One of the big issues around the £55 billion that the government are planning to spend on HS2 is that the money could be used so much better, in a way that could provide so much more benefit to people across the country.
The recent flooding has really brought this into sharp focus, with thousands of homes and businesses being flooded over the last few weeks. Add this to the floods of two years ago in the southwest which caused immense damage to the railway line from Dawlish, its clear that the cost of flooding is huge.
So Lissy Tomlinson has set up a petition on the government’s petition website for you to sign – Stop HS2 and spend the money on a national long term flood defence strategy.
While the government are willing to spend some money on flood defences, the £50 million promised for flooding schemes pales into insignificance compared to the £55 billion that the government will spend on HS2.
What’s more, the government say HS2 is only expected to get a benefit cost ratio of 1.4 for Phase 1, meaning that for every £1 the government spends on HS2, the economy will get back £1.40. in comparison, the BCR needed before the government will spend on flood defences is 8 to 1.
Meanwhile The Courier reports that Perth in Scotland was saved from almost certain devastation three times in the last week, flood engineers have revealed due to flood defences put in place since 1993. But in Kent, the actual BCR from HS1 is a mere 0.6 meaning it has effectively lost money.