrades in Camden lobbied Norman Baker at the 2011 conference, the Liberal Democrats in the Chilterns remain opposed and the Kenilworth and Southam Liberal Democrats are still unconvinced. They cynics amongst you will point out that this is just typical Liberal Democrat campaign tactics - saying one thing to one audience and the exact reverse to another.

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