From day one, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has been rightly opposed to High Speed 2. We are all for transport infrastructure investment, but HS2 is far from the best use of taxpayers’ money.
Originally estimated to cost £36 billion, we correctly estimated that the cost would be far higher. In September 2019, ministers finally confirmed the cost of the project had risen to an upper limit of £88 billion (in 2015 Q4 prices).
The TPA has worked with politicians and campaign groups from all corners of the country in our bid to scrap HS2. In 2017 we projected a white elephant onto the usually illuminated advertising boards in Piccadilly Circus to draw attention to our campaign. We made headlines in print and local media, as well as explaining the problems with the project to millions on TV and radio.
We have even walked part of the proposed line with Stop HS2 campaigners to highlight the devastating environmental impact of the scheme. Along the way we met home and business owners who will suffer all of the pain for none of the gain.
In 2018 we launched The Great British Transport Competition to find alternative popular transport projects to HS2. We asked all interested parties from across the United Kingdom to submit ideas for transport infrastructure projects. We received nearly one hundred ideas and after lengthy deliberation by our expert judging panel, 28 winning entries were chosen. The sum total of their construction costs came to £45.1 billion.
Published in May 2019 and launched by Rt. Hon David Davis MP, The Great British Transport Competition dominated media coverage at both a national and local level. We showed that for half the cost of HS2, the government could build 28 transport projects that the public actually want and in a much shorter time frame. The report was a key reason the government ordered a review of HS2.
Following the decision to proceed with HS2 we analysed the report that was instrumental in the decision making process. Commissioned by transport secretary Grant Shapps in August 2019, the Oakervee Review was designed to be an independent review into HS2. After carrying out a forensic analysis of the report we concluded that it is nothing more than a whitewash, written to suit political ends. On every front, from trains per hour to speed and environmental aims, there is simply no positive case to be made for HS2.
In November 2021 the government announced the partial cancellation of HS2. Phase 2b East was trimmed back with the money funnelled back into a number of projects that we recommended in our Great British Transport Competition.
Ministers heeded our calls and took a step in the right direction, replacing a part of this pie-in-the-sky project with hundreds of transport upgrades.
Looking to the future we hope that the new minister for HS2 will do everything possible to keep costs from further escalating. Scrapping the project entirely, the nation could save a small fortune and offer infrastructure upgrades across the whole country.
Have a look back through our archives to see more about our multi-year campaign against HS2.
Events & action days
Videos on the launch
- Is HS2 worth the money? No!
- We must never forget: this is taxpayers' money, not our money!
- David Davis MP supports the launch of The Great British Transport Competition
- POLICY WIN: TaxPayers’ Alliance responds to the partial cancellation of HS2
- MEDIA STUNT: TaxPayers’ Alliance puts forward candidate for HS2 chair
- TaxPayers' Alliance tells government it needs to "get to grips with the scale of the challenge ahead" on HS2
- HS2 decision leaves "no light at the end of the tunnel" for taxpayers, says TPA
- TaxPayers' Alliance warns prime minister that HS2 costs to 'rise further still'
- TaxPayers’ Alliance responds to NAO report on HS2
- TaxPayers' Alliance responds to the Oakervee Review into HS2
- TaxPayers’ Alliance slams leaked HS2 stitch up
- TaxPayers' Alliance proved right on true costs of HS2
- TPA welcomes the announcement of the independent review of HS2
- Commons report: True cost of HS2 is £65 billion
- TPA backs Lords report calling for a 'rethink' of HS2
- Scrap HS2 to pay for Brexit bill
- TPA reacts to HS2/CH2M conflict of interest contract scrapping
- HS2 is a bottomless pit: delivering it 'under budget' might cost taxpayers £90.8 billion
- TPA polling shows 84 per cent don't believe HS2 will benefit them personally
- TaxPayers’ Alliance light up Piccadilly Circus on the eve of Peer’s ‘Fatal Motion’ on HS2
- Scrap HS2: Peer's 'Fatal Motion' offers last chance to save the nation £90 billion
- HS2 is a wasteful vanity project and must be scrapped
- HS2 is an expensive vanity project which must be scrapped
- Think Tent 2018 - A future without HS2 with Craig Tracey MP
- Boris must make the bold decision to scrap HS2
- Andrew Bridgen MP wants HS2 scrapped
- Aylesbury needs new road infrastructure not HS2
- Victoria Prentis MP explains why we should scrap HS2
- 5 ways Boris can cut wasteful spending!
