Chamber chief is criticised by Shipley businessman over 'pro-HS2' speaker at Bradford event

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andrew Mason Andrew Mason

Bradford business leader Paul Mackie has been accused of ignoring the views of local companies by hosting an event featuring a director of the controversial HS2 rail project.

Andrew Mason, managing director of Shipley-based Newmason Properties and an avid opponent of HS2, is angry that Mr Mackie, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, whose members gave a thumbs down to HS2 in a recent poll, is providing a platform for supporters of the scheme.

Mr Mason said: “What I am trying to understand is why when Bradford business voted so overwhelmingly against HS2, the chamber would want to put on such a pro-HS2 panel. it would appear that the views of the membership are not being reflected by the executive and appears neither fair or balanced.

“In addition to the Bradford chamber survey a regional newspaper poll shows that around 70 per cent of business people are against HS2 which will have no benefit to those cities such as Bradford which are not on the route.”

He has criticised the inclusion of Stephen McFarlane, HS2 head of community and stakeholder engagement, at a construction industry lunch being held in Bradford by the new West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce on June 20.

Other panellists are the chief executives of Bradford, Leeds and York councils, Tony Reeves, Tom Riordan and Kersten England. It will be chaired by Paul Mackie. They will outline ideas for connecting businesses and how to tackle commuting problems Mr Mackie said the lunch was intended to consider wider connectivity issues to help sceptical business people make up their minds about HS2 and other matters.

He said: “I have sat in a number of HS2 board conversations and there are more questions than answers. I have also started to connect the HS2 proposal with the network rail plans for local connectivity and wider railway links which should be looked at together and not in isolation, such as links to Leeds-Bradford Airport and to Manchester which are as important to cities like Bradford as speed to London.”

He said more than 90 per cent of executives at a recent Bradford Chamber lunch supported HS2, contradicting the survey findings, but wanted more answers to the questions.

Comments (8)

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10:40am Mon 2 Jun 14

MontyLeMar says...

The government is desperate for support for this grand folly of a project and will look kindly on those regional power brokers who advance their claims. I can see knighthoods all round and secure seats at Westminster for the chosen few who say the right things. With out of control immigration and a population swelling by half a million a year and a desperate housing shortage there is a better way to use £50 billion.
The government is desperate for support for this grand folly of a project and will look kindly on those regional power brokers who advance their claims. I can see knighthoods all round and secure seats at Westminster for the chosen few who say the right things. With out of control immigration and a population swelling by half a million a year and a desperate housing shortage there is a better way to use £50 billion. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 6

12:01pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Count Jim Moriarty says...

By the sound of it, the only thing Mr. Mason wants is something that reflects his own blinkered views at the expense of alternative opinions. Fortunately, the world doesn't work like that.
By the sound of it, the only thing Mr. Mason wants is something that reflects his own blinkered views at the expense of alternative opinions. Fortunately, the world doesn't work like that. Count Jim Moriarty
  • Score: -4

11:56pm Mon 2 Jun 14

NorthStart says...

Here's a funny thing. After HS2 leaves Euston and goes north-west and speed-first to Birmingham, it will send one HS2 fork to Manchester and one to Leeds. Both forks will be 90+ miles long.
But the centres of Manchester and Leeds are scarcely 40 miles apart. A smart HS2 would link the two, joining up a trans-Pennine economy (with Bradford close to its centre) half as big again as Brum.
The same smart link would also be the final connection in a much needed Northern Cities crossrail from Liverpool in the west to York and Hull in the east. And a smart HS2 would have started with this link and followed existing Motorway corridors on its way south towards London.
So, who is wearing the blinkers: Mr Mason or HS2's unquestioning fans?
Here's a funny thing. After HS2 leaves Euston and goes north-west and speed-first to Birmingham, it will send one HS2 fork to Manchester and one to Leeds. Both forks will be 90+ miles long. But the centres of Manchester and Leeds are scarcely 40 miles apart. A smart HS2 would link the two, joining up a trans-Pennine economy (with Bradford close to its centre) half as big again as Brum. The same smart link would also be the final connection in a much needed Northern Cities crossrail from Liverpool in the west to York and Hull in the east. And a smart HS2 would have started with this link and followed existing Motorway corridors on its way south towards London. So, who is wearing the blinkers: Mr Mason or HS2's unquestioning fans? NorthStart
  • Score: 5

11:26am Tue 3 Jun 14

collos25 says...

