No to a tunnel on the high-speed rail link: we will not pay through the nose to appease rural sensitivities

This post was written by Reuben on December 5, 2011
Posted Under: Uncategorized

The Campaign To Protect Rural England – the body that fights valiantly against most worthwhile attempts to ease Britain’s housing crisis – has been complaining loudly about the proposed high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. Now the government is considering caving in to some of their demands.

Owing to the fact that the Chilterns is considered an “area of of natural” beauty, the new high-speed rail link may be routed through a tunnel instead of running overground. This will come at the cost of half a billion pounds.

And what a waste of half a billion. Britain, unfortunately, still has bucket loads of countryside. Railways, meanwhile are aesthetically pleasing. Don’t we have better things to spend public money on that appeasing a bunch of village whose idea of “natural beauty” entails Nothing Ever Changing.

More importantly a tunnel will almost certainly make a section of the route inaccessible to Wi-Fi or 3G. I am not prepared to end up foreiting games of online chess – losing precious ranking points – simply because some rural people are scared of railways.

Let’s build this thing overground. And if the people of the Chiltern’s insist on making trouble, let’s punish them by making the track as garish and noisy as possible.

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Reader Comments

This article is as long as its title and equally ridiculous.

Written By Salman Shaheen on December 5th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

You could fit Stuka style sirens to the trains, and put a big plank thing like an oversized school ruler on the bottom, so that it makes repeated loud boingy noises as it smacks into the sleepers.

Written By Paul on December 5th, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

One of my perpetual back-of-my-mind doubts about socialism – like all rationalist eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ideologies – is how many obviously worthwhile but useless things we will need to do away with it to acheive a society that embodies theoretical principles (justice, equality, freedom etc.) in a way that will satisfy us.

Reuben’s probably read a lot more theory than us, so I wonder if he could tell me about a Marxist/other young Hegelian/egalitarian political theorist or strand of thought which provides criteria on where we draw the line when it comes to destroying things that are objectively beautiful (i.e. destroying them in order to make way for the fulfilment of theoretical principles or materially determined human happiness)?

Written By Hugh on December 5th, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

Or they could dump the whole project and use the money to reinstate the branch lines that Beeching closed, so ordinary people could get from A to B again.

Written By julia on December 5th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm
jonathan colwill

You say we have a housing crisis, well we wouldn’t have a housing crisis if we didn’t have a policy of mass immigration .
Without mass immigration the UK would have a falling population plenty of houses lots of room and no need for more roads or rail lines.
Both labour and the conservatives need to understand we need a policy of NO GROWTH to the economy, because at some point the economy will stop growing naturally as natural resources decline .
We need to end growth and try to live within this islands carrying capacity, because when the fossil fuels and ores run out we will have to do that anyway

Written By jonathan colwill on December 6th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

Hey Reuben, I hear Spiked are hiring :-)

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