|Justine Greening poses by a high speed train|
I saw a chap on the television, a director of Manchester Airport. He thought the high speed thing essential for Manchester. Why exactly? I can't think his airport is going to benefit. Is he hoping for Londoners to be whisked up there so they can fly off to places they never thought Heathrow catered for? Or is he wanting to send some of his lot down south? He never said WHY it would be good, just that he wanted it. Business leaders are talking with forked tongues. That they've got something of interest in the project is not doubted. It's just that the rest of us haven't been let in on the plot.
Saving on flying is one reason the Daily Mail came up with. However, no planes fly between Birmingham and London except for executive jets. It will be years before the planes between Manchester and London get competition from the high speed trains. Will the planes go the same way as SeaFrance ferries? Lose some jobs at the airport, gain them on the trains. Swings and roundabouts.
I'm not against this project as such. I'm just against the weasel words and the bold-faced corruption of it all. If the construction industry wants work, let them renovate houses, or the cracked motorways, or the disused factory sites around the country. Better still, do something about the existing rail network. As it stands, tickets have just gone up to pay for "investment". I imagine a ticket for a 49-minute speedy train journey will be either a massive cost, or a subsidised one, reflecting nothing of the true cost. We need Ms Greening to give us ANSWERS not platitudes.
First off, how will this all help Birmingham? Are we to be visited by eager business folk, all keen to get out of London to do some kind of Dick Whittington in reverse? Who knows? None of do at the moment! Answers, Ms Greening, PLEASE!!!!