Originally published two years ago, almost to the day, this is a reminder that some Westminster politicians care more about vanity projects than areas away from the HS2 tracks.
A freedom of information request from a member of the public which was passed on to the BBC Newsnight programme has shown the extent to which cities could lose out economically due to HS2. The information, part of the research behind a report which the Government paid KPMG a quarter of a million pounds for in September, was not previously produced.
The KPMG report itself was widely trashed in September by academics and economics as it relied on a brand new untested methodology, which ignored many of the factors which influence economic activity. As such, it was dismissed as nothing but a PR exercise, which the revelation that negative economic impacts were missed out underlines.
The report shows that HS2 would potentially cause annual losses in economic activity not only in areas not served by the route, but areas which HS2 Ltd have claimed would benefit by the running on of ‘classic compatible trains’ such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Lancaster. The report also shows that with up to £1520.50m of projected benefits, Central London would be the biggest winner from HS2.
The full list of places which could lose out and their maximum potential economic loss is: Aberdeen £220.48m, Bath & NE Somerset £20.20m, Bridgend £10.78m, Bedfordshire North £63.14m, Borders £8.92m, Brighton & Hove £12.84m, Buckinghamshire £92.95m, Cardiff £70.06m, Carmarthenshire £12.14m, Bristol £101.27m, Conwy £9.74, Corby £84.39m, Cambridge City & South £126.89m, Cambridgeshire East £28.84m, Cambridgeshire North & West £79.32m, Cheltenham & Cotswold £2.79m, Chester & Ellesmere Port £29.12m, City of Glasgow £76.97m, Cornwall £19.25m, Cumbria South £26.69m, Devon £6.01m, Devon East £13.45m, Devon North West £18.54m, Devon South West £14.01m, Dundee & Angus £96.46m, East Northamptonshire £28.75m, Eden £2.6m, East Dunbartonshire £2.98m, East Renfrewshire £1.95m, East Sussex £16.38m, Essex East £29.57m, Essex South £151.12m, Exeter £7.37m, Falkirk £17.61m, Gwynned £3.21m, Gatwick & Crawley £31.40m, Gloucester, Stroud, Forest of Dean £81.02m, Havant £4.13m, Herefordshire £12.88m, Isle of Anglesey £1.88m, Isle of Wight £2.27m, Kettering £50.73m, Kent- Ashford & Shepway £19.77m, Kent East £6.52m, Kent West £132.71m, Lancaster £45.51m, Lincolnshire South East £32.99m, Liverpool £50.19m, London North £13.93m, Monmouthshire £8.44m, Neath Port Talbot £6.15m, Newport £36.42m, North Lincolnshire £16.49m, North Somerset £23.89m, Norfolk East £164.47m, Norfolk West £65.02m, Oxfordshire North £15.80m, Pembrokeshire £9.38m, Powys £5.62m, Peterborough £65.63m, Plymouth £14.15m, Portsmouth £4.76m, Rutland £5.32m, Renfrewshire £1.52m, Sefton £4.19m, South Gloucestershire £83.06m, Swansea £16.43m, Somerset West £8.52m, South Wales Central £28.37m, South Wales East £18.16m, Stansted & Uttlesford £31.34m, Stirling & Clackmannan £7.74m, Stoke & Staffordshire North £78.38m, Suffolk Main £14.90m, Suffolk West £62.82m, Surrey East £30.78m, Surrey South West £5.29m, Tewkesbury £28.10m, Vale of Glamorgan £7.07m, Warrington £17.79m, Wellingborough £39.53m, West Dumbartonshire £1.02m, West Sussex Central £12.06m, West Sussex Chichester £4.13m, West Sussex Coast £10.86m, West Sussex Horsham £14.38m and Wiltshire South £19.42m.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:
“The Government paid quarter of a million pounds for KPMG to invent a brand new untested methodology to try and prop up the failing case for their white elephant. Now it turns out that they Government deliberately suppressed any findings that would make HS2 seem bad. What this freedom of information request shows is that you cannot trust a single word which anyone from Government says when they try and justify HS2.”
“We have always said that London would be the biggest winner from HS2 and the hidden part of this report backs this up. We have always said that HS2 would suck economic activity away from places which cannot afford to lose it and the hidden part of this report backs that up too. It is clear that nothing the Government says about HS2 can be trusted and these revelations make it even clearer than ever that this boondoggle must be scrapped before any more money is wasted.”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 said
“What this new information shows is that HS2 Ltd and the Government are desperately trying to hide any negative data about HS2. Large parts of the country will be losing out ranging from Aberdeen to Brighton and Suffolk to Swansea. Even Liverpool, which was originally going to benefit will potentially lose out if HS2 goes ahead.
“It’s a real concern that HS2 are trying to hide this data. With the ongoing consultation into Phase 2 of the route, is vital that people take heed of the new data, and realise that even if you don’t live on the route, HS2 could have a massive negative impact.”
“The newly released figures are much more in line with an earlier KPMG report which included the information that places like Cardiff and Cornwell would lose tens of thousands of jobs.”
“However, we should not lose sight of the inadequacies in the report. It is based on the August 2012 economic case, but was published a month before the next economic case is due out. The modelling was invented for this report, and leading economists, including former advisors to HS2 Ltd have criticised it. It includes the Heathrow Spur, even though that is not currently being developed. Even KPMG have massive disclaimers about relying on the report. All this shows, even when HS2 Ltd try to fiddle the figures, HS2 is a bad project for the nation as a whole, and should be cancelled as soon as possible.