The case for scrapping High Speed 2 (HS2) gets stronger by the day. Increasingly, people from across the political spectrum are waking up to the fundamental issues which have plagued this project. Whether it be the spiralling costs, environmental damage, consistent mismanagement or overwhelming unpopularity of the project, the tide is turning against HS2.
With the latest evidence suggesting that costs could almost double, taxpayers are demanding more for their money. Even on current estimates, scrapping HS2 would free up at least £50 billion to improve transport links up and down the country. But were this to happen, what should replace it? With this question in mind, we joined the TaxPayers’ Alliance in launching The Great British Transport Competition in September 2018, to find popular alternatives to HS2.
We asked all interested parties from across the United Kingdom to submit ideas for transport infrastructure projects. As the judges for this competition - including qualified surveyors, engineers, accountants, politicians and transport industry experts - we have been lucky to receive and assess so many fantastic entries from all around the country. The judging process began in early January and was concluded by early March. After many hours of detailed deliberation and discussion, 28 winning entries were chosen and the sum total of their construction costs came to £45.1 billion.
We were incredibly impressed by the high standard and variety of the entries we received. What particularly stood out was that many of the entries required only relatively small sums of money to achieve vast benefits for local communities. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Taken together, we believe these projects would dramatically transform the transport infrastructure of the nation and have a real impact on many peoples’ lives. All for less than the cost of HS2.