Thursday, 31 October 2013


High Speed 2 is a flawed Government plan to build a new high speed rail line linking London, the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. The total construction cost of the entire project is estimated at £42.6 billion, plus another £8 billion for rolling stock – an unprecedented level of expenditure for a single project ever proposed by a British Government in peacetime.

The Government’s own figures show that HS2 will provide absurdly low economic returns for the public money spent. Adjusting for the flawed assumptions used by the Government, it is clear that the costs of HS2 will far exceed the benefits. By contrast, there are much better value-for-money alternatives that meet all our capacity needs.

HS2 was originally promoted as part of our low-carbon future, but HS2 Ltd’s own figures prove just how wide of the mark such claims are. HS2 has a huge environmental price.

HS2′s design specification means long straight tracks through pristine landscapes and severe disruption to urban areas over many years. HS2 will pass through or adversely impact over 130 protected wildlife sites, including 10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and over 50 ancient woodlands, many over 400 years old. HS2 will cause an unacceptable level of damage to important protected species present in the proposed HS2 route corridor.

High speed rail will not be catalyst for employment growth, with official figures confirming HS2 will create few jobs given the level of expenditure required. The experience of other countries and academic research confirms this conclusion. London, not the North, will be the big winner economically from HS2.

Official forecasts indicate 80% of the journeys on HS2 will begin or end in London. Twice as many journeys on HS2 will end in London than start there. Over 70% of the forecast new jobs linked to regeneration from stage 1 of HS2 are predicted to be in London.

No comments:

Post a Comment