I like using trains. I try to use them wherever possible partly to avoid the stress of driving and also to make a lower carbon contribution. Living a couple of hundred metres from the train station helps enormously. From Morpeth Station I can get to more or less anywhere, London in about 3 hours, Manchester in 2½ and Edinburgh in just over 1. The Pacers have gone and the new Hitachi trains, assembled locally, are excellent.
When I heard about Johnson’s broken pledge over HS2 to be honest I could not have given the proverbial, at least when it came to the railways. I never thought it was a good idea. Spending billions of pounds, ploughing through ancient woodland and beautiful green countryside just to shave off a few minutes was not a convincing argument to me.
Far better to invest in local train infrastructure and rolling stock, in my opinion, as these are where the majority of journeys take place. Up and down the East Coast Main Line is fine, getting across the country is another matter, while trying to get somewhere off the beaten track is a nightmare. If we are ever going to resolve our climate obligations then better integrated public transport, based around rail is what is needed.
I was taken aback however by Johnson’s latest change of mind. (was I really?) Whether you see it as good, bad or indifferent news it is still a pledge that is broken, a solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something that is now broken. He throws out pledges like confetti at a wedding and has absolutely no compunction in breaking them.
OK, governments change their minds, they have to make difficult decisions. I get that.
It is not always Johnson’s and this government’s policies that annoy me, though I find many of them abhorrent, but his and its constant lying. I can’t believe anything he says.
Anyway, I’m off to get the train.