The two businessmen from Cheshire were due to meet me near London Bridge at 12.30. They arrived 10 minutes early and marvelled at the speed of their journey.

They’d come from Macclesfield. One of them commented that he could not see the point of HS2 because “for £100bn it will save me 11 minutes.” A ride to Euston of 1hr 41 will become 1hr 30. In fact, he said, it would be worse, because he lives 10 minutes from Macclesfield station and he will have to drive further to the new HS2 terminus.