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How very cool

However, recently released documents show that Ms Sturgeon and Mr Burnham are pressuring Westminster to spend £3bn on an alternative connecting line, rather than making savings.

“HS2 and connectivity towards Scotland” was top of the agenda in a meeting between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Burnham on Aug 24, according to recently released briefing papers.

Documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request set out in detail discussions between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Burnham.

They say: “Given the direct importance of maintaining the benefits that the Golborne Link would have delivered for Scotland it is essential that the Scottish Government has a central role in the consideration of the alternatives.

So, the Scottish Govenment can pay for it then.

17 thoughts on “How very cool”

  1. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    If we ignore the headline and read the article, it basically says “two pointless blowhards had a meeting”

  2. I’m (vaguely) aware of this. The Golborne Link is a link from HS2 from where it departs the WCML north of Crewe to rejoin the WCML. So…. just get a train that doesn’t divert at Crewe and continues on the WCML anyway. It’s like compleining “If I get a train from London to Wakefield it doesn’t go to Edinburgh!” Well, get the Edinburgh train instead you plonker.

    The only transport benefit of the Golborne Link is to bypass Warrington. You can discuss if that’s worth £3bn.

  3. But, I thought Scotland wanted to be independent and can manage on its own without England – so why a rail link?

  4. Be interesting to see if it, or something like it, happens along with the continuation of HS2.
    Connecting the EU Regions, etc.

  5. Are we still pouring taxpayers’ £££ into that pointless white elephant vanity project? Which was started at the behest of the EU (hawk, spit) iirc?

    £100Bn so that some rich guys can get to Birmingham a few minutes faster, when they won’t bother, they’ll just use Zoom or Teams instead…

    Please, somebody, do the decent thing here.

  6. Peter Mac …. indeed. The very epitome on how to spaff other people’s money on a colossal boondoggle to buy votes form your party funders – aka MacAlpine etc…

  7. I can fly London Gatwick to Edinburgh tomorrow morning, and back tomorrow evening, for £73 return. That includes £13 of air passenger duty on each leg. That £3bn would pay for 40m flights – and that’s just a tiny part of the HS1 bill.

    Rail gets a ton of subsidies yet still can’t compete with heavily-taxed air travel; it’s insane.

  8. Andrew M,

    Rail is probably so expensive that if we insisted on only solar aviation fuel being used, it would still be cheaper.

    The thing I realised about rail vs air is how bad rail is at pricing and filling seats. Easyjet and Ryanair fill every seat. If they can get £150 for a seat they will, but if they can only get £20 for a seat, they’ll take it.

    Rail pricing is fixed and based on some bizarre thing of the price of a ticket in the 80s + inflation. It takes no account of demand. It just leaves a load of money on the table. They run near empty trains at night, charging £60 to London from here, instead of dropping the price to £25 and getting a load of people who decide to have a night out. But then, it is essentially run by the state.

  9. Indeed BoM4
    Ryanair and Easyjet seem to make their money on surge pricing. Got a cousin who can’t get a flight from Swords to Leeds/Bradford even, let alone Manchester, on a weekend when Man Utd have a home game. Technically he could, but it would be close to 500 Euro return.
    Grand Central seems to have no bother surge pricing the Monday morning single from Hartlepool to KGX to £140 or thereabouts, but the more regulated rail operators can’t adjust prices in the same way. Haven’t used Lumo or First Hull but I expect that they too make a crust on people paying for convenient timings at higher prices.

  10. . . . but if they can only get £20 for a seat, they’ll take it.

    Which is interesting. A̲l̲l̲ ̲e̲l̲s̲e̲ ̲b̲e̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲e̲q̲u̲a̲l, there’s a cost for transporting the empty seat and a cost for transporting the seat plus passenger; sometimes the latter will be more. In that case they must bet on the passenger bringing in more overall than the cheap ticket, otherwise there’s no point.

  11. HS2 is redundant. Most people work flexibly these days which means the number of people who need to travel at peak time is considerably reduced. Not sure that anyone (except the public sector) is going to take the Avanti £370 anytime first class return between Manchester and London. Less peak demand means we don’t need HS2.

    The whole linking Europe thing was bollocks too. Even if you live round the corner from St Pancras, why would you take the train any further than Belgium or Northern France?

  12. PJF,

    “Which is interesting. A̲l̲l̲ ̲e̲l̲s̲e̲ ̲b̲e̲i̲n̲g̲ ̲e̲q̲u̲a̲l, there’s a cost for transporting the empty seat and a cost for transporting the seat plus passenger; sometimes the latter will be more. In that case they must bet on the passenger bringing in more overall than the cheap ticket, otherwise there’s no point.”

    But £20 is more than National Express charge me to London, and OK, there’s a bit of extra fuel for moving my arse, but most of the costs are static. You still employ a driver, guard and ticket inspector, have stations, rail, signals whether there’s 5 or 50 people on the train.

    One of my observations is that the internet really optimised these static cost things like hotels and flights. There was always some differential pricing before, cheaper hotels in London on weekends, but it’s much more granular now. Bongo’s thing of wildly expensive flights around football matches. Hotels in London rip out your eyeballs for New Year’s Eve. Greed pig capitalists want the £500 that they can get for a Man Utd flight, but if you’re more flexible you can fly to Naples for £50. The problem with rail is that it’s not run by greed pig capitalists like every other form of transport.

  13. Bloke on M4, my comment was in response to one about airlines, not rail. I guess with an outfit like Ryanair, they’ll fly a passenger at a fuel-cost loss in the hope of selling them food, booze and scratch cards.

  14. PJF,

    I see. That would make some sense, yes.

    This is another area where trains are garbage. They have a crappy little trolley service with terrible food and drink. They could sell a whole lot of stuff to people.

  15. MC

    “Even if you live round the corner from St Pancras, why would you take the train any further than Belgium or Northern France?”

    Heading to the French Alps for a week? 1st preference – jump in the car; 2nd – Eurostar from St Pancras (if in London and the local destination fits?); worst option – faffing with the security charade and other shite that comprises modern air travel. It’s both comfort and efficiency. Efficiency because the car gets you straight from your front door directly to the end destination without any extra messing with luggage, transfers or any of the rest.

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