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High Speed Rail - London to Birmingham

March 15, 2010 5:27 PM
Nigel Rock on route of proposed HS2 line at Burton Green

Nigel on a section of the proposed High Speed line near Kenilworth at Burton Green

The Government's proposal for a high-speed rail route from London to Birmingham has 20% of the length of route between the M25 and M42 in the new constituency of Kenilworth and Southam. If the proposal in its present form goes ahead there would be a significant impact on our locality. There are elevated sections close to Ladbroke, Southam and Kenilworth and the suggested line parallels the Welsh Road past Offchurch and Cubbington. The trains would run at 'up to' 250mph and there are no stations between here and London.

Nigel Rock, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Kenilworth & Southam, says:-

"Railways are the most environmentally form of transport and my own party in particular is fully committed to the improvement of the rail system - and so am I

"However, these proposals are not what I expected and in my view, are not the right solution. What people want is reduced journey times on a clean, reliable, punctual railway system that is accessible and affordable. Support in principle for high speed rail does not make this proposal the right one. It is over ambitious in terms of extraordinarily high speed at the expense of communities.

"Over the past two days I have studied the proposals (which constitute literally thousands of pages) and attempted to digest the huge huge amount of data.

"I have serious concerns about the impact it might have and yet still not deliver effective shorter journey times. The concentration on glamorous high-speed over real journey times is an issue. Travelling at very high train speeds then to just wait for (unreliable) connections seems daft. Very high speeds consume more energy (eight times more at 250mph that 125mph), and create more noise nuisance. There is much more work to do in looking at these proposals and no need to panic, but elevated sections close to houses will require local people to make sure their concerns are addressed when the consultation opens.

"The nearest station to us would be at Birmingham airport and there would be changes to catch Channel Tunnel trains or to go to Heathrow. In the proposals, future through trains to the north would not go into central Birmingham. As someone who has travelled extensively on the rail network in Europe, I have long dreamed of being able to board a train in Leamington, Banbury, or Rugby and get off in Paris, Brussels or Cologne. This proposal allows none of those things."

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