The 50billion is not coming out of the treasury but from an overseas source and the operator of the trains and track will want their money back plus plenty more.
Something the pro lobby fail to mention.
The 50billion is not coming out of the treasury but from an overseas source and the operator of the trains and track will want their money back plus plenty more. Something the pro lobby fail to mention. collos25
  • Score: 1

1:49pm Tue 3 Jun 14

basil fawlty says...

NorthStart wrote:
Here's a funny thing. After HS2 leaves Euston and goes north-west and speed-first to Birmingham, it will send one HS2 fork to Manchester and one to Leeds. Both forks will be 90+ miles long. But the centres of Manchester and Leeds are scarcely 40 miles apart. A smart HS2 would link the two, joining up a trans-Pennine economy (with Bradford close to its centre) half as big again as Brum. The same smart link would also be the final connection in a much needed Northern Cities crossrail from Liverpool in the west to York and Hull in the east. And a smart HS2 would have started with this link and followed existing Motorway corridors on its way south towards London. So, who is wearing the blinkers: Mr Mason or HS2's unquestioning fans?
If the selling point of HS2 is to reduce the north-souh divide, then I would have thought that the trains would by-pass the Midlands but make stops at a lot of northern stations so as to share the benefit around. Instead we have a ridiculously expenside route paid by all of us to benefit the elitest few. What a waste of money. Leeds gets ever richer whilst the rest of Yorkshire loses out.
[quote][p][bold]NorthStart[/bold] wrote: Here's a funny thing. After HS2 leaves Euston and goes north-west and speed-first to Birmingham, it will send one HS2 fork to Manchester and one to Leeds. Both forks will be 90+ miles long. But the centres of Manchester and Leeds are scarcely 40 miles apart. A smart HS2 would link the two, joining up a trans-Pennine economy (with Bradford close to its centre) half as big again as Brum. The same smart link would also be the final connection in a much needed Northern Cities crossrail from Liverpool in the west to York and Hull in the east. And a smart HS2 would have started with this link and followed existing Motorway corridors on its way south towards London. So, who is wearing the blinkers: Mr Mason or HS2's unquestioning fans?[/p][/quote]If the selling point of HS2 is to reduce the north-souh divide, then I would have thought that the trains would by-pass the Midlands but make stops at a lot of northern stations so as to share the benefit around. Instead we have a ridiculously expenside route paid by all of us to benefit the elitest few. What a waste of money. Leeds gets ever richer whilst the rest of Yorkshire loses out. basil fawlty
  • Score: 2

9:43am Wed 4 Jun 14

MontyLeMar says...

collos25 wrote:
The 50billion is not coming out of the treasury but from an overseas source and the operator of the trains and track will want their money back plus plenty more.
Something the pro lobby fail to mention.
You're probably correct and it reminds me that most train operators are tied to renting most of the rolling stock used in the UK from private companies who can and do charge what they like. That's why we have some of the most expensive fares in the world. The mind boggles what a return ticket from Leeds to London would cost on HS2, nobody seems very eager to hazard a guess so far but they want our unconditional support for the project. This government think that whatever the fare is we have a booming economy and the plebs will be able to afford it.
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: The 50billion is not coming out of the treasury but from an overseas source and the operator of the trains and track will want their money back plus plenty more. Something the pro lobby fail to mention.[/p][/quote]You're probably correct and it reminds me that most train operators are tied to renting most of the rolling stock used in the UK from private companies who can and do charge what they like. That's why we have some of the most expensive fares in the world. The mind boggles what a return ticket from Leeds to London would cost on HS2, nobody seems very eager to hazard a guess so far but they want our unconditional support for the project. This government think that whatever the fare is we have a booming economy and the plebs will be able to afford it. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 1

10:33am Wed 4 Jun 14

NorthStart says...

@ MontyLeMar just now: "This government think..."

Yes, but HS2 sprang from the London-elite's mindset before the last election. So, have a look at the map and work out which city (more particularly which part of which city) it will serve best.
@ MontyLeMar just now: "This government think..." Yes, but HS2 sprang from the London-elite's mindset before the last election. So, have a look at the map and work out which city (more particularly which part of which city) it will serve best. NorthStart
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Skipton says...

What a load of blinkered idiots, we need a new line, we need it now and it should serve the main commercial points.

Mr Mason's attempt to rubbish HS2 on commercial terms were blown away by the boss of HS2.

Bring it on now.

Brian Verity
What a load of blinkered idiots, we need a new line, we need it now and it should serve the main commercial points. Mr Mason's attempt to rubbish HS2 on commercial terms were blown away by the boss of HS2. Bring it on now. Brian Verity Skipton
  • Score: -1

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