It’s probably fair to say that a rail journey that should have taken me a little more than an hour, but actually took me more than five hours, has a large part to play in this particular commentary.
I am continually facing the people of Warwickshire at public meetings and hearing their calls for more visible policing.
So sitting on a train for five hours gave me time to reflect on the huge sums of money going into the HS2 project, when police forces around the country are facing dramatic budget reductions.
We are looking at 25 years of disruption with HS2, yet on the other hand we are told there isn’t the money to maintain policing levels.
I can’t help thinking back to Concorde and an article that appeared in ‘Flight International’ at the time, stating ‘no transport system that has halved journey times has ever failed’. Well, we can see what happened to Concorde. Just because it’s faster doesn’t mean it is better.
There is not even the argument that new technology is being created by HS2, it is simply implementing systems in place elsewhere in Europe.
I was supposed to be chairing a meeting of the Independent Police and Crime Commissioners in London, and thankfully my Deputy Eric Wood managed to step in, so my thanks to him!
HS2 will have a huge impact on Warwickshire, its environment and its population.
It’s a folly we can ill afford and with savings impacting on the entire public sector I urge the Government to reconsider and reflect if there aren’t better uses for £50 billion – if indeed that is a true reflection of the final cost.