Friday, 23 September 2011

Is there actually a business case for HS2 - or is it just anecdote?

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From the select committee enquiry into the proposed high speed railway to Birmingham comes this gem from Sir Brian Briscoe, the boss of HS2 Ltd:

"We have not measured the wider economic benefits of improved connectivity. But, anecdotally, people in the West Midlands have said that transport improvements would drive other kinds of economic improvements."

We are - it seems - to spend billions on building a railway we might not need on the basis of "anecdote".

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3 comments:

orcman5 said...

In answer to your question I increasingly doubt that there is a business case for HS2. It appears to be nothing more than a gigantic Keynsian exercise in stimulating the economy. Doomed to failure in that regard of course - as ever.

Anonymous said...

John Tomaney, Professor of Regional Development at Newcastle University, does not appear to think it will bring prosperity to the north. He told the Transport Committee that "The evidence for high-speed rail to transform the economic geography of the UK is fairly weak. It is very difficult to find and we have looked hard for it."

Samuel Fisher said...

I agree and set up www.twitter.com/YorksAgainstHS2 to promote the evidence against the Government's regeneration claims.

Please follow and tell your friends and colleagues.