Simon Calder: A rethink on the HS2 route would be wise
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Saturday 07 January 2012
Australian railway engineers celebrated the new century by building 900 miles of new track across the Northern Territory in two years flat. In crowded, complicated Britain there is nothing high-speed about building a 21st-century high-speed line.
But by the mid-2020s Britain should have a piece of transport infrastructure of which to be proud. The land that gave railways to the world will regain some long-lost credibility, people will win time, and the hard-pressed West Coast Main Line will gain some respite.
All good? Sadly, not. The reason the Victorian railway builders were so successful was that they ran lines not just between big cities but via large towns. The chosen route steers away from existing population centres. Milton Keynes and Oxford are astride the main road and rail corridors between London and Birmingham. When HS2 ploughs through the Chilterns, they may be sidelined. Just ask the people of Maidstone, left high, dry and slow by HS1 to the Channel Tunnel. While looking again at the route will add more delay, it could prove time well spent.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...
£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...
£25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...