For HS2 playing the Europe card has become a busted flush

From 51M.

When all else fails, HS2 advocates play the Europe card. Patrick McLoughlin did it recently when talking about the project in Stoke. He said: I can take you to other examples in Europe..”  As bad timing would have it for the Secretary of State, quoting European examples in support of HS2 has become a lot more tricky.

In March a new study presented on the multi-billion euro investments made on Spain’s AVE high-speed rail system concluded that the costs were “neither beneficial to businesses nor society,” and did not compensate passenger savings in airline tickets or time spent on the road.

And in another hammer blow, a public inquiry in France has rejected plans for two new TGV lines in the south-west of the country, concluding that the new lines were too costly and would benefit only rich people and large cities.

In the Netherlands, a financially disastrous high-speed freight railway project from Rotterdam to the German border undertaken 30 years ago, became a textbook example of what happens when politicians lock themselves into decisions without exploring all the options and practicalities.

Well before the latest setbacks, Professor John Tomaney told the Transport Select Committee looking into HS2 in 2011, that evidence in Europe for high speed rail networks bringing economic regeneration and rebalancing regional inequalities was difficult to find.

An image of loading piles of taxpayers’ money onto bandwagon rolling out of town is inescapable.

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2 comments on “For HS2 playing the Europe card has become a busted flush
  1. Pingback: For HS2 playing the Europe card has become a bu...

  2. Blame game underway in closing week to May 7th. All three larger MP groups are to blame for the way in which you were left out of the planning and progressing of HS2 a poorly conceived route with no local rail commuting benefit to people in the Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Impact signficant for these Counties and your community. The UK did not apply the Articles and principles embedded in the Aarhus Convention and HS2 and DFt is getting away with the Greatest impacts on village and rural communities this Century. Produce your challenge and complaint to the Aarhus Convention Committee before you forget what you experienced or were omitted from in 2009 and 2010 and since by HS2 under Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dem. Vote for more local assistance than you have had in the past Government periods please.

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