I. Do. Not. Get. It. This country remains bananas when it comes to public transport, moreso than any other European country I'm aware of. I'll grant you we now have High Speed 1. It took long enough - it should have been in place in 1994, but our elected 'leaders' really don't care. Take a look at the Ave S103 - Spain is aiming to get 10,000 km of high speed track by 2020. That's utterly unthinkable here. Why? I honestly couldn't say. Put in High Speed 2 from St Pancras and Heathrow to Birmingham, and you lose the need for a sixth terminal at Heathrow immediately. And that's without taking into consideration the ability to grow regional airports instead, with the economic growth spread around the country rather than illogically concentrated in the south-east.
Yet in July 2007 the Opus Dei Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly ignored High Speed 2 in her planning of Britain's transport infrastructure over the next thirty years, saying that 'green is good' on the one hand, yet opening up far wider air travel expansion than any of her European counterparts could now contemplate. Ridiculous. As usual, a very British lack of planning or coordination is to blame. How shocking. I saw an interview a week or so ago, questioning the difference between government's claim that the economy and infrastructure are strong and in place to weather the oncoming economic storm. Those of us who have to navigate the economy and put up with the infrastructure know different.