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Hurrah for HS2

 Published on: 29th January 2013   |   By: Nik Allen

When the Government announced details of the second phase of HS2 I for one let out a loud cheer.

As a businessman, I can’t help but welcome the plan to spend £33 billion on building a rail link between London and the north.

Despite all the protests, it all makes sense to me. It will substantially cut travel times between London and important business hubs such as Manchester.

It will boost jobs and for every £1 spent return about £2. The high-tech trains, with a capacity to travel at 225mph, will be a welcome modern addition to our Victorian rail infrastructure.

Every major change introduced in our country over the past 50 years has prompted a chorus of outrage. And then it happens, we get used to the idea and it becomes the norm.

When I was a child (now I am really showing my age here) I can remember the huge fuss surrounding decimalisation. There was hysteria surrounding the move to abolish the complicated system of shillings, half crowns and florins and replace it with decimal currency.

It is difficult to believe now that anyone was prepared to defend the archaic system where 12 pennies made a shilling and 20 shillings made a pound. But four decades ago people took to the streets handing out leaflets in protest at the measure.

Big, bold ideas always attract flak. But as a society, we will never make progress unless we keep moving forward.

I’m not unsympathetic to the plight of those homeowners who will be worst affected by construction of HS2. But I am a realist and I would like to see this big idea become a reality.

1 Comment

  1. John Whatling February 5th, 2013, 12:38 pm

    I’m not convinced – but in the short term we need to get the West Coast Mainline sorted. Watford is being poorly served by the train providers. Please, Nik, get on board with business people in Watford in our fight to get Watford Junction recognised as an important rail hub particularly with the soon to be built Croxley rail link. This will be an important issue in the coming months and years!

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