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Devon and Cornwall 'Cinderella region' missing out on fair share of rail cash

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

Comments (6)

The Government has been accused of ignoring the South West as part of its HS2 high-speed rail link investment, creating a 'Cinderella region' which routinely misses out on crucial cash.

Rail users’ groups in the far West of England have long said their transport links with London are much-maligned, and have been neglected by successive governments.

MEP Giles Chichester has taken up their case and, in an open letter, criticised the decision not to include the South West in the £32.7 billion HS2 plans.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron said extending the already-planned London to Birmingham HS2 line as far as Manchester and Leeds would “spread wealth and prosperity” around the country.

But Mr Chichester said: “The good people of Leeds and Manchester must be experiencing a warm glow now they know the Government is to lavish more than £30 billion of investment on speeding up their journeys to London through the (HS2) rail link. It must be nice to be so loved.

“The journey between London and the farther reaches of the Westcountry is just as long and just as important to our economy.

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  • eu_blues  |  February 12 2013, 7:28PM

    I'd just mention that the existing structure needs money spent on it, but not complicate the matter with 'who' pays .... :-) DogsDanglies Hopefully the EU can help with the £2.5 billion that's earmarked for Devon. But as always, the money will go down a rather BIG black hole, never to be seen again. £320 million Objective One money that Cornwall was promised to support the developing economic economy didn't materialise. It just vanished as usual. Probably to support Cornwall's further intergration into the EU as a region.

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  • DogsDanglies  |  February 12 2013, 3:18PM

    @nickthompson: you're right, of course, on the privately owned railways. I was going to mention that but thought I'd then rant on about that and private utility companies etc so thought I'd just mention that the existing structure needs money spent on it, but not complicate the matter with 'who' pays .... :-) DD

  • OscarDelta  |  February 12 2013, 1:28PM

    What on earth is a "Cinderella region"? Who comes up with these names? Are they finally admitting that the whole thing is a bit of a pantomime? I suppose there is the danger that when the project inevitably overruns, it will just turn into a giant pumpkin.

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  • Dunthiel  |  February 12 2013, 12:59PM

    Even pro-HSR organisations and groups admit that HS2 will have a negative affect on economic growth and development in the South West region - as a whole. That regional figure hides a significant damaging affect to the far South West. Plymouth in particular is already the most isolated UK urban area since the airport was shut.

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  • nickthompson  |  February 12 2013, 11:03AM

    DogsDanglies: Agree with all you say except the last paragraph, it is shambolic,but the companies that run this shambles are PRIVATELY owned,as far as I am concerned the government should instruct them to put up,or shut up,in which case the railways should be returned to us tax payers who at least would have a say on how they opperate,and on fare structures,via the ballot box.

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  • DogsDanglies  |  February 12 2013, 10:09AM

    Well, the UK isn't going with HS2 because of any benefits for the UK. It's pushing it because it's part of the EU's TEN-T integrated transport infrastructure. But you'll never hear the UK government saying that, it'll be a huge UK inspired project and they'll push the '20 minutes saved on a journey from Birmingham to Leeds' for example, with all the contrived savings that that entails. We need a government that works for the UK and its electorate and not for the political interests of the EU. We would be far better off spending a fraction of HS2 on first improving the shambolic rail system we have today. It's not rocket science ...... DD

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