The government’s decision to plough ahead with its High Speed rail plans is set to be a £32bn disaster. A recently-released report by the Institute of Economic Affairs found that:
- The cost of HS2 will require a contribution of £1,000 per Income Tax payer
- Significant environmental and social costs are not included in the government’s assessment of the economic case, with several areas likely to be affected by ‘planning blight’.
- HS2 is likely to create demand for additional high-cost, taxpayer-funded transport capacity, particularly at the Euston terminus
- HS2’s time-saving claims are based on flawed assumptions and are not credible.
- The ‘green’ credentials of the scheme are highly questionable. At 225mph, the trains will consume disproportionate levels of power via the National Grid.
Commenting on the government’s decision to proceed with the project, Dr Richard Wellings, Deputy Editorial Director at the IEA and co-author of High Speed 2: the next government project disaster?, said: