As the final route for HS2 was announced, one MP was particularly gleeful: ‘I and my constituents are delighted with the proposed route, which not only avoids my safe seat but which will protect my majority for years to come. Coincidentally my wife’s parents’ modest Jacobean house and 400 acres are also unaffected’.
The benefits are manifest, for example, a businessman in Sheffield will be able to put his racing pigeons on a train and they would reach London 30 minutes earlier than they would now. The aggregate time saved would mean he would be able to have another 5 races per year. Yes a number of homes will have to be demolished, but this is on a par with the slum clearances of the 50s & 60s.
When asked if there was really the need for a high speed rail link over a comparatively short distance, the MP replied: ‘Who doesn’t want to see 60 trains a day travelling past the bottom of their garden at 250 miles per hour?’