From our Swindon Correspondent:
OK, it’s a done deal, it’s going to happen, but I was slightly amused by this argument from an advocate for HS2
You release capacity on the Midland Main Line, the East Coast Main Line and particularly the West Coast Main Line that you can then use for other things…. that means that big places like Milton Keynes have got an hourly service to Manchester only. Rugby hasn’t any trains at all.
First of all, this is slightly untrue. In the morning, there’s 2 trains an hour to Manchester from Milton Keynes from 6am to 9am. But OK, after 9am there’s one train per hour.
But, OK, who can come up with a value proposition for doubling trains after 9am, from Manchester to Milton Keynes?
This isn’t commuter hours, and the journey is too long for a commute. OK, maybe someone in Milton Keynes has a 2:30 interview for a job. So, instead of being able to leave the station at 12:20 to get into Manchester at 2pm, they get in at 1:30 instead and have to sit in a Starbucks for half an hour killing time? In the case of someone doing a client meeting, it doesn’t really matter much. You just check what time the train is arriving and arrange to meet just after that time. That’s how people generally work.
As for Rugby, ever heard of connecting trains? How many people in Rugby want to go to Manchester more often than once a year? Even for those who do it, how many care about saving 15 minutes at Stafford on a once a month meeting?