If I am honest I am not a huge user of public transport – I only tend to use the bus at Christmas to get too and from our works Christmas do, and then if as a family we are going to London by train we get the bus to the station.
However, once in a while I do see the benefits and can’t understand why we don’t sort out our piecemeal system once and for all!
This week I am off to Paris with the family. Getting there is a total “no brainer” – Train all the way. I can walk out of my house first thing in the morning, get the bus to the station and then roughly four hours later be in the centre of Paris. And that is using our frankly antiquated slow rail system down to London and then the super fast Eurostar from there.
This has highlighted to me the need for the High Speed Rail 2 link that my colleague Tim Garratt has been championing for the last few months.
Improved rail links and combining public transport services (as in much of Europe) work on so many levels;
- As a real alternative to both car and air travel
- Greatly reduced emissions
- Any station on a HS line will be a ‘growth hub’
- It would get me to Paris one hour earlier!
The problem as I see it is our lack of belief in the ‘common good’ – the nimby effect again! The pain that the country went through over the Eurostar line was huge but the benefits can now be seen, and I would hope are universally accepted?
Time to be controversial now – the South has always benefited most from Central Government – perhaps its time now for them to ‘pay us all back’ north of the Watford Gap and take some pain for our benefit.
Lets get HS2 sorted and now!