HS2 is “expensive vanity project”, claims Taxpayers' Alliance

29 Jul 16
The High Speed 2 rail project is an “expensive vanity project” that is unlikely to be delivered on time and on budget and should be scrapped, the Taxpayers' Alliance has said today.
Plans to build 11 new platforms at Euston station as part of the High Speed 2 scheme have been set out by the project developers as part of a regeneration of the site.

The proposed HS2 station at Euston in London. Photo: HS2


In a report released today, the organisation analyses the proposed scheme, and assesses alternative options on the table.  

It claims the business case for HS2 has “fallen apart”, citing recent reports that the project is likely to be significantly over-budget, given current goals. However, according to the group, project costs are likely to be in the region of £88bn, far more than the official figure of £55.7bn.

Several alternative suggestions to the high speed link have been proposed, which the TPA claims offer better value for money, for example, increasing the frequency of trains on existing lines and also the number of carriages. 

Also, it suggests that the technology involved in the project could be made obsolete by other transport innovations, such as driverless cars, which could meet additional demand for transport capacity more cheaply.

HS2 is unlikely to develop the economy of the North, the group added, with London likely to feel a greater proportion of the benefits from the scheme, which is set to open between London and Birmingham in 2026, and extended onto both Leeds and Manchester by 2033.

TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby said the government should be “embarking on more worthwhile infrastructure projects that will cost less and deliver far better value.”

He added: “HS2 is a wasteful vanity project which is unlikely to be completed on schedule and will cost taxpayers a fortune. The new prime minister should now be pursuing bold and imaginative policies to boost economic growth and increase productivity.”




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