Monday, 29 September 2008

Vote Tory, save the planet

Have the Tories exposed Labour's inability to take action on the environment? Today's proposal to build a high speed rail network instead of a third Heathrow runway gets my vote.

There are some dodgy (obviously made-up) figures in the proposal:
Villiers will announce that a Tory government would spend £15.6bn between 2015 and 2027 (£1.3bn a year for 12 years) to build the new high speed rail link from London St Pancras to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. A further £4.4bn would be paid by the private sector.
These have obviously been plucked from the air. Then there are the train times:
Journey times on the 180mph line would be slashed: London to Birmingham would take 45 minutes instead of 80; London to Manchester 80 minutes instead of 125, London to Leeds 97 minutes instead of 125 and Manchester to Leeds 17 minutes instead of the current 55.
You can actually get from Kings Cross to Leeds in under two hours. But it does indeed take the best part of an hour to travel the 36 miles from Manchester to Leeds, which should be a cause of national embarrassment.

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