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28/01/2013
HS2 has a very weak business case


HS2
27 Jan 2013
HS2 has a very weak business case
Ahead of the government announcing more details on the HS2 project, Dr Richard Wellings, Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:
"The extension of High Speed 2 to the North of England is very bad news for taxpayers and the wider economy. The projectís £34 billion-plus bill Ė over £1,000 per household - will destroy jobs and force businesses to close across the UK, including in the North. Many areas along the route may also be affected by planning blight.
 
"The government is deluded if it thinks HS2 will regenerate the North. The regionís long-term economic problems will not be solved by faster rail links to London. Towns such as Doncaster already enjoy fast links, but remain among the poorest places in the country. Indeed, HS2 will be used as an excuse to waste billions more on flawed regeneration schemes in northern cities, at further expense to taxpayers.
 
"High Speed 2 is being driven forward by politics, not economics. It is a loss-making scheme with a very weak business case based on a series of flawed assumptions. If the government wishes to boost the economy through infrastructure investment, it should allow private investment in profitable projects such as Heathrow expansion and road schemes with very high rates of return."

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