New report adds to growing calls to scrap High Speed 2

October 26, 2011 10:53 AM

The Adam Smith Institute has released a report this morning on High Speed 2. What they think about the project is summed neatly by the title of the paper: High Speed Fail. It's yet another voice added to a growing body that believes the project is flawed.

Alongside the TPA are groups like the Green Party, the Countryside Alliance and the RAC Foundation. Other think-tanks in Westminster like the Institute of Economic Affairs – and now the Adam Smith Institute – also have voiced their concerns. The Economist newspaper had a special editorial and feature on how the project won’t bring the benefits that it's supposed to.

The groups are opposed to the scheme for different reasons, too. We have raised concerns about the business case, the job creation claims and the potential hidden costs of the scheme. The Green Party have questioned the environmental credentials of the project. The RAC Foundation feel that HS2 won’t do anything to ease congestion on existing roads, which are used by the majority of Britons to get to work in the morning. They also feel that HS2’s cost-benefit ratio is not as strong as other projects. The Countryside Alliance has concerns about the impact of installing a brand new line through the heart of the Countryside. And The Economist questions whether HS2 will correct regional disparities, as is claimed. Indeed, the newspaper believes they could be exacerbated.

Today’s report by the ASI worries that HS2 will be considered a Government liability by debt markets, at a time when Britain’s net interest payments are rapidly increasing. It also says that the chances of a worthwhile commercial return are slim. With this report, the ASI join those that have concluded that the Government has not put forward a persuasive case for the project at all. It should be scrapped at the next available opportunity.The Adam Smith Institute has released a report this morning on High Speed 2. What they think about the project is summed neatly by the title of the paper: High Speed Fail. It's yet another voice added to a growing body that believes the project is flawed.

Alongside the TPA are groups like the Green Party, the Countryside Alliance and the RAC Foundation. Other think-tanks in Westminster like the Institute of Economic Affairs – and now the Adam Smith Institute – also have voiced their concerns. The Economist newspaper had a special editorial and feature on how the project won’t bring the benefits that it's supposed to.

The groups are opposed to the scheme for different reasons, too. We have raised concerns about the business case, the job creation claims and the potential hidden costs of the scheme. The Green Party have questioned the environmental credentials of the project. The RAC Foundation feel that HS2 won’t do anything to ease congestion on existing roads, which are used by the majority of Britons to get to work in the morning. They also feel that HS2’s cost-benefit ratio is not as strong as other projects. The Countryside Alliance has concerns about the impact of installing a brand new line through the heart of the Countryside. And The Economist questions whether HS2 will correct regional disparities, as is claimed. Indeed, the newspaper believes they could be exacerbated.

Today’s report by the ASI worries that HS2 will be considered a Government liability by debt markets, at a time when Britain’s net interest payments are rapidly increasing. It also says that the chances of a worthwhile commercial return are slim. With this report, the ASI join those that have concluded that the Government has not put forward a persuasive case for the project at all. It should be scrapped at the next available opportunity.

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