The Economist newspaper comes out against High Speed Rail

September 02, 2011 2:13 PM

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: the Government must scrap its ludicrous and expensive High Speed Rail project. But it's not just us: a broad spectrum of others have joined our call, from the Green Party to the RAC Foundation. And this morning, The Economist newspaper joined the ranks. They have a special editorial and feature this week outlining why they believe the project is horribly flawed.

[caption id="attachment_40164" align="alignright" width="300" caption="More of a problem for everyday commuters?"][/caption]

Their main feature focuses on the supposed regional regeneration that HS2 will bring. The Government argue that it will close the North-South divide, but The Economist is less sure; in fact they argue that it could exacerbate regional disparities. They cite evidence from France where more businesses have relocated to Paris after the high speed line to Lyon was built. Similarly in Spain, Madrid has benefited at the expense of Seville, while in Japan, Tokyo still grows faster than Osaka.

So The Economist and others think that a big Government-led scheme to close regional disparities won't work - who'd've thunk it? Regional Development Agencies helped exacerbate regional disparities and this big shiny Government project runs a real risk of doing the same.

So let's see what's been destroyed so far: the business case; the job-creation case; and capacity claims. Now the regional regeneration claims have come under serious fire. The Government is fast running out of credibility on this issue. HS2 is not a good project at the wrong time, it's just a bad project. Scrap it.We've said it before, and we'll say it again: the Government must scrap its ludicrous and expensive High Speed Rail project. But it's not just us: a broad spectrum of others have joined our call, from the Green Party to the RAC Foundation. And this morning, The Economist newspaper joined the ranks. They have a special editorial and feature this week outlining why they believe the project is horribly flawed.

[caption id="attachment_40164" align="alignright" width="300" caption="More of a problem for everyday commuters?"][/caption]

Their main feature focuses on the supposed regional regeneration that HS2 will bring. The Government argue that it will close the North-South divide, but The Economist is less sure; in fact they argue that it could exacerbate regional disparities. They cite evidence from France where more businesses have relocated to Paris after the high speed line to Lyon was built. Similarly in Spain, Madrid has benefited at the expense of Seville, while in Japan, Tokyo still grows faster than Osaka.

So The Economist and others think that a big Government-led scheme to close regional disparities won't work - who'd've thunk it? Regional Development Agencies helped exacerbate regional disparities and this big shiny Government project runs a real risk of doing the same.

So let's see what's been destroyed so far: the business case; the job-creation case; and capacity claims. Now the regional regeneration claims have come under serious fire. The Government is fast running out of credibility on this issue. HS2 is not a good project at the wrong time, it's just a bad project. Scrap it.

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