high speed train

It’s time to pull the plug?

HS2 – why it’s time to pull the plug on the fantasy


Germany has abandoned any further investment in a high-speed rail network as it is deemed uneconomical. Future upgrades will accommodate tilting trains – in other words, the very same Pendolino technology that currently operates on the west coast line. There is every economic and social reason to immediately modernise the trans-Pennine and Sheffield-to-London routes. Money saved on abandoning the HS2 vanity project would easily cover that and leave enough for an east coast upgrade – and west as well if greater speed is the prime concern. There might even be a few quid left over…

Gary Carpenter
West Kirby, Merseyside


Wendover – Guardian



Well connected? To London Marylebone, 46-51 minutes every 15 minutes or so (annual season ticket £2,680); 10 minutes to Aylesbury. A 10-minute drive to the A41 – dual carriageway most of the way to London; 40 minutes, say, to the M25.

Schools Primaries: the John Hampden and Wendover CofE are both “outstanding”, says Ofsted. The town’s secondary, John Colet, is “satisfactory”. Many people make the trek to Aylesbury Grammar (“good… with outstanding features”) and Aylesbury High (“good”).

Hang out at… The White Swan or Shoulder Of Mutton for a quick one on the way home from the station.

Where to buy It’s a small town, so nowhere’s what you’d call the wrong side of the tracks. The period properties skirting the main roads in and out are lovely – plenty of cute cottages, and Dobbins Lane is the place for suburban detacheds. The real bargains are the 60s and 70s modern detacheds and semis.

Market values Suburban four- or five-bedroom detacheds, £400,000…#8209;£600,000, though heftier piles farther out into the countryside can go for considerably more. Smaller three-bedroom detacheds, bungalows and semis, £300,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £175,000-£290,000.

The Crystal – Timelapse

The Crystal – A Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens: Timelapse 2012

The Crystal is a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens exploring how we can create a better future for our cities. Home to the world’s largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability,it brings together city decision makers and the public. As a world-class centre for dialogue, discovery and learning, it reveals the challenges that cities face, and the ways we can reduce their environmental impact using sustainable technology.