Our Director, John O'Connell is featured in City AM today, calling for HS2 to be scrapped in response to the Lords report:
HS2 should be scrapped. It is based on a bad business case that unravelled as soon as it was presented, and the Lords report should be the final nail in its coffin. The initial business case assumed average passenger income of around £70,000.
Were that to materialise, then it would simply be a line for well-off passengers paid for by less well-off taxpayers. And the Lords report is damning too. It says that HS2 does not address capacity issues and that it will not help to stimulate growth in the North and help the government “rebalance” the economy. There are far more worthwhile transport projects. Easing congestion around commuter towns and increasing capacity on existing lines would be cheaper and preferable.
Furthermore, the benefit per pound spent is usually better on road projects than rail. New technologies will make HS2 redundant by the time the first train is due to leave Euston – not least the development of driverless cars.