Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour? Big deal. I raise you an eighteen-minute ride from London to Manchester. Despite the doubters of the post-Brexit future of the United Kingdom, the brains behind Hyperloop publicized their interest in accordance with the government and private companies in regards to developing a landing spot in this region.
According to a report by Wired, Alan James, the VP of Worldwide Business Development at Hyperloop One, suggested there was “quite a strong response” from the government. If the response is strong enough to enforce any action in the foreseeable future is a different question.
The two innovative HTT and Hyperloop One organizations, who are competing to see who will reach the market first, have now linked and are in negotiations with local organizations and authorities in the UK.
“Innovate UK has taken the lead on that”, says James. “It is joining together the department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and DFT [Department For Transport], to produce a coordinated response to the Hyperloop opportunity.”
Specifically, one option they will discuss entails “making Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds, effectively a single city,” James continues to make a point of interest in this prospect. The proposed convergence of these cities would cut the travel time and general mayhem of northern England by use of magnetic levitation.
More so, currently, there is some tension between the guiding forces of public transport in the U.K. One such example is between the British National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and the rail’s franchise owner, Govia Thameslink.
In an IBTimes UK article, the RMT general secretary claims the union members’ execution of such persistent protests “has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of the Govia Thameslink and the government, who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern”
Issues of safety and responsibility, as well as the need for a working transport channel (of course) are echoed through these attempts of defiance. It may be possible that Hyperloop’s interference offers an alternative to the current system’s shortcomings in the sector.
The currently planned mode of transport being offered to the common-folk is known as High Speed Two (HS2), which as James quotes, “the most expensive railway project humanity has ever undertaken, on a per-kilometre basis.”
Seeing that London’s population is expected to skyrocket above 10 million by the year 2024, the commuter demand exists and will continue to demand for a railway system which is not only functional but also, and arguably equally important, affordable. The cries of scrutiny, as signaled through this video, should act as motivation for future endeavors.
And who knows, the successful collaboration between the Hyperloop representatives and the local governing bodies of the U.K. may tip the scale amongst the undecided back in favor of U.K.’s bright future.