Three years ago it must have seemed such a good idea. High Speed 2 would connect London to Birmingham and, from there, the 225mph super locomotives would thunder up to Leeds and Manchester.
It sounded so modern, so forward-looking, so Continental — a reflection of the gee-whizz new style of David Cameron’s Coalition Government.
But now, that high-speed dream is becoming a slow motion nightmare as costs mount by the billion and one of the Government’s transport experts conceded this week the much-trumpeted economic benefits are spurious.
Questioning the entire basis of the unusual financial modelling used for the report, Prof Graham tartly commented: ‘These numbers really need to be scrutinised, otherwise they could turn out to be fanciful.’
His scepticism is echoed by countless others, including Richard Wellings, of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
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