- There is no economic case for HS2
- HS2 should have been scrapped a long time ago!
- HS2 is completely out of control!
- This is why HS2 must be scrapped
- How much is HS2 really going to cost?
- People in Cheshire do not want HS2
- Let's scrap HS2 and save 100 ancient woodland areas
- HS2 is completely unaffordable
- We could reopen the Skipton-Colne Railway Line if we scrapped HS2
- Let's scrap HS2 and pay for electrification on the Chiltern Main Line
- Join the campaign to scrap HS2 today
- HS2 is a monstrous waste of money
- The devastating reasons why we must scrap HS2
- Lord Framlingham asks - will the government scrap HS2?
- TPA Race to Birmingham
- Without Phase 2 HS2 makes EVEN LESS economic sense
- MPs Bill Cash and Craig Tracey voice their support for The Great British Transport Competition
- How would you spend £50 billion to improve the UK's transport?
- Why I’m standing for HS2 chairman
- More reactions to our “High Speed Rail – Huge Spending Risk” report still can’t justify HS2 project
- Greengauge 21 and ATOC respond to our report on high speed rail
- HS2 or upgrading existing lines? Response to Greengauge21
- HS2 will not have the benefits on other routes that Greengauge 21 claim
- Response to HS2 Ltd on the business case for the new high speed line
- Government promoting High “Speed” Rail which will slow down more journeys than it speeds up
- Responding to Alex Massie on HS2
- Respond to the Department for Transport HS2 consultation
- Philip Hammond's non-response to HS2 letter
- Response to Phillip Hammond and others on HS2 capacity
- New TPA Research: The Truth About High Speed Rail Capacity
- Groups say put the brakes on High Speed Rail
- Video from last week's event on #HS2 and our submission to the Transport Select Committee
- David Begg retreats into fantasy land on HS2
- Why are the Government taxing the poor to pay for a rich man's train?
- HS2 isn't a North versus South issue, Northerners don't want it
- Help us stop HS2, respond to the Government's consultation
- The Economist newspaper comes out against High Speed Rail
- The Campaign for HSR prop up the Government's dishonest claims about HS2
- The £28bn hidden cost of High Speed Rail
- New report adds to growing calls to scrap High Speed 2
- Transport Select Committee report shows the HS2 project needs to be reviewed
- TaxPayers' Alliance response to high speed rail announcement
- Non-job of the week
- Non-job of the week
- HS2 will not deliver superfast broadband
- Further hidden costs to HS2
- Our reaction to today's NAO report on HS2
- HS2 report is "just another expensive propaganda exercise"
- Public Accounts Committee report is a devastating blow to HS2
- HS2 and its taxpayer funded propaganda
- HS2 and its spending binge at taxpayers' expense
- Yet another report slams HS2 fiasco
- Could driverless cars make HS2 obsolete before it's even built?
- HS2 - do we need a rethink?
- High-Speed 2 or Medium-Fast 1?
- New Commons report shows the need to scrap HS2
- Concerns on HS2's conflicts of interest brought to Parliament
- HS2 is an ongoing nightmare
- Open letter to the Transport Select Committee
- HS2 won't help unlock the North - it will hurt it
- The Lords have delivered a damning indictment of HS2
- The truth is out about the real cost of HS2
- It will all come out in the whitewash
- Keeping track: independent oversight of HS2 is badly needed
- What could Boris’ new rail plans mean for the south?